WBC welterweight champion Shawn Porter has a tough test in front of him on Saturday night when he defends his title against Cuban challenger Yordenis Ugas at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
Porter (29-2-1, 17 KOs) won the vacant WBC championship when he defeated former two-division world champion Danny Garcia by unanimous decision on September 18, 2018 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.
The fight showed that Porter wasn’t just a crude brawling pressure fighter but he could actually get on his bicycle and box.
Garcia and his father/trainer Angel, were not prepared for that version of Porter. They expected the typical style of brawling and pressure that Porter was known for, not a boxer who moved and picked his shots carefully.
Porter already a decorated amateur boxer, first made himself known in the mainstream when he was enlisted by Freddie Roach in 2009 to help the great Filipino ring legend Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao prepare for his fight with Miguel Cotto.
Porter and his father Kenny took advantage of the opportunity and took a flight to the Philippines to help the Pacman prepare.
The heated sparring sessions with Pacquiao were a great learning experience for the Ohio born boxer.
Porter eventually went on to become a world champion when he defeat Devon Alexander for the IBF welterweight title in 2013.
He would defend the IBF strap once against Paulie Malignaggi, and then lose it to Kell Brook.
To this day Porter considers Pacquiao a friend and one of his boxing heroes. He also feels it would be an honor to trade leather with the Pacman before he retires.
Porter told media during his open workout at the Churchill Boxing Club in Santa Monica, California that his main targets should he get passed Ugas on March 9 are all the top guys in the division.
“I’m targeting Manny Pacquiao, Errol Spence Jr., and Keith Thurman, that’s what it is right now.” said Porter.
The WBC champ also praised his former sparmate Pacquiao on his ability to continue competing at the highest level of boxing at the age of 40.
“The longevity is something that’s become pretty special, something that we see a little bit of in football, NBA, of course you see it in soccer and the MLB but in boxing usually at this point you are a on the downslope (referring to fighters in their 40s), but he (Pacquiao) is a special man. If we have the opportunity to fight, it will be much respect before, during and after.”
Shawn Porter vs. Yordenis Ugas will be televised live on FOX and FOX deportes on March 9, 2019 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT.