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25 SEPTEMBER 2016

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Thurman/Porter Q And A




WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman and challenger Shawn Porter took part in a conference call earlier this week to talk about their world title showdown at the Barcalys Center in Brooklyn, New York on June 25.

 

Below is what Thurman and Porter had to say

 

Shawn Porter

What’s up everybody? I want to thank everybody for putting this fight together, Lou DiBella, Stephen Espinoza for getting us on the CBS primetime, awesome time for boxing, awesome time for Team Porter. And definitely, definitely looking forward to this fight.

And I want to just do one thing and that’s just reiterate what Stephen Espinoza said, this is, without a question, the fight of the year. And I’m humbled and honored to be a part of that. And I know I’m going to do my job. And I’m going to leave that ring as the new WBA champion.

I’ve been working extremely hard, as you all know, like I always do. And we’ll be prepared for any and everything that Keith has. And we’ll see if he’s prepared for any and everything I got. Thank you.

 

Keith Thurman:

How’s everybody doing today? I’m happy to be here. Nice to be a part of this conference call. Looking forward to this fight. Everybody knows it’s a big, exciting fight for the world of boxing for myself and my career, for Shawn Porter, and for the fans. So, let’s get this on.

Q

Shawn, could you just start off by just talking to me, you’re in your prime, young guy, were you at all frustrated by having a year off, especially after, you know, what many would look at as perhaps your biggest victory, against Broner, in the last fight?

Porter

You know what, that’s not what I wanted. That’s not what I expected. I expected to, come out of that big fight and go right into another. But, boxing is business and you got to do what you got to do. So when Keith Thurman was the next - became the next fighter for me to fight against, it just became a matter of time.

So, I’ve spent all that time wisely, still training, setting a little bit of time off here and there to enjoy life, but, mostly doing what I’ve been doing for the last probably two or three years now, which is focusing on Keith and what he has to bring to the ring, and being ready for this fight.

I think Demetrius Andrade showed a prime example of, not having ring-rushed. It’s been a while since he fought and he came out and did a spectacular job. It’s been a little while since I fought, but I don’t believe in ring-rushed. So I believe, next weekend I’ll be in full force and ready to take that belt.

Q

Shawn, was there at a point - any point during that year between fights that there was discussion about you fighting again, you know, say, at the end of last year, I mean, even before the fight between you and Keith was finalized for, you know, the earlier part of this year?

Porter

Oh yes. That was, you always make a plan. That’s what my dad does. He makes a plan and he tries to execute that plan as much as possible. So, coming out of a June fight, we wanted to fight again, and I think we wanted to fight again I think around October, November. But that was the plan. And sometime you got to roll with the punches, you know, this is boxing.

Q

Was the lengthy layoff a problem for you or was it just the way things go, like Shawn said?

Thurman

Yes. It’s just the way that the chips fell, man. You know, me and Shawn both could have probably put another performance in. But we’re happy to be making, instead of just a normal performance, putting on a great performance, even if we both had to wait for it. We’re both really getting what we wanted out of this fight. It was worth the wait. I’ve had ups and downs. I’ve had injuries several times throughout my career. My biggest layoff was about 14 months.

So it is what it is. It’s nothing to really complain about. We both feel good. We’ve had - I’ve had plenty of time to recover from my accident, get back in the camp and do what I need to do to perform for you guys on this 25th.

Q

I was going to ask about, you mentioned the accident, could you just go through your - how long did it take you to get back to the point where you were, you know, 100 percent let’s say going into the gym and are you fully recovered from that incident?

Keith Thurman

It’s six weeks before I could go back to the gym. And then, we just had to take it increments as far as recovering, as far as working hard. Didn’t want to push my body too hard right away. Didn’t want to re-aggravate anything. Just listened to my doctors, stay doing my regular checkup routines. And we’re good to go.

Q:

Listen, Shawn, the question for you is, the last time you fought, obviously Dan just talked about the Adrien Broner fight, but you were at a catch-weight in that fight, 145 pounds. And then you mentioned that the time off and Keith’s accident actually helped you prepare a little bit better for this fight. Can you talk about some of the differences between preparing for Broner and now for Keith at 147?

