Shawn Porter is less interested in taking the place of his old ring rival as he is in exploring new business.
The former two-time welterweight titlist from Las Vegas, Nevada by way of Akron, Ohio is still planning his next move following a hard fought 12-round defeat to Errol Spence in their thrilling title unification bout this past September in Los Angeles, California. The Fox Sports Pay-Per-View headliner saw Desoto, Texas’ Spence (26-0, 21KOs) prevail by split decision to leave the ring with two titles—as well as clear instruction on his next ring assignment.
Immediately joining the victor in the ring is former two-division titlist Danny Garcia (35-2, 21KOs), who was announced as next in line for Spence’s unified title reign, with the bout tentatively slated at the time for the 1st quarter of 2020, also to headline on Fox Sports PPV. The news appeared to come out of the blue, particularly to the evening’s other star attraction.
“I wasn’t expecting Danny to get in the ring,” Porter (30-3-1, 17KOs) admitted during a recent installment of FS1’s Inside PBC Boxing, on which he serves as a series expert analyst. “I know that’s how the promotion goes. You always got to say what’s next. I understand that.”
Plans will likely change in light of what has since taken place. Spence was involved in a horrific single car accident on Oct. 10, where he was considered fortunate to have not only survived, but escape with minimal and non-life threatening injuries. The 29-year old southpaw was discharged from Methodist Dallas Medical Center six days later, at which point he was charged with misdemeanor DWI by the Dallas Police Department. Despite his being discharged, it remains unclear just how far along Spence is in the physical rehabilitation stage, or at what point he can resume his promising career.
“I do think that it’s way too soon,” Porter said of Spence returning to the ring. “You have to take into consideration that he has to recover from the injuries he suffered. Then he has to recover emotionally. Going through something like that is very traumatic.”
While Porter is thinking about the well-being of his former ring rival, also on his mind is the next step in his own career. Replacing Spence in a fight with Garcia isn’t out of the question, although the two have already enjoyed that dance. Porter became a two-time titlist following a narrow points win over Philadelphia’s Garcia in their 12-round battle last September in Brooklyn, New York.
A rematch could prove to be a tough sell, especially at the PPV level. As much is not lost on Porter, who eyes bigger game.
“The whole promotion was leading up to who would fight Manny Pacquaio next,” Porter noted of every welterweight’s desire to face the legendary eight-division and reigning 147-pound titlist from the Philippines, whom outpointed Keith Thurman (29-1, 22KOs) in their July PPV thriller in Las Vegas. “Danny got in the ring and called (Spence) out. So, I want to get in there and call Manny out. Let’s see what happens.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox