By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Shawn Porter doesn’t expect to fight again until he can secure a rematch with Keith Thurman.
The former IBF welterweight champion and his father/trainer, Ken Porter, don’t think there’s any reason Porter should box anyone other than Thurman next. Porter has already won back-to-back WBC welterweight championship elimination matches and his 2018 schedule could align perfectly with Thurman’s because Porter probably suffered a fracture to his left hand during his unanimous-decision victory over Adrian Granados on Saturday night.
“As far as that’s concerned, he already fought a title eliminator right here, in this building, against Andre Berto,” Ken Porter said during the post-fight press conference early Sunday morning at Barclays Center. “And he fought another title eliminator tonight. I don’t know a lot of other fighters that would do that, especially in this day and age. They may have done that back in the days, but not here, in this day and age. He shouldn’t have to do that again. He shouldn’t have to go through anything like that again. What he went through tonight shows that not only the physical part of it, but the mental part of it for him, that it takes to push through something like that. He’s deserving of the fight with Keith Thurman.”
Thurman, who beat Porter by unanimous decision in close, entertaining fight in June 2016 at Barclays Center, hasn’t fought since defeating Philadelphia’s Danny Garcia (33-1, 19 KOs) by split decision March 4 at Barclays Center. The unbeaten WBA/WBC champion from Clearwater, Florida, is still recovering from elbow surgery performed six months ago and has said he’ll take a “welcome back” fight against a lesser opponent either late in February or sometime in March.
A bout between Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs, 1 NC) and IBF champion Errol Spence Jr. (22-0, 19 KOs) is the most anticipated matchup in the welterweight division. The 30-year-old Porter (28-2-1, 17 KOs), of Akron, Ohio, could have to wait to face the Thurman-Spence winner if the WBC doesn’t make Thurman fight him first.
“We respect [Thurman] as champion and respect the fact that he was out with an injury as well,” Ken Porter said. “We’ll allow him to sort that out the best way that him and his handlers deem necessary and fight who they feel they should fight. I understand his thought process, not wanting to come back and fight a top fighter at this point.
“Let him do that, and then when the dust clears, we’ll be there waiting. We’re just gonna work on other things, like our right hand and both legs and the mental sharpness, we’ll maintain that as well. But we’ll be waiting when he’s done. We won’t fight anybody else until he’s ready to fight.”
Despite suffering the first significant injury of his career against Granados (18-6-2, 12 KOs), Shawn Porter appeared optimistic about boxing Thurman sometime next year.
“The doctor X-rayed it,” Porter said regarding his hand injury. “He said he thinks it may be fractured. I’ll get a good look at it and rest it as long as possible. That’s what we are prepared to do. But we are also prepared to fight Keith Thurman as soon as possible. I don’t have that WBC silver title for no reason. They told me what I got after this, and that’s Keith Thurman. So we’re gonna do our best to get that.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.