Shawn Porter made his last appearance in the professional ring in June 2015 when he beat Adrien Broner, nearly one full year ago. One might expect that Porter would be trying to carry that momentum by staying active, and he certainly wanted to, but things haven't quite worked out for him that way.
Porter was originally scheduled to come off a nine month layoff when he was scheduled to face Keith Thurman on a March 12th card, but after Thurman suffered minor injuries from a reported car accident, that highly anticipated fight was postponed with no rescheduled date. That left Porter, who had been in the midst of a grueling training camp, unsure about where things were going for him in the immediate future.
Ultimately, Porter (26-1-1, 16 KOs) has decided not to put all his hard work to waste and will instead be fighting this weekend as was originally scheduled -- albeit in a 12-round exhibition fight against Lanardo Tyner (30-10-2, 19 KOs) from his Las Vegas gym. Porter-Tyner will feature headgear and 16-ounce gloves, a professional referee, as well as three unofficial judges who will score the fight.
"We decided to do this because we needed the things associated with a big fight -- the atmosphere, the crowd, the lights," said Kenny Porter, Shawn's father and trainer. "We're going to have everything a big fight will have -- a weigh-in the [day] before, the referee, the ring card girls. Mentally and physically, Shawn needs this because he hasn't fought in [nine] months."
The exhibition will be streamed live on the Premier Boxing Champions Facebook page with Porter hosting a 30-minute live chat with fans following the fight.
"When I found out about March 12 not happening because of what happened to Keith, I tried to move forward to fight someone else," Shawn Porter said. "But given the level of that fight with Keith, there wasn't anything for me, really. So my dad and I decided to do this exhibition. I'm not getting paid. This is 100 percent for anybody out there who loves to see me compete and perform. Lanardo Tyner is a veteran who has fought almost everybody, and he'll provide good excitement. We won't be going through the motions. This is real."
This event will also feature a four-round amateur bout between Brandyn Lynch, Eddie Murphy's nephew, and Joey Alday.