By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Shawn Porter and Errol Spence Jr. sat a few feet apart early Sunday morning.
The welterweight champions both stated during Porter’s post-fight press conference that they want to fight each other next. Whether that actually happens might not be up to them.
The WBC could order Porter to make a mandatory defense of the welterweight title he won Saturday night versus Yordenis Ugas in his next bout. Cuba’s Ugas earned a title shot by defeating Argentina’s Cesar Barrionuevo by unanimous decision on the Porter-Danny Garcia undercard at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
If Porter (29-2-1, 17 KOs) makes his first title defense against Ugas (23-3, 11 KOs), Spence could face Mikey Garcia because unlike Porter, Spence isn’t due to make a mandatory defense of his IBF 147-pound title. If it happens, a bout between Spence (24-0, 21 KOs) and Mikey Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs) isn’t likely to take place until early in 2019.
“I know how this thing works,” Porter said. “I know that Errol Spence got in the ring and said he wanted to fight me in front of the world, and I politely accepted that challenge. Not only because he stepped in the ring and said it, but because that’s what I really want. I think that I’ve been in the ring with Keith [Thurman], I just beat Danny. I think Errol’s the next guy for me. That part that you all hate, that I didn’t say in the ring because I know better than that, is that there’s gonna be some business that needs to play out.
“But I assure you, I assure you it won’t be because of Errol Spence if this fight is not next for me and it will not be because of me if my next fight is not against Errol Spence. So I think at this point, man, we’ve just gotta be patient and make sure that’s what everybody wants. And that’s the way it goes. I know the WBC has some things in mind for me and we’ll see what happens.”
Ken Porter, Shawn’s father and trainer, wants his son to fight Spence next, too. Spence owns the IBF welterweight title Shawn Porter lost four years ago to England’s Kell Brook (37-2, 26 KOs), the ex-champion Spence stopped in the 11th round 15 months ago to win that championship.
“We want Errol Spence,” Ken Porter said. “Errol Spence. Errol Spence. Errol Spence. If anybody decides to do anything other than that, that’s not in our control. But we wanna fight Errol Spence. I don’t wanna see Shawn fight till he’s 40 years old. I want Shawn to fight the prime guys now, while he’s in his prime. Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Errol Spence, Bud Crawford. Great fighters should make each other great. Let’s fight.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.