Shawn Porter has gone from rising prospect to potential flameout to world title challenger in a relatively short amount of time in boxing, but that's how expectations tend to work. The broad-shouldered Ohio native started his career as a middleweight after boxing at 165 pounds in the amateurs, but five years later is a developed welterweight who even had a brief flirtation with a move down to 140, ultimately seen as too big a risk.
One year ago, Porter went to a surprising draw with veteran and former lightweight titlist Julio Diaz on the Amir Khan-Carlos Molina undercard, and concerns about his ceiling were at an all-time high. Porter, though, has rallied from that, dominating Phil Lo Greco in May of this year before clearly beating Diaz in a September rematch in Las Vegas.
Now 22-0-1 (14 KO), Porter has his first world title shot lined up, as he'll face IBF welterweight titlist Devon Alexander this Saturday night on Showtime from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
"There's a lot of excitement period. This is the biggest fight of my career. The week is here," Porter said on Tuesday at a media workout.
"We worked extremely hard this camp working on the mental and physical aspects of this fight," he added. "We pushed hard to beat the champ. We worked my heart out. We did 18 rounds in the gym."
Knowing that Alexander (25-1, 14 KO) isn't always the most exciting fighter, Porter may help alleviate some fans' fears with his promise to make the titlist work in this fight, and get the St. Louis southpaw into some exchanges.
"We're going to mix it up. I've seen a few of his fights. He's going to scrap," said Porter, who then referenced a fight in October 2012 that Alexander had at the same venue, when he won the IBF belt from Randall Bailey.
That night, Alexander and Bailey were harshly criticized by fans both in attendance and watching at home, as well as media for having stunk out the joint in a 12-round snoozer.
"He's been booed but he won't be booed on Saturday night," Porter believes. "He'll come ready."