Porter

Well, you know what, the contract weight was 144 and I had to work hard for that extra pound. You’re supposed to learn from every experience you have. So I honestly and firmly believe that every experience I’ve had in boxing has prepared me for this fight with Keith Thurman. Certain obstacles that we had to fight through with the Broner fight, such as making that catch-weight of 144. I just - it confirmed to me that I can be strong at whatever weight I have to fight at. So I’m back at my regular weight at 147. No struggle to make the weight. And I know I’m going to be strong and healthy coming into the fight.

So that’s about it. I think that Keith’s accident, it pushed things back from a timeline perspective, but from other perspectives I was able to train a lot longer for this fighs. So I truly believe that it was a blessing and I’m looking forward to taking advantage of being able to train longer for this fight.

Q

Okay. Keith, obviously, this is the biggest fight of your career. We know what the stakes are in the welterweight division. You know what a victory over Shawn would mean to you and Shawn knows what a victory would mean over you. How - he mentioned that the time off helped him prepare a little bit better. Has it helped you re-acclimate yourself to the game and maybe some things that you can expose in Shawn? The two of you obviously know each other very well. How do you think that knowledge of each other is going to play out in this fight on the 25th in Brooklyn?

Thurman

We do know each other very well. It has been a little while since we’ve seen each other. And we’ve never seen each other under the bright lights. You know, fight night is a different kind of night.

I expect to see the Shawn Porter I know. I also expect to maybe see something that I’ve maybe not quite seen before. You know, I mean, if he’s going to be gunning for the title, you know, it’s a very special night, I’ll be defending my title.

I had a - I just feel comfortable, man. You know, the accident didn’t - it didn’t really help me at all or hurt me or do anything special. You know, all that really did was give us more time to constantly, you know, I guess, think about this fight. You know, we were going to approach the fight pretty much the same way no matter what. We didn’t change up our game plan from the first training camp into this training camp. We stuck with the same game plan. You know, we gave ourselves enough time to get in shape. And that was really the most important thing, was to assess with my doctors how quickly I could recover and get back in the conditioning to be prepared for this fight.

Q

Hey. For both guys, you talked about this. It’s a crowded field. There are former champions, there are a few undefeated champions, there are some up-and-comers. For both of you guys, what tells you that you are the man in the division? What is it about you guys right now?

Porter

I think two reasons. I think, number one, I believe in myself, I know what I can do. And when I look at the other guys out there in the division, I just know that I have more than the other guys.

But I think, the public as well, guys have continued to say that, whoever wins this fight, will be the number one guy in the division, filling Mayweather’s shoes, yada, yada, yada. I want to do more than just fill those shoes. I want to be the guy that, if, hey, if Mayweather comes back, you better come back to Showtime Shawn Porter because he’s the best fighter out there in the division.

So I believe it, but you guys also, you guys have said it enough to make me believe it as well. So, thank you for that.

Thurman

Oh man, for me, you know, it’s the confidence, it’s my amateur background, where I come from, how I grew up in the sport. You know, training here in St. Pete Boxing with Dan Birmingham and Winky Wright, Jeff Lacy ever since I was young, growing up, the way Ben Getty believed in me and told me that I had everything it took to be champion of the world, and not just a regular champion but a great champion.

That’s the story of most champions and everything. You always strive for your best. And this fight is dedicated to bringing the best out of me. I know you guys are looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to it. I got lots of love and respect for Shawn.

And I look forward to this challenge of this rivalry that we share, growing up together, never getting to - never getting to fight one another but always pushing one another and trying to make one another better. But, come by next week, we’ll know who’s the best.

Q

You don’t always hear that between boxers, saying I have a lot of love and respect for the guy that they’re about to - heading to a big fight. Does that make this situation a little unusual or awkward?

Porter

I don’t think it makes it unusual or awkward at all. I think the fact that we know what each other has and we’ve seen each other for a long time, it, number one, you hear and get, and you see the respect, but also the fact that we want to beat each other to prove to ourselves, to everyone out there in the world, that I’m better than Keith.

