SHAWN PORTER sought comfort in his father’s arms. For the previous 10 weeks, the man now holding him close had been anything but gentle. He drove his son through physical and mental torture in preparation for another fight. But the early morning runs, the barely tolerable diet and relentless sparring had all been for nothing. Porter’s world title was now the property of Kell Brook and his undefeated record gone. The 2014 defeat was hard to take. The journey that came before had been far from easy. Today, Shawn Porter is a prominent member of the sport’s superstar-laden welterweight division but for so long he had been an anonymous figure. Sitting at the back of the boxing’s classroom while other pupils vied for the teacher’s attention, Porter preferred to wait patiently for the end of term exams.
In December 2013 he outpointed the highly rated Devon Alexander to become the IBF champion. Suddenly, people started to take notice. His subsequent mauling of Paulie Malignaggi raised further eyebrows considering the Brooklynite had proved himself to be one of the most durable fighters. Porter became known as the “Monster” after halting Malignaggi in four rounds. A monster who was expected to be too strong for Kell Brook.
“I don’t like to lose,” Porter tells Boxing News. Looking back on his first defeat is perhaps not a conversation he wants to have as he prepares for Saturday night’s unification showdown with Errol Spence Jnr. But the Ohioan draws inspiration from how defeat made him feel.