Shawn Porter is four years removed from his brief reign as IBF welterweight champion and has gone two years without a title shot since losing a close decision to Keith Thurman. He has maintained his status as a top contender in what many believe is boxing’s most talented division, but Porter knows he needs to make a major breakthrough against Danny Garcia for the vacant WBC welterweight title Saturday night at Barclays Center.
“This is the biggest fight of my career and my life,” Porter said. “This is my Super Bowl.
“In camp, there was an understanding of what I’m going after. There’s a big title on the line. This is my goal is to have this title. Now or never. That’s it for me.”
Garcia (34-1, 20 KOs) lost a split decision to Thurman 18 months ago and has fought just once since then, last February. Porter (28-2-1, 17 KOs) will be fighting for the first time in 10 months since defeating Adrian Granados last November following a stoppage of Andre Berto earlier in 2017.
As a skilled counterpuncher, Garcia has said Porter’s aggressive style is “tailor-made” for him, but Porter believes his work rate and physical style on the inside might put Garcia on his heels. “I think it will be the aggression, taking the fight to him, backing him up,” Porter said. “That’s where my success lies.
“I think that he’s got to time me, and that’s something I’m going to make it hard for him to do. I’m not going to let him catch a rhythm so that he can time me…He’s going to try to catch me coming in. That has been in my mind in terms of the adjustment Danny can make.”
Garcia believes he’s the better boxer, which is why he’s a slight favorite. But when Porter was asked if he could handle the tactical style Garcia generally employs, he turned the question around.
“If anything, I’m going to be the one who makes it a tactical fight,” Porter said. “I don’t think he can handle a tactical fight. I don’t think he has supreme skills from the outside enough to handle a tactical fight. So that may very well be the way we go.”
Porter said he worked from the outside in during his last two wins and might take the same approach against Garcia to throw him off. The key is not to get caught by one of Garcia’s powerful left hooks.
“With me and Andre Berto and me against Adrian Granados, you see me boxing from the outside,” Porter said. “But then you see me immediately smell blood and go after it. I’ve been reminding myself that this guy is not those guys, so I still have to remain smart and intelligent in the ring.”