Shawn Porter was on a severe uptick, coming off wins over Devon Alexander and then Paul Malignaggi, when he clashed with Kell Brook last September. The uptick hit a bump when Brook out-boxed the Ohioan, and so I was curious where his head was heading toward his March 13 scrap against Texan Roberto Garcia, on SPIKE TV, as part of their first foray in to boxing on Friday nights.
Porter is a genial type, and I’ve never heard him trash talk, never seen him salty. So, as expected, he came off as mild and mannered in a Thursday phoner.
“I hadn’t thought about coming off a loss until you mentioned it!” Porter said. “I’ve been boxing since age 8, so I’ve dealt with losses.”
He is keen to show that the guy who fought Brook wasn’t peak Porter (24-1). He admitted he was flat on that night, and expects to be much sharper against Garcia.
Those two know each other and have sparred a bunch of rounds, so there is a familiarity at hand. “We know each other,” Porter allowed. Garcia holds wins over Carson Jones (in 2007), Victor Cayo and Breidis Prescott, in his last tangle (last July, UD10). He hasn’t lost since 2010, when Antonio Margarito handled him after Tony’s forced layoff for a glove incident. The difference in caliber of opposition, Porter thinks, should aid him come fight night.
“But I’m not taking anything from him! But it does mean a lot, especially my amateur background.”
Porter’s head seems screwed on straight. His Twitter and Instagram followers didn’t dump him after the Brook loss, he said.
He isn’t making any plans beyond Garcia, he told me, but does a tiny part of him know that he could be back on the Mayweather long list if he gets a couple wins? I think so.
“But even if I win a couple great kayos, it’s still going to be up to Floyd what he wants to do,” Porter said.
Meanwhile, Garcia sounded upbeat and ready to rumble on a Thursday phoner. Just to be a goofball, and to poke fun at us keyboard tappers lack of imagination, I started off by asking him his favorite food.
“Texas barbecue,” he said. And has he started a weight cut or can he still indulge? “Saturday only! I call it ‘Fat-urday!”
Garcia, at 36-3, got dropped in round nine of his last outing, but says it was of the flash variety, no big deal. The Westlaco, TX resident is fighting for his family, his wife and “two beautiful daughters,” so even though he thinks Porter is a good dude, he will be looking to detonate on him on SPIKE. Sparring between them, he says, was “fun, a good time,” so it doesn’t sound like he thinks Porter schooled him when they practiced.
Garcia, like just about every boxer I talk to, is enthused about the new blood and vivacity in the sport. Haymon, Roc Nation, all this activity is getting boxer’s back into a more prideful mode.
“I believe this is what the sport has been lacking,” he told me. “Fighting on free TV! That’s the way it’s meant to be, the way it was built back in the day. We got into a thing where people had to pay for every single fight. Now, everybody wins!”
Ah, but can we presume YOU think YOU will win on March 13?
“Yes. God is my witness, and God is my strength,” says “La Amenaza” aka “The Menace.” That nickname came from dad when he was five, and he thinks it will be fitting come March 13.
We shall see, friends; talk to me about Porter-Garcia, please.
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