Shawn Porter can’t afford close loss to Terence Crawford

LAS VEGAS — Shawn Porter’s résumé promotes itself. This is a man who has never ever stated no to a battle, the harder the much better, and who has actually ended up being the requirement by which to evaluate contemporary fighters.

Wise supervisors and quality matchmakers resemble illusionists, with the capability to make a fighter seem something he is not. Match your man with a series of soft touches, put them in versus huge names when the huge names are travelling towards the goal, and you can produce a great deal of buzz for a fighter who might not deserve it.

That is not Porter, the popular welterweight from Las Vegas who on Saturday (9 p.m. ET, ESPN+ PPV) will challenge Terence Crawford for the WBO welterweight title at the Michelob Ultra Arena.

Porter has actually battled practically every elite welterweight there is besides Crawford, and he leapt at the possibility when Crawford was provided as a challenger.

Crawford is approaching famous status; he was undeniable champ at extremely light-weight, held a light-weight belt and is 5-0 with 5 knockouts as a welterweight. He’s No. 2 on the Yahoo Sports pound-for-pound list, and others think he’s No. 1.

Crawford, however, requires the affirmation that a win over Porter will bring. Crawford has yet to deal with an elite welterweight, though it’s not for an absence of attempting. However attempting to get Manny Pacquiao, Errol Spence Jr., Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman or Yordenis Ugas in the ring has actually been a difficulty that has actually caused disappointment on Crawford’s part and produced some friction with promoter Leading Rank.

Porter has actually fought Spence. And Garcia. And Thurman. And Ugas. And Adrien Broner, Kell Brook, Paulie Malignaggi, Devon Alexander and Julio Diaz and so many others.

A win over Porter means something, and it would validate everything Crawford has actually done to this point in his career.

Porter needs Crawford just as much, though not as obviously as Crawford needs him.

Porter is a pit bull in the ring, and exerts relentless pressure from the first minute of Round 1 until the final seconds of Round 12.

But if he loses to Crawford, he’s going to be the one struggling to get a big fight. He’s still too good and he’s far too tough for young guys on the rise to test themselves against. With a loss, he’ll be too much risk and not enough reward, and the coming stars like Vergil Ortiz Jr. and Jaron “Boots” Ennis who need big names on their résumés would likely look in another direction.

That puts particular emphasis on this bout with Crawford. An upset victory — Crawford is up to a -800 favorite at BetMGM, while Porter is now +550 — would not only line up a rematch with Crawford, but would put him in the running for fights against WBA champion Ugas, and Spence, the IBF-WBC champion who is hoping to return from a detached retina.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - OCTOBER 09: WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford (L) and Shawn Porter (R) pose during the press conference at MGM Grand Casino on October 09, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford (L) and Shawn Porter (R) pose during the news conference at MGM Grand Casino on Oct. 9, 2021 in Las Vegas. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Leading Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Porter dropped a split decision to Spence in 2019 in Los Angeles in a bout that Yahoo Sports described at the time as “a fight for the ages.” In beating Porter, Yahoo Sports wrote that Spence “faced a gut-check moment against the gamest and grittiest opponent he’ll ever see.”

That statement will be true for Crawford as well, even though it’s still more than 72 hours until the first bell.

“Everybody knows what Shawn Porter is all about,” Crawford said.

Porter is 31-3-1 with 17 KOs, his losses coming by split decision to Spence, by majority decision to Brook and by unanimous decision to Thurman. He fought to a split draw with Diaz in 2013.

His bouts are tough, grueling affairs that are invariably close. His two biggest wins, over Garcia and over Ugas, were both fights the loser felt he’d won.

He can’t afford to let Crawford squeeze another close one out. There are countless big fights should Porter win, but the road will be a lot rockier should he lose.

It’s not fair. When a guy gives his all every time out the way Porter does and generally puts on highly entertaining fights, he shouldn’t be penalized if he loses an agonizingly close decision.

That’s how boxing can be, though, so the burden is on Porter to step up his game. Few — media, trainers, managers and other boxers — are giving him much of a chance.

He believes, though, and so does his father, Kenny, who is his trainer. Porter has actually always believed and now is not the time to change things.

“Losing is never part of my thought process,” Porter said.

The consequences of a loss this time around could be more significant than ever. It figures to be a fun fight — “I’ve been around boxing a long, long time and you don’t see a lot of fighters like this kid, who come to fight hard every time and doesn’t care who he [faces],” promoter Bob Arum said — and Porter has actually this way of imposing his will on his opponents.

Porter’s 34, and has a budding profession as a boxing broadcaster and podcaster to fall back on when he’s done.

He’s far from done, however. Couple of are ever in the type of condition he regularly gets himself in, and he still enjoys the obstacle as much as ever.

With a lot on the line, anticipate to see a fury from Porter that you’ve never ever seen prior to.

Which’s stating a lot.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.