Finally after almost three month since his 12 round destruction over one of the welterweight division’s top fighters and winning his first world title, IBF Welterweight Champion Shawn Porter has the fight he has been waiting for. On April 19th at the D.C. Armory Shawn Porter will be making the first defense against the crafty veteran Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi. Although Malignaggi has come up short in past title fights, Porter understands fully the level of talent and competition he will be in with but it goes both ways. In 2009 both Porter and Malignaggi trained at the Wild Card gym together and although they never laced up the gloves together, Ken Porter, father and trainer of the newly crowned champ says “Paulie has known that Shawn has been one of the top guys for sometime since they trained together.”
Typically fighters take weeks to prepare for a title defense and know the entire time who they will be facing so they can prepare for that fight and that style. Porter has been in the gym since January and although he has just found out who he is fighting, he thinks it will work out perfectly as the training partners he has surrounded himself with are fast, strong and experienced and he says, “I’m excited it’s only a month away so I don’t have to wait”.
Malignaggi may not have the punching power that most fighters posses but one thing he does have is a sharp jab and more importantly he is experienced at fighting at the highest level. Porter knows that once the bell sounds Malignaggi is going to pull out his whole bag of tricks. “He’s going to come in and do what it takes to win the fight even if that means he’s going to fight dirty. He has fast hand speed and great movement and I am excited about this opportunity,” Porter explained.
Malignaggi for a while has been a major draw in the New York City area particularly at the Barclays center. Porter said that he was talked to about having the fight there but that the venue was reserved that night. This will be Porter’s first fight in D.C but both he and his father are excited about the opportunity to not only fight in such a great fight town but to get the exposure they need on the undercard of Hopkins vs. Shumenov. Porter’s father and trainer Ken stated, “This isn’t our first time on a Hopkins undercard. We first fought on the undercard of Hopkins vs. Dawson but once this is done, we want to move on to bigger and better things.”
Another storyline that has been floating around is that the winner of this fight will be ordered by the IBF to take on Sheffield England’s Kell Brook who fights this Saturday against Alvaro Robles. Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn released a statement saying that he was told by the IBF that they will enforce the mandatory once this fight is completed and that the Porter team has 90 days to fight. Although Shawn doesn’t have an issue fighting Brook this is the first time he is hearing about this. Porter stated, “We haven’t been told or contacted by the IBF or anyone that we will have to fight Brook. No paperwork was signed.” In fact not only is this new information to Shawn it’s new to Ken Porter as well. “No agreements have been made on my part and a week ago I didn’t even know who Eddie Hearn was. So no there have been no contracts or stipulations for this fight that we would have to face Brook after,” he claimed.