By Keith Idec
Adrian Granados gives Shawn Porter credit for doing enough to beat him on the scorecards 10 months ago.
Granados contends, though, that he deserved better than losing by the identical wide distance, 117-111, on all three judges’ scorecards. The junior welterweight contender also feels Porter received help from referee Gary Rosato during that 12-round welterweight bout November 4 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
In particular, Granados doesn’t understand why Rosato provided Porter with time to recover when there was 1:47 to go in the 11th round.
That’s Porter bent over, turned away from Granados following an exchange near the ropes and looked toward his father/trainer, Kenny Porter, in his corner. Rosato warned Granados for using his elbow during that sequence, which caused about a 13-second break in the action.
“I think I could’ve beat Porter,” Granados told BoxingScene.com. “I think I was even close to stopping him towards the end. But the one thing I haven’t even said in any interviews is that I was very upset with the refereeing in that fight. I thought it was one-sided. The referee kept breaking my momentum. Every time he would separate us, he would push me again. There was no need for that. He repeatedly pushed me extra.
“And then there was even one time Shawn hurt his hand, and I came in to hit him more, and he stopped me and made sure he was OK. Like, ‘Are you OK?’ He let him talk to his corner and then he let him continue. It’s like, ‘C’mon, man.’ It’s a fight, you know? I thought he saved Shawn there. Because I even remember I heard in the corner he was ready to give up already. But, you know, his dad pushed him [to continue]. But I think Shawn got some help from the referee in that fight.”
Showtime analysts Al Bernstein and Paulie Malignaggi criticized Rosato in the 11th round for continually pushing Granados harder than Porter when he separated them throughout a fight marred by continuous clinching.
Porter revealed after their bout that he hurt his left hand in the sixth round and couldn’t use it the way he wanted during the second half of it.
The former IBF welterweight champ will fight for the first time Saturday night since he defeated the Chicago-based Granados (18-6-2, 12 KOs, 1 NC) by unanimous decision. The Akron, Ohio, native will face Philadelphia’s Danny Garcia (34-1, 20 KOs) for the vacant WBC welterweight title in the main event at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (Showtime; 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).
Granados, who called Garcia-Porter “a 50-50 fight,” laments a lost opportunity in his own bout with Porter (28-2-1, 17 KOs).
“I don’t take away that he beat me,” Granados said. “He did beat me. But it took me a while to kind of figure out what fight to come with [against] him. And once I realized that I could fight him with the bully fight, too, like wrestle with him, he kind of like broke down and he just started running. Towards the end, it was just kind of like disgusting how much he kept holding and putting his head down.
“He was doing anything just to survive, and the referee never gave him a warning for anything. It was always me being warned and me getting the lower end of the fight. … There’s no excuses. Like I said, Shawn did beat me that night. I just feel like he got help from that referee.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.