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Shawn Porter: “If I get an early knockout, it’s not because Ugas can’t take a punch”

I have written about Shawn Porter a lot (in fact I wrote a piece about how for the now-defunct upstart, that is no longer online). I really respect Shawn Porter, especially his work ethic. His fight might not always be pretty, but they’re tough and boxing is a tough guy sport. Watching him fight sums up the type of character you have to be to be a high-level prize fighter.

Porter has been criticized a lot, especially by those for his mauling style and physicality. His style is unique as he had a wealth of amateur fights, but more often than not, Porter makes bouts a gut-check contest, one that barring two fights to Kell Brook and Keith Thurman, he rarely loses.

I think a lot of writers confuse boxing with going backward and jabbing a lot. Sure that is a style of boxing (moving backward and controlling range), but boxing in its truest form is controlling distance and dominance. Porter beat a lot of people in the amateurs, and to belittle his style, belittles amateur boxing, as it was effective in that system as well.

In short, the best style of boxing is the style that wins, and for Porter his style wins, so why change.


 An easy narrative thrown out is that Shawn Porter is a street fighter with no concept of distance and little skill. Yes, he is a pressure fighter, but if you watch training footage including videos below it isn’t just that simple, as Porter uses straight punches and focuses upon the distance from which the punch is landing. He is capable of doing it, but that is predictable, and the best version of Porter is unpredictable. 

Porter using distance with his punches as stated above.

Porter is typically stronger, faster and tougher than most of his opponents. Rarely, if ever, have you heard an opponent look froward to facing Shawn Porter. Much like a blue-collar worker, Porter shows up ready to work and work hard, and for his opponent to win, they have to be able to not just have a high-level boxing intelligence they also have to be tough to survive as well.


Shawn Porter has gone down one of the hardest roads in the welterweight division facing Kell Brook, Keith Thurman, Adrien Broner and Danny Garcia in the course of four years. Porter’s last win a close unanimous decision win over Danny Garcia, saw the fighter become a two-time welterweight world champion and win the WBC welterweight title for the first time. It also showed the aspect of boxing that Porter is often not thought of having as he outboxed Garcia early and applied pressure in a strategic game plan more than likely created by his father and head coach Ken Porter. 

Porter has been a fighter who has faced risk and still been willing to fight with little reward in return case and point going down to 144 lbs to face Adrien Broner when the odds were stacked against him, comes to mind. A fight which Porter would win.

Porter now is transitioning from being the hungry contender to the perennial champion, who sits atop the division with a belt as he makes his Fox television debut.

“I’m looking forward to fighting on FOX. I know there are going to be some new people watching because they heard about PBC. I know I’m ready for it.” said Porter in regards to fighting on Fox.


Porter now faces another tough test this Saturday, March 9th at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Ca, as he faces Yordenis Ugas, a man who when he looks in the mirror he might see a similar type of character as himself. Ugas, who is riding a eight-fight winning streak including wins over Thomas Dulorme, Levan Ghvamichava, Bryant Perrella, Jamel James, amongst other, almost wasn’t in this spot. 

Ugas had lost three professional fights by May of 2015 with his the last loss coming from former super lightweight world title contender Amir Imam. Ugas took two years off and came back in a b-side fight to beat Jamel James in James’ hometown, which started his three-year winning streak that pole vaulted him to being the number one contender fr Porter’s title.

“I’ve watched a lot of Ugas’ fights, even going back to his amateur days. I know what he can bring to the ring. He throws punches like a Cuban fighter. When they turn their punches, they do it a little differently. I’m training my mind and my eyes to be prepared for that” said Porter today at an L.A. based boxing gym from a media workout in regards to his opponent, Ugas.

In a bout with so much intrigue, both Porter and Ugas have spent a good part of their career as the boxer who the media and fans may not have believed would win the big fights, that they eventually would and now find themselves as dancing partners.

In an odd way, They’re like mirror images of each other in a certain way, not maybe in terms of style, but in terms of desirability to fight, as well as the risk one might take in terms of entering the ring with them. As the risk might outweigh the reward, for some fighters at least.


This is the first camp since Shawn Porter has lived in Las Vegas, in which he didn’t spend his camp in Vegas or at the Porter Hy-Performance Training Center, as Shawn and his father Ken Porter, packed their bags and went to Washington D.C. 

To what gym you might ask? Barry Hunter’s Headbangers Boxing Gym would be your answer. 

“We’re in a beautiful place right now. Training in Washington D.C. was great. That was my first camp with Barry Hunter and the Headbangers Gym. To get in the ring and spar with Lamont Peterson, who I’ve looked up to for a long time, was really special. “ said Porter in regards to this camp. 

Though I have yet to go over the full media scrum and wasn’t at the workout, one might wonder if, Yordenis Ugas, Porter’s opponent being a Las Vegas resident, might have also spawned the decision to relocate for this camp, for the simple reason that people talk, no matter how loyal they are to the camp. Nonetheless, it is always interesting to see a great fighter add a new element to their game even if it is simply just getting new sparring or being in a new place for a period of time.

“We’re going to see on fight night what kind of differences you’ll see in my game. We worked on a lot of different things for me and to get ready for Ugas. I think power is really going to come into play. We really were able to focus on that. That might be something new that you see. If I get an early knockout, it’s not because Ugas can’t take a punch” said Porter.


The Dignity Health Sports Park isn’t that great of a venue, I get that the view is nice and you can enter at a low fee and see the fights from a great seat, but that said you’re destined to get ill if you go to too many fights there. I have been there more times than I can think, and have a love-hate relationship with it. In a battle of a hungry contender, and a furious non-stop force such as Shawn Porter, one of my hopes and fears is that the venue itself doesn’t play a role in the fight, for example the sun should be setting around 6:06 PM PST, things like the sun being in a fighter’s eye for a critical punch, could be obnoxious and unfair for the verdict of such a bout.

In the fourth televised Fox card brought together by Premier Boxing Champions, we have the most competitive to date, as a 50-50, pick’em title fight is happening on trevestial television, but going rather unnoticed to a degree, because both Porter and Ugas are professionals, and not loud boisterous invidudals.

The winner of this bout is an immediate contender for all the big money, interesting fights in the welterweight division such as Manny Pacquiao, the winner of Errol Spence Jr. versus Mikey Garcia as well as Keith Thurman. As two hard-nosed, gritty and tough fighters, we may find ourselves in for a treat on Saturday at 5 PM PST on Fox when these two do battle for the WBC welterweight world title.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions, are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased at 

The televised portion of the card starts at 5 PM PST on FOX.

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Lukie Ketelle

Lukie Ketelle