Two-time former world welterweight champ, Shawn Porter, is itching to get back into the ring after a layoff of nearly ten months. However, the Covid sports shutdown and the chaos it’s brought to the sport may keep him inactive.
One thing that’s pretty certain is that a much talked-about clash with Terence Crawford is off the table.
“The fight, to the best of my knowledge, is off the table right now,” Porter recently told FightHype.com. “It’s not necessary for me to fight a tune-up. I’ll fight anybody, anywhere right now. But I do know that he’s got some things brewing and, because of the Covid, I’ve got some things brewing…The business is what’s keeping us from fighting. I don’t mean it’s the business by PBC and Top Rank. I just mean that he has some things going on that’s gonna lead him a different path right now. And I have something else going on that’s gonna lead me in a different path….Everybody’s just gonna have to be patient.”
In that same interview, Porter also talked about a meeting he had with the WBO titlist. Crawford, in no uncertain terms, nixed the idea of a bout for now. But he made sure to let Porter know that no ducking was taking place.
“He said it. ‘everybody’s gotta fight everybody,’ ” Porter recalled. “He looked at me and said, ‘I don’t care about fighting nobody. I don’t care who it is….but, right now, I don’t think it’s gonna be me and you. ‘ I said ‘alright, cool.'”
So, the lack of a Crawford fight puts Porter in a tough spot when it comes to looking for a big bout.
Former sparring partner Manny Pacquiao is the big fish out there at 147, at least in terms of paydays. The Filipino icon, however, has yet to even decide on his post-Covid shutdown plans. There’s no doubt, though, that Pacquiao-Porter would be guaranteed fireworks.
The other big fight option is a rematch with Errol Spence. But that return bout, at least by the tone and tenor of his FightHype interview, is also not likely to happen any time soon, despite Porter feeling that he handled Spence quite well in his split decision loss last September.
All of this leaves Porter without any real big-fight, big-money options, at least until next year.
If the former WBC and IBF champ were to come back before the end of the year, it would probably be against some sort of second-tier opposition.
Ivan Redkach has recently called Porter out. That would be an alright action fight and a fairly salable matchup. Some other PBC-friendly opponents could also be conjured up when Porter is fully ready for the ring. Josesito Lopez, Omar Figueroa, and John Molina would all be decent, fan-friendly comeback tussles. Outside of the PBC family, a bout with veteran Luis Collazo would be intriguing. A rematch with Kell Brook would also be worthwhile, if Brook doesn’t end up fighting Crawford.
When Porter is at his come-forward, bull-rushing, fist-flinging best, few active fighters are more engaging. Attitude-wise, he is a breath of fresh air with a willingness to take on anyone, anywhere. Boxing needs guys like him coming back to active duty.