Shawn Porter Interview: On Manny Pacquiao, Freddie Roach, His Fight on Saturday and Much More! By Ken Hissner (Nov 20, 2009) DoghouseBoxing
Shawn “Showtime” Porter is a perfect example why the USA Olympic teams do not do well. Not once, but twice I watched him get the better of current unbeaten professional Danny Jacobs. Porter got the decision in the US Championships, but lost to Jacobs in the Olympic trials. He got wins over Shawn Estrada (2007 Pan Am trials) and Demetrius Andrade (under 19 US Nat’l) who both made the 2008 Olympic team. He ended up an alternate on the team. He won the 2007 Golden Gloves, Pan Am Cadets World Championships, and National Junior Golden Gloves (twice). His final amateur record was a “modest” 276-14. Officials have their favorites and it’s not always what’s best for the country.
Porter fights out of Akron, Ohio. His father, Kenny, a former amateur boxer, and trainer of his son decided to sign with Prize Fight Boxing who mainly promote out of the Fitzgerald’s Casino in Tunica, MS. Porter has established a record of 10-0 (8) with 5 of those fights in Tunica and 3 in the Wicomico Civic Center, in Salisbury, MD., where his fellow PFB stable mate, unbeaten Fernando Guerrero is from.
Turning professional in October of 2008 Porter scored knockouts in his first 4 fights in 3 months. He then had his first real test against former NY Golden Gloves champion Cory Jones, 4-3, whom he had down twice in the 1st round but had to settle for a shut out decision. “I learned to stay calm from that fight,” said Porter. After another knockout win, he stopped Eloy Suarez, 10-4, at the Pepsi Pavilion, in Memphis in the 1st round. A double left hook dropped Suarez. When he got up he didn’t want any more of Porter causing a halt at 2:59.
Just 3 weeks later Porter took on veteran Sammy Sparkman, 21-18-1, whose past opponents were Mikkel Kessler, Cory Spinks, K9 Bundrage, Miguel Cotto, Paul Williams and Andre Berto. “Sparkman was cut over the left eye in the 1st round by an accidental head butt. His corner argued with the referee after the round. The same thing happened after the 2nd round, so the referee disqualified Sparkman due to his corner.
Several months later Porter took apart Brandon Wooten, 6-13-1, scoring a knockdown with a chopping right hand. A straight right hand caused a delayed knockdown. A left uppercut to the midsection put an end to the bout as Wooten hit the canvas for the third time at 2:09 of the 1st round. In his last bout in August he met Lamar “Prince of Pain” Harris, 6-2-1, whom he stopped at 2:18 of the 1st round. The muscular Harris tried to bull his way over Porter but was met with left hook after left hook before the referee put a stop to it. This writer had seen Harris in his previous fight lose by 1 point to unbeaten Denis Douglin the month before. This was an impressive win for Porter.
Even though Porter has scored 10 straight wins, the highlight of his career came when he was invited to join the Manny Pacquiao camp for his fight with Miguel Cotto. “He gave Manny his best work, “said Freddie Roach. “We (Manny) go to war and he is very quick,” said Porter. Porter’s dad set up the sparring by going to Roach months before. It turned out to be a blessing for both fighters.
Unbeaten Dominic Wade, 4-0 (4), is on the card who lost a close decision in the 2008 Olympic trials to Porter. I talked to the father/trainer of Farah Ennis, 11-0 (5), another stable mate, out of Philly, who will also fight on Saturdays card along with Ray Serrano, 10-0 (6), of Star Boxing. “Porter is really a good fighter with power,” said Bozy Ennis. Ennis is one of the most respected trainers out of Philly. Porter and Ennis have fought on the same card 5 times. Philly’s unbeaten super middleweight Dennis Hasson, 8-0 (2), who fights this Friday in Philly had this to say about both Porter’s and Ennis. “We (Farah) went 8 rounds, good work and he’s very slick. Porter is real tough. He’s like a bull. I was there at the US Championships when he fought Jacobs. It was a war, but I think he won, and actually dropped him. I know his dad well and he’s a class act. So cool and everyone likes him. I worked with his son Ken, Jr. Boy, could he fight, too,” said Hasson. I can vouch for Kenny, for he was a real gentleman on our telephone conversation. He even got me in touch with my friend Jesse Reid, at the Wild Card Gym, just a short time after we spoke. Reid is now assisting Roach with all his fighters. Reid is one of the best trainers in the business.
This Saturday at Fitzgerald’s Casino in Tunica, Porter will make his main event debut against Jerome Ellis 12-9-2 (10) of the Bahamas. Ellis won his last fight over Philly’s Jamal Davis, at the Blue Horizon. This is the kind of opponent Porter needs. He has worked his way down from 165 in the amateurs to his current 154 and will be making waves this time next year in the light middleweight division. “I may even get down to 147 and rule both divisions,” said Porter. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me, (Philippians 4:13)” said Porter. Remember the name, Shawn “Showtime” Porter because you will be hearing about him in the near future.