Ahead of his salivating clash with Danny Garcia in Brooklyn this weekend, Glynn Evans selects the nights when ‘Showtime’ Shawn Porter's star shone brightest.
1. Julio Diaz II, Las Vegas, September 2013
After romping to 20 straight wins, complacency started to set in. Porter, then 25, briefly absconded from the Cleveland family home – and hawk-eye watch of his father-coach Kenny – in search of sowing the seeds of independence.
Having operated close to the Super-Middleweight cut-off as an amateur, the chunky Ohioan lost the vice-like grip on his weight management when first matched with former two-time IBF Lightweight boss Diaz in Los Angeles in December 2012.
He delivered a sloppy showing and, fading down the stretch, surrendered his perfect slate to a draw, albeit in a cracking contest.
When a return was organised at the MGM Grand’s Premier Ballroom nine months after, the contrite and this time properly conditioned Porter mullered the Mexican to claim a comprehensive 10-round decision.
2. Devon Alexander, New York, December 2013
Slick St Louis southpaw Alexander was a prohibitive 6-1 on favourite to repeat an amateur victor over Porter when he made a second defence of his IBF Welter Title against his mandatory challenger at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
But the Akron ace proved a man possessed, ignoring significant eye damage inflicted by Devon’s dome to outwork and, at times, outbox the startled Champion over 12 rounds.
Energetic and ferocious in equal measure, stocky Shawn bulled his way to a comprehensive decision that Boxing News magazine recorded as ‘thoroughly deserved’.
3. Paulie Malignaggi, Washington DC, April 2014
[Credit: Bad Left Hook]
Porter delivered the most destructive display of his career when opening the defence of his title against the ‘Magic Man’, a two-weight World Champion, at the DC Amory.
A spiteful double jab sliced Malignaggi’s brow in the opening frame and hefty clubs left him tottering several times before he eventually toppled from a lusty right in round four. A subsequent two-fisted barrage of hooks left the Italian-American prostrate beneath the ring ropes. No count required.
‘He had some pretty heavy hands,’ acknowledged Malignaggi once his consciousness was restored.
4. Adrien Broner, Las Vegas, June 2015
Just 10 months after conceding his World Title on a 12 round majority decision to Sheffield’s Kell Brook, Porter redeemed himself with the fight frat by administering a merciless spanking to the ever petulant Broner, live on NBC.
In this battle for hegemony of ‘The Buck Eye’ state – watched by 8,138 at the MGM’s Grand Garden Arena - AB somehow wangled the greater slice of the financial pie and even demanded that Porter strim down to a catchweight 144lbs. It mattered not an iota.
Though sturdy Shawn was decked by a desperate Broner in the opening minute of the final session, he’d out-muscled and out-hustled his deluded and vastly over-rated Cincinnati rival over the preceding 11 rounds and was rewarded with a unanimous decision which was warmly received across the boxing beat.
5. Andre Berto, New York, April 2017
Not one for the squeamish – and far from the most aesthetic win of his 31 fight career – Porter pummelled the two-time world Welter boss to ninth round defeat in this WBC final eliminator before 9,118 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
It proved a bloody affair with colliding heads inflicting as much damaged as gloved fists. Porter was left gushing from both eyes after collisions in rounds two and four but connected with the cleaner, heavier shots, dumping the Florida based Haitian in rounds two and nine (twice) to cement his shot at Garcia for the vacant title at the same venue next Saturday.
Buy BoxNation to watch Danny Garcia v Shawn Porter on September 8th.