Shawn Porter announced his retirement from boxing following Saturday night’s loss to Terence Crawford, a fitting end to what has been a productive, exciting, and truly admirable career for the 34-year-old two-time welterweight titleholder.
I say it’s a fitting end because Porter (31-4-1, 17 KO) goes out in a top-tier fight, having given all he could to win yet again, making it difficult for a top welterweight yet again, and ultimately, yes, he was stopped for the first time in his career when his father/trainer Kenny Porter pulled him from the bout in round 10 following two knockdowns, which caused a whole other stir with Kenny’s post-fight comments.
At his post-fight press conference, Porter was asked what was left for him to do, and took the opportunity to make the announcement.
“I’m prepared to retire. I was prepared to announce my retirement tonight — win, lose, or draw,” Porter said. “Even if it was a draw we had a date they were telling us we were gonna have to do it again. I was not gonna do it again. And I am announcing my retirement right now.”
Porter had talked in the lead-up to this fight about considering retirement in 2020, following his bout with Sebastian Formella. He said that he only planned to return for a true big fight, which he found in Crawford (38-0, 29 KO).
“One of the guys I admire in this sport is Andre Ward, and I heard he had me up on the scorecard so shout-out to Andre Ward,” Porter continued with a smile. “I really admire him and everything that he’s been to this sport.
“We were in a room, about to (work) Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder 3 (as commentators). Someone comes up to him with all the talk about Ward (fighting) Canelo, and they said, ‘C’mon, champ, you know you got one more left in me.’ And (Ward) says, ‘Why can’t I just have one more left in me?’ The guy was confused. Meanwhile, I’m, like, ‘You said it all right there.’ Why do I have to continue? Why can’t I just ‘have one more in me’ and save it?
“A lot of times, the way this sport has gone, you guys expect us to fight for 15, 20 years. You say, ‘We hope he leaves this game with his health,’ but you never really know. I’ve been fortunate enough to be in some really big fights against some really good guys and always have my health at the end of the night. I knew that Errol Spence Jr was gonna be my last fight, I knew that in 2017, I think it was, when he won his championship. I said he would be the last one I fought, and after we fought, I felt like there was something else.
“Something else was Terence Crawford. I’ve given this sport a great deal, from the training to the competition, and more training. After you’ve fought everybody at the top, what more do you do? I’m not gonna be a gatekeeper. You look at the four losses and assume he could be a gatekeeper — nah, that’s not the life I want to live. I’ve never wanted to live the life of a fighter that fought into his 40s. We wanted to end this when I was 30. I’m 34, now’s the time.”
While this is boxing and you never really know if a retirement will stick, Porter does have a lot in the sport waiting for him as far as a post-ring career. He’s an analyst for Premier Boxing Champions shows and has done that job for some time, and he is well-liked in that role and clearly enjoys doing it, too. He may get the itch, but more than most, Shawn Porter seems like someone who’s actually prepared to walk away.
Bad Left Hook sends our best wishes to “Showtime” Shawn Porter, and we thank him for his contributions to the sport and to our entertainment as fans of it over his 13-year pro career. He was one of boxing’s truly admirable fighters, particularly in an era where so many top names are reluctant to take the true risk in a big fight that is not only big because it’s marketed well, but because both fighters come in with an actual chance of winning.