Sports

Shawn Porter faces Kell Brook soon, but eyes Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Shawn Porter, Kell Brook box for welterweight belt Saturday at StubHub Center
With bout on Saturday, Shawn Porter looks ahead to Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Shawn Porter, Kell Brook box for welterweight belt Saturday at StubHub Center

'I want to keep fighting and earn my position,' welterweight champion Shawn Porter says

Floyd Mayweather Jr. was talking in the dismissive tone afforded the unbeaten king of boxing when asked recently about possible future opponents.

One after another Mayweather sneered, "Don't know him."

Then someone tossed out the name Shawn Porter. "Know him," Mayweather said.

Told of that incident, Porter this week said, "I like that story. I want to keep fighting and earn my position."

Porter, the International Boxing Federation welterweight champion from Akron, Ohio, knows what such recognition from Mayweather means: Keep winning, and you're in the running for a highly lucrative fight against him in 2015.

Porter (26-0-1, 15 knockouts) on Saturday night at StubHub Center in Carson will make the second defense of his belt against unbeaten British boxer Kell Brook (32-0, 22 KOs).

Showtime will televise the fight card that also includes Texas' Omar Figueroa (23-0-1, 17 KOs) defending his World Boxing Council lightweight belt against Mexico's Daniel Estrada (32-2-1, 24 KOs) and Anthony Dirrell (26-0-1, 22 KOs) versus Sakio Bika (32-5-2) for the WBC super-middleweight belt that they fought to a draw for in December.

The stakes are highest for Porter, 26, who last fought in the Southland in December 2012, brawling to a draw with veteran Coachella Valley fighter Julio Diaz in what Porter said was an epiphany. If he was going to be the champion he aspired to become, there could never again be any break from staying in shape between fights.

He's responded with four consecutive victories, avenging the Diaz loss, taking the IBF belt from Devon Alexander in December, then scoring a fourth-round technical knockout of Paulie Malignaggi in April.

Porter's dedication to pressing his opponent, hammering the body with hooks and finding openings to the head with a higher punch output has defined his recent showings. "I'm quick, fast, have good defense and I never rest," Porter said.

If he wins Saturday, Porter said he wants to fight again by December, perhaps against heavy-punching Keith Thurman, and be in line for Mayweather in May as long as Mayweather defeats Marcos Maidana on Sept. 13.

Brook, 28, is a more traditional boxer, and is expected to rely on his jab to keep Porter at bay while looking to deliver hard right hands to the champion, who's never been knocked down.

"I'm ready to do what's necessary to win this fight," Brook said. "Being able to adjust — to any fighter, no matter what pressure he can give me — I'm going to show I can do all that."

Brook, from Sheffield, England, has an eye on his own super-fight, hoping to capture the belt and defend it against his countryman Amir Khan back in England.

"This has been a dream of mine since I was a kid.… I'm passionate about being a world champion, believe me," Brook said. "My dad always told me, going from gymnasium to gymnasium as a kid, 'If you don't get hit, you'll go all the way.' "

Twitter: @latimespugmire

BOXING

Shawn Porter (26-0-1, 15 KOs) vs. Kell Brook (32-0, 22 KOs).

What: IBF welterweight title.

Where: StubHub Center, Carson, Saturday; tickets: $25-$150.

Television/Time: Showtime, 6 p.m.

Undercard: Sakio Bika vs. Anthony Dirrell, for WBC super-middleweight title; Omar Figueroa vs. Daniel Estrada, for WBC lightweight title.

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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