Shawn Porter doesn’t know who he’ll face in his first fight following the COVID-19 pandemic.
The former IBF and WBC welterweight champion is absolutely sure, though, that promoters, managers and boxers had better be ready to match the best against the best once they’re allowed to schedule fights again. Otherwise, Porter suspects it’ll be impossible for what’s already a niche sport to compete for attention with the NFL, NBA and other that sports that are more popular.
Porter told Larry Wade, Porter’s strength and conditioning coach, during an Instagram Live interview Wednesday night that he is willing to fight Manny Pacquiao, Errol Spence Jr. or even Terence Crawford whenever he fights next.
“Right now, I think the list for me is as extremely slim as it’s been in a while,” Porter said. “We’ll test the waters of maybe Manny Pacquiao. We’ll test the waters of maybe Errol Spence. Here’s the thing when you’re fighting Errol Spence. Now, he’s had some rest. He was talking about coming back in June or July. We don’t know how long this thing is gonna last. But we get past June and July, August even, September even, we reset the whole clock. People wanna see the best of the best, and they need to see it immediately. If we wanna contend with NFL, NBA, who’s on pause right now … if we wanna make a big boom, a big splash in the pool, you make Manny Pacquiao versus Shawn Porter, you make Errol Spence versus Shawn Porter, myself – I’ll go ahead and say this – myself and Terence Crawford were gonna have a conversation just before this hit. And I don’t know how this conversation was gonna go, but you do wanna see Terence Crawford and Shawn Porter.
“Those are the big fights that people need to see right off the jump. Forget warming up. Forget, ‘I need a comeback fight.’ Forget that. All that’s done in the gym, and you know it. If you’re doing it the right way, your training is your warmup, and this fight is the fight everybody’s supposed to see. At the top of the list, Manny Pacquiao, Errol Spence and I don’t know what that conversation with Terence Crawford was gonna be like. But I think it was gonna be a good one, so we can put his name in there, too.”
The 32-year-old Porter (30-3-1, 17 KOs) lost a 12-round split decision to Spence (26-0, 21 KOs) in his last fight, a welterweight title unification match September 28 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. While the Akron, Ohio, native would welcome a showdown with Pacquiao and rematches with Spence, Thurman or Danny Garcia, Porter appears to be the most willing among the fighters affiliated with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions to challenge Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs) for his WBO welterweight title.
Bob Arum, Crawford’s promoter, told BoxingScene.com recently that a Crawford-Porter fight seemed unlikely because they’re friends. Porter seems at least open to discussing that possibility further.
Danny Garcia (36-2, 21 KOs) and Mikey Garcia (40-1, 30 KOs) also want to fight Pacquiao. Spence, who has recovered from cuts and facial fractures suffered in a car accident October 10 in Dallas, also wants to box Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs).
“When this is all done, we’re all gonna reset,” Porter told Wade. “The champions are still gonna be champions. The guys who are contending to be champions are still gonna be [contenders]. But we’ve all had the same amount of rest. We’ve all had – now it’s gonna be the same amount of time to get ready for a fight. Those guys I think who wouldn’t fight me in March or April, we’re now coming into April, May, June, whatever. We hittin’ the reset button.
“Guys like Keith Thurman, guys like Danny Garcia, Mikey Garcia, Errol Spence, Manny Pacquiao. We’ll even throw Terence Crawford’s name in there, because he’s at the top of the list, should be on everyone’s paper. All those guys, we’re all reset now. You can’t say, ‘I just fought in January.’ You can’t say, ‘Oh, well, I’m coming off of an injury.’ We all been resting, bruh. Was you lifting 135 pounds and something went wrong? We all been resting.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.