Former two-time welterweight titleholder Shawn Porter may have three losses on his record, but the 32-year-old fighter is still considered a top contender in the welterweight division, and is set to return to action Saturday (8 pm ET) on FOX, headlining in an eliminator against unbeaten but largely untested German Sebastian Formella.
Porter (30-3-1, 17 KO) hasn’t fought since his Sept. 2019 loss to Errol Spence Jr, where he gave the younger Spence all he could handle over 12 hard-fought rounds. Porter says he feels rejuvenated after the pandemic lockdown of the sport, and expects to come back fresh and prove he’s still right in the mix at 147.
“By fighting an eliminator on Saturday, we believe we can be back in a world title fight the next time we’re in the ring,” said Porter. “For me, any improvement is about more than just hard work. Everyone knows that I work hard. Now it’s about knowing what to do and when to do it. I can’t have mental lapses and I just have to make sure that I’m staying composed inside the ring. I also have to make sure that I’m always listening to my corner and that I have the right state of mind when I’m in the ring.”
The 33-year-old Formella (22-0, 10 KO) is taking a big step up in competition here, and will be a sizable underdog in the fight. Porter says that having connections has helped him get a good read on the German coming in, which is always harder when there isn’t as much readily available footage as Porter might have if he were facing someone like Spence or Keith Thurman or Danny Garcia.
“The good thing about being Shawn Porter, is that people like me,” said Porter. “My connections have helped me find out information on Formella, including when he was coming to the U.S. It’s awesome to have people so willing to help me out. One person that I’ve been talking with has seen Formella train a number of times and their insight has been very helpful. I’ve also gotten seven or eight tapes of his fights. We’re looking to throw some wrenches into what we think his game plan will be and do what we need to in order to get the win.”
Porter’s main goal is to prove that the loss to Spence hasn’t taken him out of the conversation, and that he can still compete at the very highest level in one of boxing’s toughest divisions.
“The statement is that I’m still here,” said Porter. “I’ve had three losses, but I haven’t gone anywhere. I’m still here fighting at an elite level and that’s what they’re going to see in this fight.”