And I know he has that same mindset. That is why this fight is on CBS primetime, because you’re not going to get this again, you’re not going to get this again. You’re not going to have two guys at the top of their division wanting it all and actually willing to go for it all.

And I know Keith has that in him, and he knows damn well I have it in me. And like you just said, I’m gunning for that championship belt, I’m coming for his head. It doesn’t matter that we’re friends. And I know at the end of the day it doesn’t matter to him. We both have families to take care of, we both have legacies to build, careers to continue to progress on and (thrive) and goals to reach, and the list goes on.

With all that being said, it can’t be awkward. It can’t be weird. It can’t be a friendship. After we meet in the center of the ring and touch gloves, we’ll meet in the center, touch gloves in the beginning of the fight, we’ll meet in the center, we touch gloves, and begin the fight. That’s it. You know, lay in between that time, it’s just going to be a hell of a fight, and that’s why it’s on CBS primetime.

Thurman

I agree with that statement. We’ve come across a situation in the amateurs where I’ve had to compete against sparring partners. So there really is nothing awkward in it. If anything, there’s a very, very cool factor, man. To be really honest, there’s an extremely just super-cool factor that, you know, I remember this dude when he was a teenager. He remembers me when I was a teenager.

And here we are, going to be fighting on CBS, opening up the show primetime. If our battle is going to be the battle that they see from the last time they aired boxing, which was Muhammad Ali, this is history in the making. We both have legacies, we both have dreams that we want to live. And if it means getting through each other, then so be it.

Q

Just wondering, Keith, what’s your training camp been this time around, I mean, having to deal with the additional injuries and the car accident, I mean, can you just talk about just what your training camp has been like trying to, you know, do maintenance with the injury, also trying to prepare Shawn in time?

Thurman

Just been - it’s just been a little different as far as we had to - we had a sparring a little bit in this camp, we couldn’t spar early in this camp, just to - for the safety of my neck and not to jeopardize or risk anything, and just follow my doctor’s instructions. We had to build up and start off with, you know, just cardio and shadow boxing, and then get into the mitt work and the bag work.

And this camp has just been a progression, you know, nothing really out of the norm. Nothing really changed the pace of too many things. We just had to formulate it a little different so that we can get the job done and be prepared.

Q

What was it like, Keith -- I know you began sparring in May, I mean, like the first time you got hit, you know, in your neck, the impact, what was that like? I mean, was there any pain? Did you feel better than expected?

Thurman

No. It took it fine, which I expected because we’ve been already doing some neck strengthening exercises and I would have known, I would have had feedback from the resistance training that I was doing if my neck wasn’t going to be able to hold up in sparring.

I still was thinking about it a little bit in going into that day for the first day. But it held up. We went and got therapy like we were supposed to that week, and just kept going, and every week since. And it’s been fun, man. We feel great. We’re happy to be doing what we do best, boxing, it’s always a little nervous, you’re a little hesitant, when you’re thinking, okay, I got this issue, am I going to be able to be the same, am I going to be able to be the same. And we are, man. That’s all that we can ask for, and we’re truly blessed.

Q

So I mean, when you face Shawn on the 25th, I mean, is it safe to say that the injury is going to be - you’re not going to be thinking about it or do you still, because, you know, it did happen in February, you know, you still have the, I guess, worry about it a little bit, even though you’re back to full strength?

Thurman

I won’t see myself worrying about it come the 25th. You know, the major difference is going to be that we’re going to - I’m going to be getting hit with 8-ounce gloves instead of 16-ounce gloves. But we believe that we’re well-prepared and we’ll be able to handle everything come this upcoming fight.

Q

Hello everybody. Question for both Keith and Shawn. With all the talk of this fight being the first time on CBS since Ali/Spinks 1, and of course Muhammad Ali recently passing away and the welterweight title at stake, and all of this, how do you balance that kind of historical importance with just preparing for this one individual fight and what you have to do on that? And I guess I’ll ask Keith first.

Thurman

Well you know what kind of stage you’re performing on, you know the platform, you know the significance of everything. But that’s not the main concern. The main concern is getting into shape, doing what you’re supposed to do, and being prepared to box smart and get the victory that you set out for, execute the game plan.

