Shawn Porter’s father and trainer Kenny has come under scrutiny after a controversial ending to his son’s WBO welterweight title fight.
Shawn came out aggressive and tested Terence Crawford right up until the 10th round when he was dropped twice, with the second blow seeing Kenny intervene.
The two-time champion clearly wanted to continue fighting but Kenny deemed it in his best interests to stop the fight then as Crawford claimed the biggest win of his career.
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The decision was backed by Shawn post-fight, revealing he had a shared understanding with his father when it came to throwing in the towel.
Shawn did though admit to being surprised by the call at the time.
“He’s doing what he knows he needs to do,” he said.
“I didn’t expect that. We’ve never had a conversation about that, we just kind of always had a silent understanding, but I didn’t expect it,” Porter said.
Boxing legend Andre Ward could sense at the time that Crawford clearly had the upper hand and was going in for the finish.
In that sense he backed the decision from Kenny but it was what Shawn’s father said in his post-fight interview that really divided opinion.
“He didn’t prepare like I wanted him to prepare, and that makes me say, ‘I don’t want him in that situation,’” Kenny said as the crowd booed him.
“He fought a great fighter, the guy’s super sharp, and he’s at a deficit. It’s like fighting this guy blindfolded when you’re at a deficit like that. I wasn’t going to let that happen to him.”
Top Rank boxing commentator Bernardo Osuna said he had spoken with Kenny prior to the fight about the prospect of throwing in the towel.
In that sense, it was not a complete shock but Osuna added that Kenny’s reasoning was.
“That was the most surprising thing I heard all night,” he said.
“I expected him to say: ‘Yes, he was hurt, I’m not allowing my son to be in danger against a guy in Terence Crawford who is ultimate finisher’. Those were the words I was expecting to hear from his father and trainer.
“I actually spoke with Kenny Porter before the fight and he said he would be willing to throw in the towel if necessary but I never expected it to happen. It wasn’t that bad. From what we’ve seen from Shawn Porter in his career, what he’s been able to come back from, his character, I didn’t expect this to be the way it ended.”
Going back to Ward, who praised Kenny for throwing in the towel at the time, he was still left questioning his post-fight comments.
“I commend Kenny Porter for throwing in the towel if that is how he felt,” he said.
“Often times we’re having a different discussion on these platforms talking about why a father allowed his fighter to take an enormous amount of punishment. I give him credit for that. “Once again, I could have done without the comments after the fight and again, Kenny Porter can do what he wants, that is his son and that is his team.
“But from the outside looking in, some things are meant to be spoken online and some are meant to be spoken offline. It just looks like you’re making excuses and taking away from Crawford. You’re then putting Shawn Porter out there after his biggest fight. I don’t understand the timing of it.”
Shawn and Kenny’s incredible bond had been extensively written about earlier in the week, with Kenny adding that while he raised Shawn at times it was the other way around.
For boxing great Timothy Bradley, that unbreakable relationship was at the heart of Kenny’s tough decision on Sunday.
“I just think he’s being honest with the fans and his son,” Bradley said.
“I don’t have a problem with what he did. It felt like he was inside the ring about to see his son knocked out and before it happened he stepped in and said enough already. He knew he wasn’t prepared because he knew that.
“I applaud Kenny because that is going to challenge his son mentally. This was the biggest fight of his career and you weren’t listening, you weren’t paying attention in camp.”