By Keith Idec
Shawn Porter supposes he would have to fight Adrian Granados’ fight to give Granados a chance to pull off an upset Saturday night.
The former IBF welterweight champion is intent to avoid doing that. As much as fans and media are anticipating an all-action brawl between Porter and Granados at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, Porter predicted a more tactical encounter.
“The bottom line with Adrian Granados is he tricks guys into fighting his fight, which is in the middle of the ring and brawl, or laying against the ropes,” Porter told BoxingScene.com. “I’m not gonna do that. I’m going to use my speed, my quickness and my boxing ability, something you haven’t seen me do enough of. And we won’t allow it to be close. I know if I’m able to keep him on the end of my shots and keep him moving and guess on where I’m gonna be, then he’ll just be playing catch-up the entire night and it won’t be a close fight.”
The 28-year-old Granados (18-5-2, 12 KOs), of Cicero, Illinois, has lost only by split decision (three times) and majority decision (twice) during his nine-year pro career. With a potential rematch against WBA/WBC Keith Thurman looming, the last thing Porter needs is to go to the scorecards in a close fight against Granados.
“He’s a guy who can brawl and who can take punches as well,” Porter said. “I think that’s something Granados does very well. He’s able to, in a lot of ways, out-hustle the guys that he fights. He’s also able to take punches and keep going. With a guy like that, you’ve gotta make him use his feet.
“Guys like Granados, they’re not used to punching and moving at the same time. So if I’m able to get him to come at me and in some way chase me, or try to catch up to me, I’ll be ahead of the game. I’ll be able to out-box him and use my foot movement to keep him turning and guessing where I’m gonna be. And that’ll open him up.”
The 30-year-old Porter (27-2-1, 17 KOs), of Akron, Ohio, has a draw with Julio Diaz and two closes losses – a unanimous-decision defeat to Thurman and a majority-decision defeat to Kell Brook – on his record. He understands Granados’ frustration from fights that didn’t go his way and feels that taking a more scientific approach in this fight will serve him well.
“Being in a lot of wars that I’ve been in and a lot of just really close fights,” Porter explained, “I’m understanding that if I just use my boxing ability more, it will make the fights more decisive, as far as me winning the fight.”
Porter-Granados will be one of three fights Showtime will televise Saturday night.
The card is set to start at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT with a 12-round battle between Kazakhstan’s Sergey Lipinets (12-0, 10 KOs) and Japan’s Akihiro Kondo (29-6-1, 16 KOs) for the vacant IBF junior welterweight title. In the main event, WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs), of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and former champion Bermane Stiverne (25-2-1, 21 KOs), of Las Vegas, will meet in a mandatory rematch.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.