Any single time that I’m going to step in the ring, you know, I do my best to put on a good fight, whether I’m putting on a fight or a boxing exhibition, I’m going to do what I think is best for victory. I’m always trying to hurt my opponents, and I’m hoping that the crowd enjoys the show.

But I really don’t think too much about all the fine details. You acknowledge it, I’m grateful for everything, but at the end of the day, this is just another boxing match, it’s going to be, you know, my hands up against his hands, going toe to toe. I’m treating it just like any other show.

Q

And Keith, what do you see as your advantages against Shawn? And do you see that maybe you want to be more of a boxer as he is such a pressure fighter, or what can you do - what do you plan for and your approach to this fight?

Thurman

Well, I made the statement before, you know, if people want to move forward, I’ll move backwards. If they want to move backwards, I move forwards. So I don’t really - I go with the flow of the match. I do what I think is necessary to win. The key to victory is to not let your opponent have his way, whatever way that is. Don’t let your opponent have his way.

A small advantage I have over Shawn, I have a small height advantage, I possibly have a small reach advantage. There’s - the key to victory, some would say, would be to keep him on the outside and things of that nature. But I like to stay open-minded and just see what presents itself in the fight. I’ve been doing this for a long time. I’ve been real comfortable nowadays.

The Luis Collazo fight, I went into that fight with no game plan. The game plan is victory. We will find victory.

Q

Shawn, how do you balance all the discussion on the historical importance of this fight with just preparing for this one fight with your opponent ahead of you?

Porter

It comes with the territory. I’m excited to be on CBS and for it to be on primetime and to be a part of history. Like he said, you acknowledge it, but I’m not going to allow the importance or the significance of this fight to overrun my energy and my mindset going into the fight, anything like that. I’m humbled to be the first fighter on CBS since a Muhammad Ali fight. That’s awesome.

Being excited is never a concern of mine, because as long as I’m performing and doing what I’m supposed to do, the fight will be exciting. I don’t condone boos. As long as I’m fighting, you will never boo, you’ll never be bored or anything like that.

So it’s awesome. I love it. I think it’s going to add to my level of excitement and my positiveness going into the fight, but it won’t get me over-excited or anything like that.

Q

Do either of you want to make a prediction, either Ali-esque or otherwise, for this fight?

Porter

Ali-esque, “Showtime” Shawn Porter without a doubt.

Thurman

I’m about to say it real simple. We both win, right? I mean, we’re both winning.

Porter

No. We are not both winning this one.

Thurman

You think you’re going to win, I think I’m going to win. If they’re going to ask the question, they’re going to get two winners, you know what I mean? But obviously someone is going down and I would like for it not to be left to the judges.

Porter

Exactly. I think that’s one thing I’ve learned from being in the crowd, is that people, for whatever reason, they do not like draws. So we’re not going to leave it up to the judges. You know, we were discussing that yesterday in the gym, you know. So we’re not going to leave it up to the judges. We’re going to handle our business and get the job done, leave everything for that belt.

Q

Shawn, how big would this fight be for your legacy when it’s all said and done?

Porter

Yes. This fight has been in my mind for a number of years. And I’ve said this before, looking at our careers and the way that they were moving, and both of us being at 147, Keith being as dominant as he has been, I always thought this fight will happen eventually.

And it was a fight that I wanted to happen. I’m all about being the guy that is considered the guy. I’m all about being the number one. I love having all eyes on me. You guys know me to be very humble, but when I’m in the right, when I’m performing, when everyone’s watching, I want them to be watching me, watching and seeing what I’m doing and screaming my name.

So I think knowing what Keith has done and him being the champion, when you beat a champion, you take the belt, that’s how you form your legacy. You don’t form your legacy from, beating C-level fighters, B-level fighters. You beat those A-plus fighters and you take their belts. That’s how you establish your greatness.

Q

Will it be safe to say that whoever wins this fight will have the number one spot at welterweight?

