Man, handled: Terence Crawford stops Shawn Porter; Porter announces retirement
LAS VEGAS, Nevada, November 20, 2021 – WBO World Welterweight Champion Terence “Bud” Crawford of Omaha (38-0, 29 KOs) faced down the doubters and the best version of rugged challenger “Showtime” Shawn Porter of Las Vegas (31-4-1, 17 KOs), delivering two knockdowns early in the tenth round.
In a stunning end to a competitive fight, Porter’s trainer and father, Kenny Porter, asked the fight to be stopped, resulting in the finish at 1:21 of the round. The scorecards at the time of the stoppage all had Crawford narrowly ahead. Porter took rounds 1, 3, and 5 on all three cards and round 8 on two of three. Crawford won all other rounds. “I didn’t think it was close at all, to tell you the truth,” said Crawford. I was out there doing what I wanted to do. Once I got the look that it was close, I could turn it up, and that’s when I got the stoppage. Once I saw him on the ground, I went in for the kill.”
Crawford: ‘He was doing some things that made me think’
“He’s the best out of everyone I’ve been in the ring with. I can’t say nothing bad about him. Shawn Porter is a slick fighter. He was doing some things that made me think.”
Crawford said he wasn’t able to hit Porter the way he wanted to in the early rounds.
“I was just grazing him. I gave him some good body shots that I know he felt.”
Crawford said it is his versatility and ability to adjust in a way that robs opponents of their strengths that makes him unbeatable.
A crestfallen Porter said of his father’s decision,
“He’s doing what he knows he needs to do. I didn’t expect that. We never discussed that before.”
Speaking to boxing media later, Porter officially announced his retirement from boxing. Porter said he initially planned to retire after fighting Errol Spence Jr. in 2019, but “there was one more fight” he wanted, and it was with Crawford. Now that’s it over,
“After you’ve fought everybody at the top, what more do you do? I’m not going to be a gatekeeper.”
Kenny Porter: ‘This is just a small part of his life’
Kenny Porter defended his decision to stop the bout with brutal honesty. “He didn’t prepare like I wanted him to prepare.
So that makes me say,
You know what? I don’t want him in that situation. Shawn was hurt. He’s a sharp fighter. My kid is at a deficit at that point.”
Porter said it was a surprise to him when his son was knocked down and when he saw him hurt after knowing his preparation wasn’t as focused due to his impending retirement, the evening was over.
Porter later said it would be a relief to just be his son’s father and no longer his trainer. “This is just a small part of his life,” said Kenny Porter.
Father and son live across the street from each other, and the Porters say they plan to continue family life along with Porter’s wife and children.
The fight began as most predicted, with the aggressive Porter pressing the action in early rounds. Crawford said he switched to the southpaw stance in the second round to fend off Porter’s powerful right hook more easily and catch him between shots.
The pair parried, circled, and thrilled the sellout crowd of 11,568, exchanging hard power punches. At times the pair faced each other, twitching and feinting to see which one would commit and allow the other to land a counterpunch. As Crawford described, this is how the knockout blows were crafted and delivered. It was a fight with the perfect balance of action and tension, like the plot of a great novel.
Although all of the rounds were close save for the final round, Crawford’s ring IQ and ability to deliver precisely what he envisioned are why he’s been unbeatable.
Crawford makes his case as best pound-for-pound
“You gotta understand. It’s been a long time coming,” said Crawford. “Everyone was downgrading the level of competition I was fighting. Today I got the opportunity to fight another top welterweight, as you all said. It showed all the guys I was fighting. They were no pushovers. They were talented fighters, undefeated fighters. They never lost. They don’t know how to lose.
“Today I fought someone, and the same thing happens. I was beating undefeated fighters. They never looked the same after. People called them washed up. I’ve been the number one guy in the (welterweight) division since I came here.”
Crawford’s top rival, unified champion Errol Spence, Jr., was in the arena to see the fight. Crawford said it meant little to him. “Have I gone to his fights? Has he made any gesture to fight me, called me out to get the ring?” asked Crawford.
Asked about a future unification bout with Spence, Jr., Crawford said he knew the question was coming and dismissed the need for the fight.
“I think what I’ve been doing is nothing compared to Spence” as a three-division world champion and becoming WBO champion in his first welterweight fight. “I don’t take nothing away from him. He’s unified, or whatnot. It is what it is.”
Asked whether Crawford believes he should supplant unified super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez of Mexico, as the world’s top pound-for-pound fighter, Crawford said it wasn’t his call. “You all vote and do what you do,” he told members of the boxing media but added he feels worthy of consideration. We put Crawford a close second to Alvarez. Call them 1A and 1B if you prefer.
Crawford doesn’t disclose any firm plans
Crawford also indicated he would consider his promotional options, fulfilling his last fight under his contract with Top Rank. Promoter Bob Arum showed no ill will toward Crawford and admitted it makes sense for him not to be locked into any long-term agreements. Crawford didn’t tip his hand about his plans, saying only he would let “my little headbutt” heal and then decide what he’d like to do.
Crawford and Porter embraced again and spoke together in the media room. Kenny Porter predicted one day their children would all play together. Crawford said, “Well, they play a little rough,” with a laugh.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal is an award-winning boxing journalist covering the Sweet Science for boxing fans worldwide. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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