Shawn Porter Disappoints in “Win Now, Look Good Tomorrow” Performance

By Paul Magno on March 10, 2019
Shawn Porter Disappoints in “Win Now, Look Good Tomorrow” Performance
Saturday’s performance was pretty cynical. (Nabeel Ahmad/Premier Boxing Champions)

Porter looked antsy, like a tiger locked inside a too-small cage or a muzzled attack dog prohibited from doing what he was trained to do…

On Saturday at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, fight fans came to see a high-octane Shawn Porter battle, but, instead, were given a sloppy Devon Alexander boxing match as Porter, the defending WBC welterweight champ, opted to “box” his Cuban mandatory challenger, Yordenis Ugas, en route to a split decision win.

Mind you, Porter CAN box a bit more than generally given credit for, but cautious and point-conscience is not a comfortable look for him and it showed in this very un-Porter-like fight with little meaningful action that did absolutely nothing to advance his pursuit of big-money bouts with Manny Pacquiao, Keith Thurman, and the winner of the upcoming Errol Spence-Mikey Garcia clash.

Sitting back in the pocket, waiting to counter a counter-puncher with long periods of time between stabs at offense, Porter looked antsy, like a tiger locked inside a too-small cage or a muzzled attack dog prohibited from doing what he was trained to do.

When Porter would let his hands go, though, this was clearly the same old “Showtime” who had become a fan-friendly presence in the welterweight division, not because of his big wins but because of his earnest, all-offense performances that showcased a chaotic mauling, brawling style. Porter threw hard and with characteristic bad intent, but there was not enough actual fighting in the fight and the end result was a frustrating night for those who’ve come to expect more from Porter.

More frustrating was the fact that what he did on Saturday was intentional, a strategy to box Ugas put together by father and trainer Kenny Porter.

“We fought a good, smart fight tonight,” Porter said after the bout. “I was consistent and I thought we won a majority of the rounds.

“The crowd was expecting a big brawl, but that’s not the way this fight needed to go tonight…We got the win, we’re still champion and we’re looking forward to what is next.”

Well, that’s not exactly how this works. Porter is someone still in the mix with the major players at 147 because of the fans’ desire to see him mix it up with the big guys. Porter is the crude underdog who gives the slick elite headaches. He’s not the careful point-counter looking to slink by with a scorecard win—and the fans have been reacting accordingly in the two days or so since the Ugas fight. If he’s paired against Manny Pacquiao, for example, it’ll be because fans will pay to see him FIGHT Manny Pacquiao and will enjoy the chaos created from the matchup, not because they’re looking for a chess match.

All in all, Saturday’s performance was a pretty cynical one from someone who is not the least bit cynical in his ring efforts or overall attitude. And yeah, there’s validity in a “win now, look good tomorrow” philosophy when it comes to someone working through one last mandatory before possibly moving on to really big financial scores. But, again, that’s not why fans have embraced him and winning in that manner against Ugas did nothing to advance his cause as either a fan-favorite B-side or elite-level contender.

Of course, boxing fans are surprisingly forgiving by nature and they’ll quickly forget one night of doing-nothing, going-nowhere “boxing” if Porter comes out next time with a fist-launching, head-thrusting, elbow-flinging mugging of a fight.

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  1. Bruce 12:26pm, 03/14/2019

    The fight was close but Porter’s technique and balance left much to be desired.  Ugas fought like a pacifist.  It was a bout where both men lost from a marketing standpoint.

  2. Anonymous 01:02pm, 03/11/2019

    And one of the most boring.

  3. Your Name 08:38am, 03/11/2019

    The judges gifted the fight to Porter who has to be one of the luckiest boxers active now.

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