By Steve Kim
In a few months, former world champions Shawn Porter (28-2-1, 17 KOs) and Danny Garcia (34-1, 20 KOs) will square off for the vacant WBC welterweight title.
It's a fight that Porter and his outspoken father/trainer, Kenny, have yearned for. And the father admits to being pleasantly surprised that Garcia actually took this assignment.
Porter, who says he and his son have begun preparing for battle this week, told BoxingScene.com - "I am surprised that Garcia is taking on this challenge because he's known for over three years. I don't understand how a guy can say he didn't know we wanted to fight him. We flew to New York when (Garcia) fought Paulie Malignaggi - I believe that was three years ago, to challenge him to a fight."
Garcia did face Malignaggi in the summer of 2015 and Porter recalls - "We came to his press conference because he had just did an interview and said, 'Shawn Porter was tailor made for me.' So we got on a plan, got over to New York. We watched the fight, came to the press conference and we let him know,'Hey, we saw the interview that we're tailored made, it's very hard for us to get fights - we want to fight you.'
"And from that point to now, he's never said, until recently, maybe two, three weeks ago when Showtime was in Philadelphia, he's never said out loud, 'I want to fight Shawn Porter.' So now that he's actually said that and accepted the challenge, I am surprised. I really am."
As Keith Thurman vacated the WBC title, Garcia and Porter - who are the two highest contenders in the sanctioning body rankings - were mandated to face one another by the World Boxing Council.
The date and venue for this fight have not been determined, but late August/September have been mentioned.
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.