By Lem Satterfield
Shawn Porter vows to exact revenge on Keith Thurman should his unbeaten welterweight rival proceed with a WBC-approved rematch of his title-retaining unanimous decision victory over “Showtime” from June 2016.
Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs) has been sidelined due to injuries over the 19-month period since defeating Porter (29-1-1, 17 KOs) in a “Fight Of The Year” contender followed by a split decision, unification win over Danny Garcia (34-2, 20 KOs) in March 2017.
Already the WBA’s champion, Thurman has since vacated the WBC’s version he won from Garcia.
In September, Porter earned Thurman’s vacated WBC crown by split-decision over Garcia, becoming a 147-pound world titlist for the second time by vanquishing the two-division champion at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York,
“One Time” has reportedly requested a return bout with “Showtime” in an attempt to win back his WBC championship, although it is unclear whether or not the fight will happen.
Porter said last month that he anticipated Thurman’s move, even as he listed among his considerations a unification against left-handed IBF counterpart Errol Spence Jr. (24-0, 21 KOs), a rematch with two-time title winner Andre Berto, and a dream bout with former sparring partner and eight-time champion Manny Pacquiao, the latter being the WBO’s current titleholder.
“The [WBC] has mandated I fight Keith Thurman…Next in line is Andre Berto, but I would rather push to fight Errol Spence. I think I’ve shown it all against Berto and…a rematch wouldn’t go much differently…I think Keith is going to try to fight me,” said Porter, who turned 31 last month, of Thurman, whose 30th birthday is on November 23.
“I think Keith feels like the train is leaving the station and he needs to hurry up and jump on. But I’m stronger and better, mentally, than the first time we fought. I’m more determined, have more confidence and have no doubt I win the rematch. I just hope he’s 100 percent because it won’t be the same if he’s not. Beyond Keith Thurman, I’m more interested in a fight with Errol Spence than anyone else.”
But according to The LA Times, Spence could face four-division and WBC lightweight champ Mikey Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs) on March 16 -at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Porter won the IBF’s crown with a December 2013 unanimous decision that dethroned southpaw Devon Alexander, defended it with a two-knockdown, fourth-round stoppage of two-division titlist Paulie Malignaggi in April 2014, and lost it to Kell Brook by majority decision that August.
Porter is 5-1 with two knockouts since Brook, a run that includes rising from a 12th-round knockdown to secure a unanimous decision over four-division champion Adrien Broner in June 2015, scoring a three-knockdown, ninth-round stoppage of Berto in April 2017, a unanimous decision over Andrian Granados that November, and the loss to Thurman.