Last weekend Pacquiao put forth a scintillating effort in stopping the Puerto Rican star in the 12th and final frame.
"You could see how he dominated in this fight," said Porter, who hails from the hometown of one LeBron James. "To spar with a guy like that and have to watch out for all that speed, quickness and off-balance shots from different angles, he had me on my toes the whole training camp." Porter expected Pacquiao to perform the way he did." I did, every bit of it and it was kind of funny watching Cotto. It was like I did everything that Cotto tried to do in the fight and I think that really helped Manny. You saw total domination in this fight. Training with him, I knew when he was on the ropes he knew what he was going to do, covering up and then we he started to move and unleash his hands. I knew what was going to happen, every time."
Experiences like this, were precisely the reason why Porter and his father, Terry, moved out west. They had migrated to other locales, such as Las Vegas, but they found consistent, quality, gym work, hard to come by.
"It’s everything we want, everything we need," said the elder Porter, who looks more like his older brother than pops."This is exactly where we need to be. This is THE center of boxing as far as preparation for a fight. If you’re not at the Wild Card, you’re two, three, steps behind. I don’t care who you are."
The Porter’s were eager to get the call to work with Pacquiao, who began his training camp in Baguio City in the Philippines. The roll call of sparring partners included Urbano Antillon, Ray Beltran and Jose Luis Castillo.
The father says,"I was very excited about it, but for such a long time, this has been work for me and for him. I’ve put that into his mind, that this is your job, you got to work everyday, you work hard and you prepare for the next day. So I don’t think it was ever a point in time that he was like in awe of the situation. He was looking forward to it everyday. It was great."
The Wild Card Boxing Club- where sparring from flyweight to heavyweight comes in abundance- has met their expectations.
" Actually," said Shawn, who’s just 22-years old," it’s more than I expected. I didn’t expect to walk into a gym as busy as this. I never have a problem getting sparring. It’s beautiful weather, I run on any day, at any time. I did a nine o’clock run last night. So there are things you can do out there, I can’t do back home."
The Porter’s may have found their boxing home.
"Yeah, this is definitely gonna be a home away from home," said Porter." Through the amateurs it was always Colorado Springs because the training center, but now since moving into the pro’s, me and my dad feel like this is where we need to be."
According to the father, Los Angeles might become their home, period.
" We’re trying re-locate here," he says."Unfortunately, because of all the travel that we’ve had and being so busy every time we come, we haven’t had a chance to look. We started to try, take a couple of drives, before you know it, we gotta get back to the gym or something to that effect. We’re going to go back to Akron, just for a few days( after the fight) to let Shawn rejuvenate his batteries and just relax a little bit over the holidays and we expect to come right back to L.A. Hopefully, at that time we can look for somewhere to re-locate. We have been offered a fight in Cleveland in February on ESPN and so we will come here and prepare for that."
Porter, who may eventually move down to welterweight, is a blend of speed, quickness and power, who had a decorated amateur career. It was in the unpaid ranks where he caught the eye of Prize Fight Promotions.
"Russ, spotted him in the Nationals out in Colorado back in, I think, 2007, when he beat Danny Jacobs. He had Jacobs down and beat him," said Brian Young of Prize Fight, who runs this company with his brother, Russ." But Shawn is a quiet, humble kid, he’s not a trash-talker, he’s a class act. He’s just a real pleasure to work with."
Prize Fight is best known for developing Lamont and Anthony Peterson, but with Porter, Young, believes that they have the best prospect they have ever inked.
"I tell you what, I think in all our years of promoting, I don’t think we’ve ever had a better fighter in our stable than Shawn Porter," he states without hesitation."Certainly not one with as promising a career. We’re blessed to have Shanwn, Fernando Guerrero and Dominic Wade, and all our young up and coming fighters."
Prize Fight will have the same road map that they once had with the Peterson brothers, which was to keep them as active and as exposed as possible. Since turning professional last October, Porter already has 10 fights under his belt. According to Young, there is a strong possibility of him headlining a ShoBox telecast in December. They believe they have a fighter that can be moved quickly." Shawn, had 300 amateur fights, he’s a world class athlete. Shawn, I think will be fighting for a world title within the next three years," Young states."He’s just that good, quite honestly, and he’s moving down to welterweight."
When asked to gauge his progress thus far, Porter, himself says,"I’ve learned a lot, still working on a lot of things but I think overall I’m getting used to the professional game. I’m getting used to watching out for the head butts and how to get out of clinches, all that kind of stuff. I’ve learned a lot over the past few months."
The father says that most of the pieces are now in place to make a run.
"I am the head trainer, Freddie( Roach), has agreed to assist me. Obviously, he has more than enough of what it takes to be the head trainer, but he’s very, very busy. He’s all over the place. I also hold the management situation and Prize Fight does our promotions. We’re always open to anyone who has an interest in Shawn as a person and as a boxer to increase the things he’s doing from a management standpoint, to take some of that pressure off of me. Also, someone who is well-connected and has good relationships. That’s something I’m very interested in," said Porter, who added," I just haven’t met that right person, yet. I’ve started discussing some things with someone and I’m feeling very comfortable with them but we just have to take tings one day at a time."
Finding that someone might be easier than locating an affordable place to stay out here in Southern California. They don’t have to be told that the rent in Los Angeles is higher than it is in Akron. But they believe it’s money well spent.
" Everything is a little bit higher(here)," said the father, laughing." But you have to pay for this. Anything you want, you gotta pay for it. So we want this."
I’m sure it’s just a coincidence( because I’d never, ever by cynical) but the HBO replay of Pacquiao-Cotto and Showtime’s ’Super Six’ bout between Mikkel Kessler and Andre Ward from Oakland, California, both begin at 10 p.m Eastern time on Saturday night. If you have Tivo or DVR, this isn’t a problem.
My question is, which do you view first, a fight you already know the result to( where there is a scintillating performance that you can’t wait to see, again) or an eagerly anticipated fight that is taking place live?
Or, what if you don’t have either Tivo or DVR, which one do you choose?
Of course, if you wait, both will be re-broadcast later on.
It was announced today by HBO PPV that ’Firepower’ did 1.25 million pay-per-view buys. I think 1.5 million would have been considered a grand slam, so I guess this is like a two-and-a-half run home run. Now, the question is, does this help or hurt the leverage as it relates to Pacquiao/Top Rank when it comes to negotiating a fight with Floyd Mayweather?
One side will state that there event did more than the other( that would be Pacquiao), while the other faction will argue that they did more with a lesser dance partner. Both arguments are probably correct.
Will this negotiation be bogged down by percentage points and ego?
Porter’s fight on Saturday night can be viewed on www.PrizeFightTV.com.....Based on what took place with Froch-Dirrell, I don’t blame Kessler’s reps for being concerned about who the assigned judges are in Oakland. But instead of bringing someone in from Sweden, shouldn’t a guy from Switzerland be more appropriate? Y’know, the whole neutrality thing?.....Pau Gasol makes a huge difference for the Lakers doesn’t he?.....Say what you will about Oprah and her show, but her decision to end her talk show, truly is the end of an era....This is the first time since 1999 that two separate pay-per-view shows did over a million buys. And the most important thing is that it was done with four different boxers, involved....This weeks edition of ’the Main Event’ features Golden Boy Promotions, CEO, Richard Schaefer....Any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org....Twitter.com/stevemaxboxing....