Porter

If you really take a look at it, we both have the attitude for it. We both have the physicality and athleticism to be that number one guy. It’s just a matter of me getting in there and doing what I got to do.

Thurman

Most definitely. This is a great fight. This is the perfect fight. Really this is exactly the kind of fight that we want. Legacy is a process and this fight is a part of that process, making this kind of matchups and everything, and getting just great high-level opponents, like Shawn was talking about.

Shawn only has one loss and he brings his best each and every time in the ring. He’s always gunning for victory. He just made a statement that he’s knocking my head off. So, this is going to be a great fight and all I’ve ever wanted to do in boxing was be champion of the world and give the world great fights like this fight to come.

So I’m really excited. Me and my team are really looking forward to this.

Q

Do you think this fight is for the king at welterweight or do you think you got to go through the Garcias and everybody and unify the belts to be looked at this way?

Thurman

Yes. I don’t like your guys’ approach to these questions when everyone is talking about the new king, the new king, the new king, the new king. It’s not like there was a successor lined up waiting. There’s work to do.

We are the next generation in my opinion. I’m a humble fighter and I like to humble myself on the regular. The young generation has got a lot of work to do before there’s a king involved on top of any of our names, if you ask me personally, which you are.

So, yes, I would love to get through Danny Garcia, and then solidify more of the debate of the best at 147, man. But to see the best at 147 it’s just going to take a little bit of time and I just feel like you writers are rushing to get the best, to claim the best. And claiming the best is cool, there’s nothing wrong with finding the best. But to get the best is going to take a little bit more time. It’s not even going to happen this year. But I look forward to the journey and the process.

Q

Do you feel like you have to fight Danny Garcia, you have to fight Errol Spence, to find out who’s that man, who’s that top dog?

  1. Porter

I’ll answer that first, because I just fought Adrien Broner who is a world champion and definitely one of the most athletic fighters out there. The process just does not stop. I fought one of the top guys and here I am fighting arguably the top guy right now.

So the process just does not stop. And like my dad says, you’re only as good as your last performance. So it’s going to be steady until it’s over, until I’m done.

When I’m done, that’s when I will actually entertain being called great or being called one of the best. But until that time, I’m just working hard to be where I’m at right now, arguably considered to be one of the best. But the process just does not stop until it’s completely over.

Thurman

The way I look at it is I’m not a big fan of what I call the Mayweather shadow, right? Mayweather’s legacy has casted a shadow over the 147 division. And the real issue is that Mayweather was at the top for over a decade, and you want somebody to replace him but it’s not going to happen overnight. It’s really going to take almost another decade. You need to really see who’s going to be the top dog for the next three to five years.

And then you got a king, because kings rule. Kings rule. Kings don’t come up and come down and do this and do that. You know, kings rule. And that’s, to me, that’s the main reason why I ever allow the name king to come out of my mouth when talking about Floyd Mayweather, because he did rule 147-pound division, okay?

So, this fight is a great fight. It’s a stepping stone. It’s heading in the right direction for either fighter, of proving themselves. And many other great fights to come. But it’s going to take every single one of those great fights so that you can have the great of the new generation.

And, I’m just - that’s just how I feel and I’m going to feel that way till, you know, till everybody’s gone.

Q

Thank you very much. Hey, guys. I wanted to follow up just a little bit. I heard earlier in the call, I know you guys both spoke about your, you know, your respect and love for each other and, you know, I’ve heard it thrown around that, you know, you guys are friends. But I’m curious, you’ve known each other since the amateur days, how close of friends are you? Was it like slap on the back, how’s it going when you see each other at an amateur tournament or if you see each other at the Barclays Center at some other fight, or was it like, you know, you’re good pals and you have dinner together, you see each other, you call each other up on the phone? Where do you guys stand with that? Keith, if you could answer that.

Thurman

Definitely, love, man, a lot of backslapping, reminiscing, talking. And yes, man, we’ve shared meals together, when Shawn Porter was in my camp, we spent a lot of time together. He got to meet my mother and stuff. Obviously I know his father. His father was a team trainer for international event when USA fought Ukraine, the only two people in the USA to win was Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter.

