AS VEGAS (Aug. 6, 2014) – Unbeaten IBF Welterweight World Champion “ShowTime” Shawn Porter and undefeated contender Kell Brook held an open media workout at Barry’s Gym in Las Vegas on Wednesday as they reach the apex of preparation for next Saturday’s world championship showdown.
Porter (24-0-1, 15 KOs), of Akron, Ohio, will defend his 147-pound crown against Britain’s Brook (32-0, 22 KOs) in the main event of a SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING tripleheader Saturday, Aug. 16, live on SHOWTIME® (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) from the storied StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., home to some of the most memorable, non-stop action, exciting fights in recent boxing memory.
Joining Porter and Brook on Wednesday were former two-division world champion Jorge “Niño De Oro” Linares, Porter’s father and trainer, Kenneth Porter and Dominic Ingle, who trains Brook.
Linares (36-3, 23 KOs), of Barinas, Venezuela, will face Ira Terry (26-11, 16 KOs), of Memphis, Tenn., in the opening bout of the Aug. 16 SHOWTIME EXTREME telecast, live at 7 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).
Here’s what the participants and their trainers had to say during Wednesday’s workout:
SHAWN PORTER, IBF Welterweight World Champion
“I stay hungry because I know the feeling. I know what it takes to get to this position; I know the struggle along the way. It takes a lot of hard work and commitment.
“I’m not concerned about Kell Brook. Earlier today, people were asking me about his power, and I don’t have much to say about that other than that I haven’t seen anything on film that makes him different from anybody else.
“I believe that Brook will feel the added pressure in this being his first title fight. I handled it great. I welcomed it and loved it going into my first title fight. I’m not sure if he has the same personality to handle the extra pressure. I do know there will be a big crowd out there and I can’t wait. The West Coast is hot and the crowd gets loud. I’m ready.
“This fight will be pure entertainment for the crowd, and I love to entertain the crowd and my fans. I have played this fight in my head thousands of different times from going the distance to me knocking him out with one punch.
“I don’t know if he is the toughest opponent I’ve faced yet. His record (32-0) would say that he is, but if you take a look at the caliber of fighters that I’ve fought before him, I think the other guys are more challenging fighters, especially Devon Alexander, who has an awkward and complicated style. Not to call Kell Brook plain, but he has a more up-and-down style that will be easier to deal with.
“I’ve watched about six different fights on Brook, all the way back to as early as I could.
“There is no added pressure for me to win. The easy part is to make the adjustments and doing what I do. There is no added pressure. The fights in the past are in the past. For me it’s on to bigger and better things so this fight has to be bigger and better. We had an excellent training camp and I am in the best shape of my life. With that being said, I believe this fight will be more spectacular.”
KELL BROOK, Undefeated Welterweight Contender
“It’s been a long time coming for me, fighting for this world title, with all the postponements before. But this is the start for me, fighting at the elite level in America. People always have an opinion; I just want to compete with the best fighters in the world. I’m a fighter. I was born to compete.
“I think about fighting in somebody else’s backyard. It goes through my mind, of course. Many things go through my mind. But it’s boxing and there’s nothing I can do. It’s the way the situation is. I’ve traveled a long way to challenge for the world title, but I’m prepared for everything and anything.
“Me beating Porter and winning a world title opens up all of the doors and opportunities. I think a fight with Amir Khan would be a huge. Everybody would grab on to that fight.
“I’m excited. The future’s bright. But it’s all about performing next Saturday. I always rise to the occasion. The bigger the fight, the better the opponent, and the better I am. I think you’ll see the best of me –ever.
“I don’t think anybody at this level has massive weaknesses. Porter is a good fighter. He’s aggressive, he’s done what he’s done in the last couple fights and proven that he belongs where he’s at being world champion.
“The fact is, it’s going to be a very, very tough fight. I’m always trying to improve myself. You never stop learning. I’m still proving myself. I’m not studying him, as much as I’m studying me, that the best Kell Brook can beat Shawn Porter.
“Fans can expect fireworks from me next Saturday night. It’s a candidate for Fight of the Year. I believe you have two young, unbeaten fighters with punching ability power going at it. It’s been a long time coming. I’ve always wanted to be a champion and it’s now my time. My dream will come true. So believe you me, I’m going to leave it all in the ring that night.”
