Shawn Porter today celebrates his 34th birthday. Of course, with his big fight with Terence Crawford less than a month away, the all-business Porter will not have any spare time to celebrate. Porter, a fighting man who leaves NO stone unturned in the gym, working hard as he does when he’s far away from the bright lights and the public gaze, will be pushing himself to limits we mortals could scarcely even imagine.
No, the celebrations will come on November 21st. If Porter gets the win. Porter and Crawford are the same age at 34, this an age that was once looked at as somewhat advanced for a pro fighter. But the fast-approaching duel that will, plenty of us think, see the unbeaten Crawford tested like never before, is no fight between two guys who are past their prime. Far from it. Crawford is, judging by his most recent performances, as sharp as ever. Porter? We know what we get from him each and every time out: sheer aggression, pure heart and desire, and an unquestionable will to win. There is nothing to suggest Porter will not be firing on all cylinders when he gets in there for what he himself has suggested could be his “legacy fight.”
Porter, 31-3-1(17) and a former two-time welterweight champ, has never truly been beaten in any fight; his losses coming in closer than close battles with Kell Brook (a majority decision), Keith Thurman (a unanimous decision that was booed quite loudly by the New York City crowd), and Errol Spence (a split decision). No, no fighter ‘gets by’ when they go to war with Porter; instead, they have to go through hell. Crawford, as special as he has at times looked, will be no different. It will be a hard, at times punishing fight next month, for both men. The difference is – or the difference may be – Porter is used to that kind of fight.
No-one is questioning Crawford’s inner toughness or his desire to win, but this is the thing – Porter might ask Crawford, 37-0(28) some serious questions on November 20. For many of us fight fans, Crawford Vs. Porter is the big one, the best fight and match-up of this year. It has that appeal, that potential. Fans sense greatness, something special. These two welterweights, each brilliant in his own way, may need to fight more than once in an effort to decisively prove who is the better man but the war will begin on November 20th.
It’s taken some time in the career of Crawford for him to get what could so easily prove to be his defining fight. Porter right now is defined by those three close defeats, as unfair as it may be to define Porter as any kind of loser. As such, both men absolutely need to get the win next month. If we’re really fortunate, the welterweight epics of yesteryear will be given a real run for their money with this fight.
And that would be reason enough for all fight fans to throw a party!