So it’s been an interesting journey, man. I mean it’s really a lot of fun. I’m actually honored and blessed and grateful to grow up with this kid and to have this opportunity with the same person, this individual, you know, knowing that he’s in the way of my dreams, I’m in the way of his dreams, but it’s still just a very fun process to have a rival be so personal, somebody that you really know, somebody that you’ve been cheering for but, you know, the 25th is the only day that I’m not allowed to cheer for Shawn Porter.

Q

Oh, I got you on that. Shawn, you heard what Keith just said. Where do you fall in that in terms of the way the relationship has been over these years?

Porter

Yes, I was going to say, man, I don’t know, you guys be the judge of it. Like he said, we spent time together in camp, going back to when we were in the amateur, we fought in the international dual ones together. He - I don’t know. We’re friends. We know each other very well. We don’t talk on a daily basis.

Q

Now, I have to assume that, of all the time you spent together in your training camps and you sparred together, haven’t you?

  1. Porter

Yes. I would say - I will say Keith and I are friends, but we’re not, best pals.

Thurman

We’re not besties.

Porter

If I needed help, he’d probably, be the 10 to 15 or 20th person I would call on the list. He’s not first or second, anything like that.

Q

Now when you were together in those early days of your amateur career, doing the international competitions, or even perhaps as young professionals on the way up, how much did you guys spar together? Must have been at least sometimes if you’re in the same camp with each other, right?

  1. Porter

No. You know what, we only sparred that one time I came down there at Clearwater to give some sparring. I had been on a long layoff and I was coming back from a fight and he was getting ready for Chico - Chino. And that’s when we crossed paths in the ring. But outside of that it’s just been more so different weight classes, kind of rooting for one another.

Q

How long ago was that, Shawn?

Porter

2012, I believe.

Q

Oh. So, fairly recently. But never as amateurs, or even though you were together in the camps?

Thurman

No. We got into the ring once in Colorado Springs, remember, Shawn? Your dad and Ben Getty, they negotiated a sparring session between the two of us in Colorado Springs? You don’t remember that ring work?

Porter

Oh yes. But how many rounds did we do? Four?

Thurman

That was - yes, that was a simple, little amateur, little sparring, and it was little. So that was the first time I ever got into the ring with him.

Porter

Yes. But like I said, to anybody that’s wondering if we’re too friendly with one another to take one another out, no. No, we’re not.

Q

Do you remember, Keith, what year that was when you did that four rounds in Colorado Springs, approximately?

Thurman

It’s definitely towards the end of - towards the end of the amateur career. So I would say maybe ’07.

Q

So, am I - I mean you guys have been respectful to each other all through this thing, even on this phone call. You know, I don’t anticipate, you know, you’re not going to be slagging each other at a press conference or anything.

But will - do you believe in any way, shape or form that your positive relationship with each other won’t in any way diminish the intensity that you have when the bell rings? Or, because you know the guy and you want to really prove something, that it might actually bring it up a level? I’ve heard different fighters talk differently about that. Where do you fall on that category?

Porter

Yes, I mean, I could probably answer that question for the both of us. Our levels will be raised just from a competitive standpoint, from the standpoint of him not wanting me to take that belt and from the standpoint of me wanting to take that belt. The levels will be raised simple as that.

And I think we both appreciate that about one another, is that, this is a fight where the public is watching, waiting, wanting to know who’s going to be the winner, and we want to give the public all they want, and we want to win, it’s as simple as that.

Q

And when it’s all done, friends again?

Porter

Yes, sir.

Thurman

Yes. There’s no problem. Yes, man, I mean this is going to be an intense fight. Shawn always brings intensity. I’m always bringing my power. I just don’t - there’s no way this is not going to be an entertaining fight. And there’s no way that he’s not going to raise his bar by knowing what it’s like, knowing that I’ve been training hard. He’s training as hard. And just knowing that, you know, he’s one step away from getting that belt back around his waist and moving forward with his career.

You got two young fighters in their prime, fighting on primetime. I mean, this is the time. This is the primetime. Mayweather is gone. Pacquiao is gone. There is no better time than this time, you know, for this fight to go down and for each one of us to showcase our skills and our talent to the world and take it to that next level. So nothing - there should be not one ounce of hesitation from either fighter. It should be a great night of boxing. I’m definitely looking forward to it.

