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October 31, 2022
By: Kirk Jackson
Heading into his final fight, Shawn “Showtime” Porter wanted to channel his favorite all-time fighter Marvelous Marvin Hagler. Unfortunately like his idol, Porter fell just a little bit short in his final contest as a professional.
It what was a tough, competitive bout, between two friends, it had a strange, sudden ending to the affair.
Omaha, Nebraska native Terence “Bud” Crawford improved to (39-0, 28 KO’s), extending his pound-for-pound excellence, while marking his welterweight dominance with his foray into the division.
Porter (31-4-1, 17 KO’s), of Akron, Ohio, lost by technical knockout (corner through in the towel), suffering defeat via stoppage for the first time in 13 years as a professional.
“I’m prepared to retire,” Porter said in one of his post-fight interviews. “I was prepared to announce my retirement tonight, win, lose or draw. We had the date they was telling us we was gonna have to do it again. I was not gonna do it again. I’m announcing my retirement right now.”
Porter stated that he would’ve retired win, lose or draw versus Crawford in their ESPN Pay-Per-View main event, in part because he originally expected to retire following his 12-round, split-decision defeat to Errol Spence Jr. during their epic welterweight-unification clash in September 2019.
“I knew that Errol Spence Jr. was gonna be my last fight, after 2017 I think it was, when he won his championship (from Kell Brook),” Porter continued. “And I said he would be the last one I fought. And after we fought, I felt there was something else, and that something else was Terence Crawford.”
Porter’s tenacity was not enough to overcome some of the deficiencies he was pitted against facing Crawford. While heading into the fight, Porter mentioned his desire to secure a signature victory against a top-level, pound-for-pound caliber fighter, aiming to win the “Superbowl” of boxing.
Already falling short to welterweight contemporaries like Kell Brook, Keith Thurman, Spence and now Crawford, Porter stated he did not want to go out like Dan Marino, finishing his career without winning the big one.
But at this point, it’s one of the things that will be remembered about his career.
However, while he may not have secured the signature victory meeting his standards, if this is indeed the end, Porter had a great career, with wins over solid opposition.
Some may view Porter as an overachiever; he was routinely listed as the underdog in his biggest, marquee matches and with each respective bout, exceeded the reflection of the listed odds and left everything in the ring.
Like his boxing idol Hagler, Porter embodied hard work, grit, determination, tremendous will and heart. Throughout his career, Porter also displayed strong ethical character traits and even in defeat, continues to exemplify class and professionalism.
While he did not walk away with desirable results, Porter is walking away from such a dangerous sport at the right time.
Porter, 34, from a fighting standpoint, is a boxer based on the high energy, high-octane style of mauling aggression. As his father (Kenny Porter) alluded to in the immediate post-fight interview with ESPN’s Bernardo Osuna, Shawn seems to be on the downward side of the slope both physically and mentally.
When there are internal discussions of retirement prior to your scheduled bout and when there are other interests and opportunities outside of boxing, there’s nothing wrong with walking away from sport so much of your life has been dedicated towards. Especially if you can walk away with your health intact.
Porter, who works as an analyst for FOX Sports and has his own podcast, The Porter Way Podcast, has plenty of ventures to occupy his time post-retirement.
Too many times, observers like to highlight the deficiencies of a fighter, instead of appreciating the differences that make them unique. Porter did not present the technical brand of boxing many associate the sweet science with.
Did he do everything perfect, no, but who does? From a skill standpoint, Porter possessed traits that enabled his success over the years.
His ability to cover distance with his underrated foot speed and footwork, utilize upper body and head movement, weaving into the danger zone often times to inflict damage, while rolling with incoming punches, was not always realized and appreciated.
Nonetheless, Porter preserved and prevailed. He reached the highest pinnacles of the sport, becoming a two-time welterweight world champion. He fought the very best and left a positive impression across the sport.
Never one to take shortcuts, he did things the hard way. He succeeded, doing things the Shawn Porter way.
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