Glynn Evans delivers the titbits on the super strong, super fit, super nice Ohioan who clashes with Danny Garcia in a high-grade welter belter for the vacant WBC crown, live on BoxNation this weekend.
1. EARLY LIFE
Shawn Porter was born in Akron, Ohio on October 27th His father Kenny, a boxing coach, described him as ‘a model kid, always did as we asked’. Shawn first began training in the sport when he was just four-years-old. His childhood hero was former undisputed World Middleweight Champion ‘Marvelous’ Marvin Hagler. Today now lives in Las Vegas.
2. GRIDIRON HOPEFUL
Despite his relatively short stature (just 5ft 7in) ‘Showtime’s’ first love was (American) football. He was an All-Conference running back at both junior and senior level whilst attending Stow-Munroe Fall High School. He forsook a number of college football scholarships after opting to pursue his dream of boxing at the Olympic Games.
3. AMATEUR TALENT
Groomed by his father, the tank-like Ohioan boasts an impressive 276-14 amateur slate. In 2003, aged 15, young Shawn bagged a silver medal at the Junior Olympics then, the following year, struck gold at the Pan American Cadets meet in Colorado Springs. He also represented the US at the 2006 World Junior Championships in Agadir, Morocco.
4. FAMOUS FOES
As a senior, competing up at 165lbs (close to the Super-Middleweight cut-off in the pros!) pressure cooker Porter claimed the 2007 national Golden Gloves Title whilst still in his teens. He also scalped future professional World Champions Danny Jacobs and Demetrius Andrade but was tamed by England’s James DeGale. The future Olympic and IBF Champion schooled Shawn by 23 points to four in a dual international meet at London’s York Hall in November 2007.
5. OLYMPIC HEARTACHE
Ranked number one in the US at 165lbs, Shawn was favourite to secure a berth on the 2008 US Beijing Olympic squad. However, he was badly knocked out by Cuba’s Emilio Correa in the 2007 Pan American Games in Brazil. Twice avenged by Jacobs at the US Trials, Porter had to content himself with a slot as Olympic alternate.
6. FAST START TO PRO GAME
Coached and manager by Dad Kenny and initially promoted by the Mississippi ‘Prize Fight’ group, Porter entered the profession as a Super-Welterweight in October 2008. Within 28 months, his aggressive, explosive ring manner saw him rack up 18 straight wins. No longer required to sustain weight for football, he ‘leaned out’ to a compact Welterweight and scooped the NABF Title at 10st 7lb with a comprehensive 10 round decision over Benin’s Anges Adjaho in the first boxing show ever broadcast ‘live’ in 3-D! He also served as Manny Pacquiao’s chief sparring partner for the Filipino’s superfights with Miguel Cotto and Shane Mosley.
7. IBF WORLD CHAMPION
The first blemish on pressure fighter Porter’s record occurred in his 21st start when he was restricted to a draw over 10 rounds by two-time IBF Lightweight Champion Julio Diaz in Los Angeles. Nine months after, he avenged Diaz in a rematch, registering a clear 10 round decision to secure an IBF Title challenge to slippery St Louis southpaw Devon Alexander. Entering as a wide underdog, Porter bossed from the start and was coronated after claiming a clear unanimous decision.
8. BROOK'S SPECIAL PERFORMANCE
Alas, his reign lasted just eight months. He routed Paulie Malignaggi in four in his maiden defence but was dethroned by Sheffield’s Kell Brook, his mandatory challenger, who nicked a 12 round majority decision and his cherished belt at the StubHub Center in California.
9. BRONER WIN, THURMAN LOSS
Ten months after, Porter again upset the odds by battering serial blagger and Ohioan rival Adrian Broner over 12 rounds in Vegas to cement a WBA Title challenge against his good friend Keith Thurman, back at the Barclays Center. ‘One Time’ prevailed by three identical scores of 115-113 after 12 high grade rounds.
10. COMEBACK TRAIL
But stubborn Shawn refused to go away and continued to accept the testing fights needed to restore him to the top flight. A three knockdown, ninth round stoppage of Haiti’s former two-time Welter Champion Andre Berto in a WBC final eliminator in April 2017 - again at the Barclays Center - accords him the opportunity to become a two-time divisional Champion this weekend.
11. BELTER IN BROOKLYN
11. A devout Christian and thoroughly decent human being, the 30-year-old’s record presently rests at 28-2-1 with 17 early endings. Though dropped late by Broner, he has never been stopped. Saturday’s spat with Garcia pitches two of the decades best Welterweights who share combined stats of 62-3-1 and five World Titles. Promises to be a cracker!