Shawn Porter determined not to squander opportunity vs. Terence Crawford

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Shawn Porter smiled when he was asked about the odds for his pay-per-view fight against Terence Crawford on Saturday night in Las Vegas.

Most outlets have Crawford as about a 6-1 or 7-1 favorite to successfully defend his welterweight title, which are wide numbers in boxing and perhaps surprising given Porter’s accomplishments during his 13-year professional career.

“Some people are going to win money, some are going to lose money. Bet wisely,” Porter told Boxing Junkie.

Porter (31-3-1, 17 KOs) has one of the deepest resumes in the division, with fights against Julio Diaz, Devon Alexander, Paulie Malignaggi, Kell Brook, Adrien Broner, Keith Thurman, Andre Berto, Danny Garcia, Yordenis Ugas, Danny Garcia and Errol Spence Jr.

And all three of his losses – against a prime Brook, Thurman and Spence — were close decisions, meaning he’s never been out of a fight.

His performance against Spence, in September 2019, was particularly impressive even though he ended up on the wrong end of a majority decision. He essentially fought a pound-for-pounder on even terms, which underscored his own reputation as an elite talent.

At the same time, he squandered an opportunity to score the biggest victory of his career. He doesn’t want the same thing to happen again on Saturday.

“I’ve been in a couple of Super Bowls. This is a Super Bowl fight. … I feel like if I don’t win this Super Bowl, it’ll be kind of a Dan Marino effect on my career,” said Porter, referring to the great Miami Dolphins quarterback who never won the big game.

“People will say he was really good, he fought all the best, but he couldn’t beat the best. I can’t allow that.”

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Porter acknowledges that it won’t be easy. He has always admired Crawford’s all-around ability. That hasn’t changed.

He simply believes that he has the tools to beat anyone, as he has demonstrated so many times. Even those who have beaten him have had to go through hell to do it, the result of his swarming, but intelligent fighting style.

“He’s as good as billed,” Porter said of Crawford. “I think I’m better than billed. I have everything it takes. That’s it. I think who I am as a boxer, who I am as a fighter and who I am as a person … those are the intangibles are what it takes to beat someone like Terence Crawford.

“… And it’s going to open up the door for more big fights to be had in the welterweight division.”

One question going into the fight centers on whether Porter might be spread too thin. He has embarked on a successful broadcasting career, which included the Olympics in Tokyo. And he has a weekly podcast.

Can a fighter juggle two careers and remain focused on what he needs to do in the ring, especially against someone as talented as Crawford?

Not a problem, Porter insists. He’s all in, just as he was when he fought Spence.

“This it for me,” he said. “I put everything else on the back burner. Everybody understands what I’m doing. I’m working for NBC. They said, ‘We’ll wait for you to get done.’ Fox is waiting for me to get this done, as well. The podcast, too.

“Nothing else matters to me but the win.”