JORGE LINARES, Former WBC Featherweight & WBA Super Featherweight World Champion
“We’re only two weeks away, it’s basically here. So I’m excited and feeling great. I’m ready to fight. I’m right on weight. Even though this fight is not at my regular weight of 135 pounds, I feel very good.
“Whoever can’t make weight with the extreme heat here in Las Vegas, has a serious issue [laughs]. Thankfully, I feel very good.
“I don’t feel like I’m coming into the fight with any disadvantages. I always think positively, you have to jump in the ring with the thinking of a winner.
“I trust my training and my trainer and corner. We don’t have any negativity at all, we feel good and prepared.
“It’s obligatory; I have to win next week, without a doubt. There’s no thinking about losing, I have to get a good win next week and then look for that world title.
“Winning that world title is the only thing present on my mind. “
KENNETH PORTER, Shawn Porter’s Father and Trainer
“When you get to this level it’s necessary to have everything that he needs in one facility so that he doesn’t have to travel or worry about weather or be concerned that he has to go into a different city to train. We want to control all aspects of the environment where we train. There are certain types of bags that he likes that other people don’t. We want to make sure that he is completely comfortable.
“There are not many welterweights that stay within 12 pounds of their weight like Shawn does, and he has stayed at that weight year-round for two years now. He is very disciplined because this is his lifestyle. He doesn’t go on a diet, this is the way he lives. He doesn’t go to camp, this is the weight he is at year-round until he is done with boxing.
“[Julio] Diaz was a two-time world champion, Devon [Alexander] was a two-time world champion, Paulie [Malignaggi] was a two-time world champion in different weight classes. Brook doesn’t have the resume of those guys. Not that Shawn made it look easy against those guys, but he pretty much dominated those fights. This is another level stepping up for Brook and he has to climb up to us. Once he tries to get up to us, Shawn will kick him right back down, that’s just what he does.”
DOMINIC INGLE, Kell Brooks’ Trainer
“Coming to the U.S. doesn’t faze us. We’ve been in this situation before. Once you’re in that ring you could be anywhere in the world. It doesn’t matter where you are; when you’re in that ring you could be on the moon. Anything can happen.
“When Ricky Hatton boxed, he had some tough fights in America and won the title. And he put England back on the map in the welterweight division. And now Kell is here to do the same thing.
“No stone has been left unturned for this fight. Shawn Porter is a tough guy –he surprised a few people when he beat Devon Alexander –and we’re not taking him lightly. He’s a champion, we’re in the U.S. and we’re here to take the belt.
“I’ve known Kell since he was nine-years-old and the superstars like Naseem Hamed were rolling into the gym. That’s the motivation for Kell, that’s what Kell wants to do. He wants to be the next fighter from Sheffield and be a world champion like Naseem Hamed was. That’s a great motivation for Kell Brook and that’s what has gotten him through all the injuries. That’s what has kept him focused and that is what will make him win the fight on Aug. 16.
“It’s been a long camp for Kell, probably about twice as long as his usual camps. His usual camps are about eight to nine weeks and by the time he steps into the ring to fight Shawn Porter he will have been in training camp for 16 weeks.
“Kell trains hard, probably sometimes too hard for his own good and you’re going to pick up injuries. Sometimes these things happen in your career. Lots of fighters have injuries, but they usually happen well away from the fights and don’t interfere with the fights. Unfortunately for Kell, they happened coming into the fights and that has set him back a long, long time. He should have had this fight a year and a half ago. His time has finally come. He has his chance and that’s all he wants.
“Porter’s fight with Devon Alexander wasn’t a fantastic fight. There was a lot of hitting and holding and it wasn’t very clean. The referee let both fighters get away with a lot of dirty tactics that wouldn’t have been allowed in the UK. At the end of that fight neither fighter seemed convinced they won the fight – there was no celebration and Shawn Porter got the decision.
“It was a different fight altogether against [Paulie] Malignaggi. Shawn Porter closed him down very quickly and put his game plan on straight away. It was a good finish and he’s done very well his last two fights.”