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November 13, 2017

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: SHAWN PORTER (FEATURING A LESSON FROM KENNY PORTER)
By G. Leon

GL: Congrats on your recent victory, can you give us some thoughts on your performance? Thank you. I have not watched the fight yet, but I probably will in the next day or two. But from how I feel it went down, I feel the team came up with a great game plan. I feel that I performed pretty well, I boxed. I showed some different skills that you guys don't normally get to see and overall I thought that it was a really good performance.

GL: Yesterday when I tried to gert the interview you guys were in the doctor getting the hand checked out. How did turn out? What's the verdict on that?

Shawn Porter: "I still have to get something else done, but we're going to get an MRI tomorrow and move from them."

GL: Is there any early indication on what it is? Is it broken? 

SP: "Right now they're directing me to get an MRI."

GL: Other than the fact that he had a really hard head, was there anything about Granados that surprised you?

SP: "Yeah he did. It's funny and I was talking about it today, I don't think I've ever had anybody be so aggressive coming towards me. There were some points in the fight where I was moving away from him and he was chasing me, then there were other points of the fight where I was chasing him as well. It ended up being pretty entertaining for the people watching, but for me it was different because I never had anybody come at me the way he was, but I was chasing him down at other parts of the fight so it was pretty entertaining."

GL: You won the fight going away I had it 117-111 like the judges did, but in the last three rounds you appeared to be winded. Definitely in rounds eleven and twelve. I understand you were injured, but in the last two rounds you looked like you were out of gas.

SP: "Me being tired was not the case at all, it was me doing 100% of what I could to avoid losing my left hand and still being able to beat Granados. As far as my conditioning for the fight we spoke it about it a few times before the fight and I felt like I was in the best conditioning of my life going into that fight and that was the case. There was never a point in the fight where I went back to my corner tired or fatigued at all, both physically and mentally. I was absolutely fine throughout the entire fight."

GL: I know you wanted a spectacular stoppage going into the ring, do you feel you would have gotten one if you didn't hurt your hand?

SP: "That's what I'm being told. My dad thinks that with the conditioning that I had, it was there for the championship rounds and we were going to do what we needed to do to get him out of there. I landed some pretty hard shots on his chin and he was able to take them, so I'm not questioning my power one bit, I just know that kid has a hard head and he doesn't mind taking some punishment."

GL: So the next fight is going to be Keith Thurman to where you're not getting into the ring again unless it's Keith Thurman, correct?

SP: "Yes sir. That's the game plan and that's what we want as a team. We want to do what we can to get back into the ring with Keith and this is the second time I fought to earn the right to get back in the ring with him and I don't think there's anything else I need to do or prove."

GL: The question is how long is this wait going to be now? Do you have any idea?

SP: "No. Not right now. The dust is just now finally starting to clear and obviously he's got to figure out what he's going to do moving forward in his next fight, we're going to have to wait and see."

GL: Who do you like in Spence-Peterson?

SP: "I like Spence in that fight, but I'm really interested to see what Lamont Peterson's corner does to prepare for Errol Spence to see how it unfolds in the fight."

GL: Yeah, Barry (Hunter) and them are scientists so it should be interesting to see what they come with.

SP: "Exactly. I think for me that's more interesting than the physical part of the fight, I'm interested to see how they prepare mentally for the fight and what their game plan is."

GL: Do you think that the diagnosis of your hand will impact Thurman at all? Do you think Thurman is going to be going out of his way to avoid you? Like if all of sudden you need recovery time for your hand he's ready to book a fight and you're unavailable, do you think it's going to become that kind of game?

SP: "That actually does sound a little bit like Keith Thurman at this point, something to give him a reason to look in another direction. But I would say the game is even now. He's had an injury and now I've got one, but I say it's an even playing field and it's time to get it on."

GL: Closing thoughts?

SP: "I feel blessed as always to be able to do what I did the other night and entertain everybody around the world and I'm looking forward to doing it again. I'm sure I'll heal up very soon and I'm going to be ready for Keith Thurman."

