Former two-time welterweight champ Shawn Porter has announced his retirement from the sport. The 34 year old, who stated that he would have walked away, for good, even if he had beaten Terence Crawford or held him to a draw last night in Las Vegas, made the announcement before the gathered media at the post-fight press conference. Porter goes out with a fine 31-4-1(17) record and he can forever look back with pride and satisfaction knowing that he faced the best time and time again and that he gave each and every man he faced nothing but a hard night; even those fighters he lost to.
“I was prepared to announce my retirement tonight, win, lose, or draw,” Porter said. “Even if it was a draw, I was not going to do it again. I’m announcing my retirement right now. After you’ve fought everybody at the top, what more could I do? I’m not going to be a gatekeeper; that’s not the life I want to live. I never wanted to lead the life of a fighter who fought into his 40s.”
It’s a good thing for all the welterweight contenders out there that Porter, one seriously tough fighter, is not opting to become a gatekeeper. Imagine the kind of hellish time young fighters seeking to get to the top would be welcomed with by such a gatekeeper? Porter, one of the smart ones, will almost certainly make his retirement stick. It’s quite rare to see an elite fighter, a world champion, in this case twice over, go out when they are at or are near the top; exiting on their own terms, in good health, with reputation and bank balance intact.
Good for Porter for being one of the smart ones. Porter, though, will be missed; by each and every fight fan who so admired his relentless, pressure-packed fighting style. Porter was a great action fighter, a man who threw a ton of leather in every round of every fight. Seemingly cast from iron, this iron being honed to perfection in the gym (not many fighters have an engine like Porter’s), “Showtime” would give it everything he had when in the ring. And last night’s tenth-round stoppage loss to Terence Crawford aside, it could be argued that Porter’s blend of toughness, of relentlessness, of heart and desire, got the job done.
Close – as in very close – decision losses to Kell Brook, Keith Thurman (in what was perhaps the most exciting fight of Porter’s career) and Errol Spence do not take anything away from Porter. To the contrary, those fights show us how good he was and how willing he was to duck and dodge nobody.
Here’s hoping Porter goes on to enjoy a most happy retirement. He has more than earned it.