THIS is a very big fight for me because Shawn Porter could potentially be looked at as an undefeated fighter. He had three close fights that could have gone his way but didn’t go his way. Shawn Porter is no pushover, no slouch and that’s the reason why this is one of the biggest fights of my career to date on paper.
I need to be on my A-game each and every time I set foot in the ring, not just for Shawn Porter. Shawn can box, he can brawl, he can bang, he can be rough in there. He’s strong, fast, he’s got good head movement and footwork. That will pose a lot of threats in the ring.
It’s always about simply having your hand raised, I never go in a fight looking for the knockout. If it comes, it comes. As long as I did enough to get my hand raised at the end of the fight, that’s all that matters.
The year out, that’s why you spar and that’s why you put the work in in the gym. So when you go out there you’re as sharp as possible. Personally, I never looked at how long I was in the ring or out the ring to display my talent or sharpness or performance. So I don’t think about those type of things, I just go in the ring and do what I’m supposed to do.
I’m always in the gym. The whole time Covid was going on, I was in the gym working out, getting that peace of mind and doing things that I love to do the most.
I’ve just got to continue to do what I do, and that’s fight and be ready when it’s time to be ready.
The pound-for-pound list changes every month, every other fight. It’s nothing that’s in my control, all I can do is fight the people that’s in front of me and keep looking spectacular and defeating them. It’s going to fluctuate each and every time so I don’t worry about it.
I’m happy for Canelo and what he has been accomplishing this last year. That’s him. It has nothing to do with me.
I’m past the point of caring about Errol Spence. My main focus is Shawn Porter and this is a big fight right in front of me. We’re here and I’m going to seize the moment.
Manny Pacquiao was a missed opportunity. For whatever reason I didn’t get that fight and we just move on. We got Shawn Porter right now and that’s the fight that’s in front of us and that’s the fight that we’re focused on. Pacquiao, that fight is history.
Shawn and I have known each other since we were kids in the amateur days and whatnot. We used to talk on the phone, I went down there and played basketball with him. So I feel like I know him.
We met when we were 15 or 16. Shawn was at 165lbs and I was at 125lbs when I first met him. I never thought we’d box because the weights were so far apart.
But we have never been in the ring together so looking from the outside it’s easy to say what somebody is going to do or how they’re going to do it but at the end of the day we’ve still got to fight the fight. It’s not like we used to spar with each other or whatnot, this will be the first time for both of us.
Shawn Porter has always been progressing ever since the Kell Brook fight. Nobody gave him a shot against Errol Spence and he showed up and started proving everybody wrong. I feel like that performance against Spence is what landed him the fight with me today.
I don’t think it’s a breakthrough fight for me, not at all, but it’s a break through moment with me fighting one of the top PBC guys.
I want to be remembered as one of the greats – one of the ones that was on top and set a perfect example for the next group of individuals coming up behind him.