Porter Revealed the Sparring Partners He Selected to Help Create ‘Showtime’

WBC Welterweight Champion Shawn Porter Has Enlisted Some Impressive Help For His Forthcoming “Fight Of a Lifetime”

Leading up to a lot of competitive fights, “May the best man/woman win…” is commonly thrown out as a response as the final prediction to a fight’s outcome.

After we learn the winner of highly competitive bouts we often hear that the winner was the “…better man/woman tonight”. A frustrating aspect of picking winners for fights is that we typically don’t know who was the better man/woman throughout the training camp that preceded the fight. Reporting, sometimes promoting, and especially social media can be somewhat of a cheat code nowadays.

There isn’t much fault to be found with a fighter who loses to the bigger, stronger, and more talented opponent on fight night. Add in better conditioned, more highly-skilled and experienced too.

While WBC Welterweight champion Shawn Porter’s win/loss record reflects the two times the judges’ decisions determined the opponent to be the better man, as a team Shawn and his father and trainer Kenny are rarely out-prepared. In fact, the blue-collar duo – in one of boxing’s most glamorous divisions – has often found themselves facing a difficult task when the assignment has been one of the elite fighters at 147 pounds.

On September 28, in the main event of a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View unification bout, Team Porter is spotting IBF champion Errol Spence Jr over two inches in both height and reach. Spence, a fierce body-punching southpaw, is also two years younger, and has four more knockouts in eight less fights.

So, how has Team Porter augmented its preparations?

Two weeks ago footage and photos surfaced with Porter sparring former WBC Super Middleweight champion David Benavidez. In a recent interview on “The PBC Podcast”, Porter spoke of his plan to spar WBO Middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade in Washington, D.C. to close out his camp. Additionally, Porter mentioned quality work already put in with southpaws Denis Douglin and fellow Ohioan Christopher Pearson who fight at Super Middleweight and Middleweight, respectively.

Andrade, like Benavidez, is over 6 feet tall and fights from the southpaw stance. Team Porter expects the time in the ring with both fighters to give him an idea of the challenges he can expect to encounter at Staples Center on fight night with Spence.

The benefit of sparring Andrade is ostensibly live action versus a southpaw. However, Porter credited the 6-feet-2-inch Benavidez with allowing him to test-drive some potential maneuvers he’ll have at his disposal to neutralize a fighter with significant Tale-of-the-Tape advantages.

“It was interesting to try to push him back, trying to be aggressive against him, also using my feet to get him out of position. You know, a lot of the tactics we expect to use against Errol Spence. I think using them against a guy that big, I think on top of building your confidence, I think it’s just another way to recognize what works and what doesn’t work against another world championship athlete.

Spence is heavily favored to defeat Porter, with the long-held disapproval of the Ohio native’s “three yards and a cloud of dust” style influencing many to back the younger 2012 Olympian with the aesthetically pleasing body attack. The 29-year old southpaw possibly represents Porter’s last chance at a indisputably career-defining victory, so the fact that he’s opted to enlist the help of both Andrade and Benavidez is exemplary. There are myriad ways to bet on oneself.

Come fight night, Porter needs to show some looks early on for this writer to seriously reconsider “may the best man win”. But, the man’s exuberance, the past several weeks, towards his commitment to his preparedness for this challenge signifies the presence of will –  out of which could come Team Porter’s way.

All photos by Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions

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RL Woodson

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