I mean it’s - this is my life, man. I’ll laugh at it, you know, because I’m having fun each and every time. I’m going to really enjoy this. This is going to be a fun event, a great event.

Q

Just got one question for each of you. First, Keith, this is your 20th anniversary as a boxer. Dan Birmingham’s 50th in the sport. Could you talk about your working relationship and your bond between him, obviously Chris Getty, and, you know, what your unified purpose in continuing, you know, the legacy of Ben Getty, and, you know, how special that relationship has been, especially, you know, given, you know, that Dan Birmingham had his, you know, his near-death experience and you, you know, had the car accident?

Thurman

Well, you know, it’s always been really nice to be a part of St. Pete Boxing here with Dan Birmingham, ever since I got here when I was 14 years old, you know, watching him train Wink, watching him train Jeff. And then eventually he was working with me as a mittman on behalf of Ben Getty, because his joints just couldn’t hold the mitts for me no more, he couldn’t take my punching power.

So, me and Dan at the age of 14, 15, you know, got a real good relationship, and in the ring, a real nice feel for one another. And when Ben passed I just knew that Dan being my trainer was going to become my first and that nobody was really better for the job.

I was actually offered by Shelly Finkel to go over to the Wild Gym or whatever, and work with Freddie Roach. And I just, I told Shelly, I said, Freddie Roach doesn’t know anything about Keith Thurman and where Keith Thurman comes from, Dan Birmingham, knows everything about me, knows my progression, knows about Ben Getty, knows how we used to train together, our focus, our dreams, what we want to accomplish.

And ever since Ben passed, I brought Chris into the situation because Ben was always talking to Chris about fighters’ records on BoxRec, what do they think about our next opponent coming up, this and that. And I tell everybody, I just feel a lot more comfortable knowing throughout my professional career that I have one Getty in my corner, because Ben Getty truly raised me from the age of 7 to the age of 20 when he passed away.

So, we got a great team here, man. It’s just - we go really deep. We’re almost like a family over here. Everybody loves everybody, man, and respects everybody. And everybody wants the best for me. And I’m truly grateful for that. Ben always talked about how important a great team is and then how important getting with the right networks.

So with my team, with Al, with everything that’s happening with PBC and CBS here, man, I mean really, when I reflect back on the 20 years, man, I’m just, one, I’m proud to be an American, you know, I’m proud to have this opportunity to live this life that I’ve chosen for myself, and that nothing so far, even with a few bumps and bruises in the road, has steered me away from being the champion of the world, man. So I’m just truly blessed and just trying to keep living this dream and creating my legacy.

Q

Now for you, Shawn. You know, we talked about this a little, you know, last couple of days. But, you know, relationships between father and son in this sport, they just - there are so many - been so many bad ones, and I know (unintelligible). What makes your relationship with your father so unique and specifically different than some of the ones that you’ve seen just erode and fail to the point where, you know, some of the fighters for a long time don’t even get along with their dads anymore?

Porter

You know, boxing is a hard sport. It’s - it takes a hard mentality, a hard demeanor, a hard personality just to compete and train and all that kind of stuff. My dad is that person. My dad is a hard person. He doesn’t mind hard. And - but in a lot of ways I’m the opposite. I’m more easygoing, I’m more laidback, I’m more, just tell me what to do and I’ll do it.

I think when you take a look at the history of boxing, I’m only hard when I have to be hard, and that’s when I compete. Other father-son duos or whatever, the son is a hothead and it’s hard both in and out of the ring, so it makes that relationship hard to deal with.

But my dad and I, we just really click and we could make it happen. There’s nothing that we go through or don’t go through that it doesn’t help us raise each other’s levels and bring us to the place that we need to be where we’re able to perform in the ring together and be successful together. I think that’s kind of what separates us, is kind of our love and our bond and our respect for one another, and being able to measure our personalities,I think that separates us from other father-and-son duos.

 

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June 17, 2016




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