“I’m not happy with the way things are at this point,” he told Maxboxing earlier this week. “We really want to be able to fight the best and we don’t feel we should be handcuffed to the rest.”
So has he expressed this to their adviser, the more-influential-than-ever Al Haymon?
“Well, I haven’t had that opportunity yet. We won the title a short time ago in December. It’s only been about three months and this is our first title defense,” said Porter, whose son won the title versus Devon Alexander at the Barclays Center (and his math is off a bit; it’s been almost five months). “So we’re kinda like understanding what we’re dealing with and how to go about positioning ourselves for those fights. But on the landscape, as you look at the big picture, it looks like certain people are only going to get certain fights and you’re not going to be able to fight certain guys. That’s not good for us.”
Porter is correct. While not technically tied to Golden Boy Promotions, they are with Haymon and for the past few years, they have appeared on nothing but GBP cards. So the Porters are clearly entrenched on this side of the border regarding the Cold War. When you sign with Haymon, you know where you stand. But Porter says, “That was never on my mind when I signed with Haymon because we’ve been with him a number of years. We’ve been with him since late 2009, beginning 2010. So at that point back then, he didn’t have as many guys as he has now and we didn’t have a situation going on where it was divided promotional companies, divided TV networks, divided drug agencies - we didn’t have that,” Porter pointed out with a chuckle.
They make it clear that they haven’t looked past the slick-boxing Malignaggi, who doesn’t figure to be an easy out. But should they get past him, Porter makes it clear that they want all options open to them. He states, “If you give me one of the big guns, you give me an opportunity to unify a title with Mayweather, you give me an opportunity to unify a title with [Manny] Pacquiao - I want to do that. That’s what I want. That’s what we want. We want that type of fight.”
Considering the current conditions of the business, that isn’t really a possibility. The bottom line is by mere association with Haymon, Golden Boy and Showtime, Porter will never realistically be in the mix for Pacquiao. And if he should ever be considered for Mayweather, what real bargaining leverage does he have if he can’t even get cursory negotiations with Pacquiao? It basically becomes a take-it-or-leave-it situation, much like what UFC combatants are faced with.
Porter is a strong-willed individual not afraid to speak his mind. Many others are simply too compliant with the status quo.
“I would think more managers, more boxers, I mean, boxing as a whole, there’s still a lot of things that need to be tightened up,” said a chagrined Porter. “We need to know what’s going on; we need to have more structure.”
However, this man is also a realist. Porter admits, “I don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel, honestly. What I see is a constant struggle outside of the ring before you get inside the ring. I call it ‘the fight before the fight.’ We’re going to have to continue to fight outside the ring before we even get inside the ring.”
On the flipside, the current system - should Porter keep winning - could still be very lucrative for him. Haymon clients who haven’t been nearly as successful as this young man from Akron, Ohio, have made a great living by facing carefully hand-picked opponents for exorbitant amounts on premium cable networks. Hey, can’t knock the hustle; right? Does it really matter as long as the bottom line is robust?
“Yes, it does matter to me,” said Porter, taking umbrage at such a thought. “It does matter because, honestly, I think getting paid well is good. That’s great. That’s one of our goals but also having an opportunity to fight the best and challenge the best and if the best is better than us, then we’ll find out on that night. But to never be given that opportunity is not something I’m happy with. I want the opportunity.”
As for what Shawn thinks, well, it’s very simple in this case: the son does the fighting inside the ring; the father fights the battles outside of it. It’s been that way when it came to the schools he attended, his youth football programs and navigating through the amateur boxing politics.
“[Shawn]’s always allowed me to take the frontline, go in first and here, we have another situation where we know that eventually I’m going to have to go in headfirst with somebody. It’s going to happen because I just don’t feel comfortable allowing things to just happen around me and without speaking my mind and saying, ‘Hey, this is not good with us.’”
So is he willing to play the bad guy who creates waves?
This week’s edition of “The Next Round” with Gabe Montoya and Yours Truly:
Golden Boy won the right to promote the vacant WBO featherweight title tilt between Gary Russell Jr. and Vasyl Lomachenko with a bid of $1,052,500, beating Top Rank’s bid by a mere $2,500. And Richard Schaefer, the head of GBP, already has a date in mind for this match-up: June 21st.
“I’m looking at potentially putting together a tripleheader [on that date],” said Schaefer on Friday afternoon from Washington D.C. “Actually, going into the purse bid, I had numerous conversations with Showtime; last night I had dinner with [Showtime Sports head] Stephen Espinoza. We zoomed in on a number and then this morning, I gave this number to Raul Jaime, who represented us at the purse bid which we won.
“So I’m looking at doing a tripleheader on June 21st with a strong possibility it could be at the StubHub Center.”
Told that a bout between Viktor “Going” Postol and Selcuk Aydin will be the opening bout on HBO on May 17th before Juan Manuel Marquez-Mike Alvarado take the stage at the Forum...It looks like Antonio DeMarco is no longer in the running to face Brandon Rios in the early summer...I hate being sick but at least I have Obamacare now...I find it hard to believe that Teddy Bridgewater will slide out of the first round of the NFL Draft. Almost seems like a smear campaign...I’d take a chance on LSU’s Zach Mettenberger in the second or third round...
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