When it was announced that Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia were fighting for the WBC welterweight title, it was also made known that Keith Thurman, who vacated the title, would get a shot to win back the title he never lost.
While Thurman is recovering from injury, Porter and Garcia will headline a major Barclays Center boxing card on Showtime on September 8 in one of the biggest welterweight fights of the year. Porter spoke to Fightful to talk about his upcoming fight against Garcia, but also talked about Thurman. In the exclusive interview with Fightful, Porter said he would not be on board for a rematch against Thurman, who has not fought since March 2017.
Porter previously fought Thurman in 2016 for the WBC title, but Thurman came out on top with a very narrow unanimous decision. Porter has since then won a title eliminator in 2017 to become the mandatory challenger for Thurman's title, but Thurman has been sidelined with elbow surgery since then. The 30-year-old Porter did say he would be willing to fight Thurman as a first WBC title defense if Thurman returns fairly soon and looks good in his comeback fight.
“Thurman is not the guy I want to face first unless between my fight and the end of the year, he has a comeback fight and we see him be spectacular. I think he’s taken too much time off. I think he’s probably gotten out of shape and obviously on top of injuries. I don’t want to be the first guy he comes back and fights. I’m a really tough guy to beat and he barely beat me the first time. I feel like there’s too many excuses to be made [if Thurman loses an immediate rematch]," Porter said.
That isn't to say Thurman would be the one making the potential aforementioned excuses, said Porter, but Thurman isn't the top fighter in the division. Although Thurman is still the WBA "super" welterweight champion and a rematch between him and Porter as the WBC champion would be a unification fight, Porter is looking at another champion: IBF titleholder Errol Spence Jr.
Spence, who has held the IBF title since last year, has made a name for himself in the welterweight division after scoring spectacular knockout wins in all three of his world title fights. Porter said he would love to have a unification fight against Spence.
"I’m not saying he’s going to be making excuses, I’m saying there’s too many things to put a finger at why Shawn Porter beat Keith Thurman in a rematch and for that reason, it’s the No. 1 reason why after I win this title [I wouldn’t fight Thurman as a first defense], unless he has a few fights back. Outside of him, I think Errol Spence Jr. is gonna be the guy. That’s the guy I’ll be aiming at after this fight.” Porter said.
The September 8 card from Brooklyn will be a stacked card that will also feature a WBC welterweight title eliminator between Yordenis Ugas and Cesar Barrionuevo and a heavyweight bout between Adam Kownacki and former champion Charles Martin.