Kenny Porter: Let me add something in there. It never ceases to amaze me and I've watched trainers and I've watched coaches and you'd be surprised at some of the top names in this business and I've been doing this full time since 1990, some of the top names in the business will do things that you would be shocked at some of the things they would do or there lack of information with regards to things, or maybe not completing things like they should be done. The same thing happens with boxers all the time and in those situations, boxers think they know how to fight and they think they know what they're doing, but they can't actually read what's going on in a fight. That never ceases to amaze me as well and the exact same thing happened in the Granados fight, their coach, it was a great game plan on their end with my fighter not being able to recognize something. 

"The reason he was so aggressive Greg is not because of his hands, or because he thought he was faster or stronger, or punched harder than Shawn, it was because he had every intent of using his head to open up Shawn's eyes with the cuts he had in his last fight. And having that intent, there was no reason for him not to come forward and try to engage, because he wanted Shawn's eye to open up and that's why he had all that aggression. People say, oh look at that aggression, but he's got an agenda. His agenda is if he gets close enough to bang heads and open a cut, now he's got an opportunity to win the fight. That's why the aggression was there, the aggression wasn't there because of punches he could throw to hurt Shawn or knock him out, he was literally running to Shawn but there was no punches landing. He just wanted to get into a position so he could use his head. The referee kept warning him about that and I kept telling the referee that as well, which is why I took Shawn out of his usual game plan, which would be a pressure fighting situation for Shawn. Shawn's eyes was swollen after the fight from Granados hitting him with his head, not landed punches."

GL: I noticed Shawn made the adjustment well and was easily outboxing him, I just think that in the last two rounds, to me it looked like Shawn was visibly tired. I'm basing that one not being used to seeing Shawn go backwards and number two, Shawn was, in the last two rounds was doing a lot of one punch and clinch, one punch and clinch.

KP: "Absolutely and Shawn got to realize and understand that when I give him some information he's got to use it. I told Shawn, and fighters never cease to amaze me the things they think they know, well do you know that if you don't tell me you have an injury on this particular night where I'm asking for 100 jabs, but you've got an injury to your hand, but you've got to tell me that so I can adjust the way I'm sending you out to fight every round. But he didn't tell me and I'm sending him out to use the left hand in every round. He's going to have to be able to make the adjustments I'm asking to make, I'm asking him to stop moving, pick his hands up, slip the punches, pivot and turn and I'm not getting that, therefore he's using his legs more than he has to in this particular situation, and there's only going to be one punch and clinch because he can't use the left hand. But even in that situation a boxer has got to be able to realize, and I'm coaching right now, you've got to be able to realize, you've got to follow the instruction. That is why the basics and fundamentals are so important leading up to a fight. In this situation he was using his athleticism, but he was winded or tired, he was allowing the fact that his hand was hurt to create the look that he was tired and winded."

GL: Whether it's marriage, father and son, boxer and trainer, communication is the key to every relationship. So when Shawn got to the corner after he hurt his hand, he's got to tell you that the hammer ain't in the tool box no more.

KP: "Right and when he's not saying that and I'm asking for more jabs than I've ever asked for. But you've got to be able to look into the mirror and realize I'm not going to be able to do that so I've got to tell him what's going one next round. He didn't know that I was going to ask for twenty-thirty jabs per round, but if he would have come to the corner and told me that he hurt his hand, then we would have adjusted to where I'm not asking for all those jabs. Maybe I limit it in rounds six, seven and eight to save the hand for the last two rounds, instead of losing the hand in eleven and twelve. Is it making sense to you now Shawn?

SP: "100%."

KP: "We could have saved the hand for the last two rounds and then be able to pour it on at the end like we're supposed to. I don't need anybody to show me how tough they are or how much heart they have, I need them to show me how intelligent they are. In that situation by you saying there's nothing wrong, well here's what I want. I want you to control every round with your left hand. Run him right into the jab, but now we're creating more injuries. I knew after the first round that Granados wanted to bang heads with Shawn to open up his eye, so his intent was just for that. He didn't have the hands to bear Shawn, he couldn't stop the jab and he couldn't land anything clean on the outside. 

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