Shawn Porter: Terence Crawford is an emotional fighter, will be a problem for him when I disrupt his rhythms

Shawn Porter is just about set for his November 20 fight with Terence Crawford, which will headline an ESPN+ pay-per-view and have Crawford’s WBO welterweight title on the line.

Porter (31-3-1, 17 KO) wants to be clear that this fight is more than a “test” for Crawford (37-0, 28 KO), and that he feels he has the style to take advantage of what Crawford does in the ring.

On making the fight with Terence Crawford

“To be completely honest and candid with you, I had a conversation with someone — I won’t tell you who it was — but they were saying, ‘You need to go get that fight with Terence,’ and I said, ‘I don’t want to be the first guy he fights who people consider to be elite.’

“And the reason why is the worst is more than likely going to happen to him, and then everyone’s going to look at him like he’s not who he is. Terence Crawford is an elite boxer, he’s a great boxer. … I think everyone’s like, ‘Wow, we finally get to see him against one of the best.’ They’re not gonna get what they’re used to seeing from Terence Crawford.”

On why he’s so confident he’ll win

“I am different. Take a look at any of my fights, and you’ll see the versatility that I have, and he has not been in the ring with that, and I don’t think any of the other elite guys I’ve been in the ring with had seen anything like me before, and they never will. I’m one of a kind.”

“You say, ‘Why are you the guy to beat Terence Crawford? No one else has.’ I am rare. When you are rare and people aren’t used to seeing what you have and can present, it’s hard to adjust to on fight night. I think that my experiences on top of my skills and everything I have makes me The Guy.”

On what he sees in Crawford that he can use to win

“I’m gonna say this and I don’t think it’s even going to make a difference. He’s got this rhythm about himself and he’s got, of course, a confidence about himself. And that’s kind of, like, where I live. I live in disrupting your rhythm, I live in figuring out what makes you uncomfortable. Again, it’s hard to adjust to on fight night. When I look and I see the way he likes to move, and I don’t allow him to move that way and disrupt things — he’s someone who’s an emotional fighter. He’s gonna get uncomfortable and it’s gonna start to fester mentally and emotionally, and it’s gonna show up in the fight.”

On his respect for Crawford as a fighter

“When I look across the ring, I’m seeing the next best thing to myself, to be honest with you. You can talk about his skills, speed, power, his ability to adjust, his ability to box, to counter-punch, to understand what to do and when to do it — I mean, you know, I’m looking at a mirror image of myself.”

On believing he’s still underrated by some

“Somehow, some way, through the 37 fights I’ve had, people still overlook some things, some of the qualities that I have. The avid boxing fans, they’re, like, ‘Man, Shawn can win this fight, Shawn does this, Shawn does that,’ and they’ve got a whole list of things I can do. But then there’s a bigger group of people who are just, like, ‘Well, this is a test for Terence Crawford, we’re going to see what Terence really has.’

“I don’t take it personal, but at the same time, you gotta understand that this is more than a test for Terence Crawford. His livelihood is on the line, everything he’s about is on the line. It’s more than a test. … After this fight, Shawn Porter is not gonna be looked at anymore as that ‘test’ for fighters or a specific fighter.”

On handling Crawford’s habit of switching stances

“A part of my foundation — I don’t know why my dad created this rule, but my dad had a rule: When guys switch, you jump on them. You don’t allow a guy to switch and adjust to now fighting from the other stance. With that being a rule of boxing for me from such a young age, that’s part of my foundation. So when you ask me, ‘Man, how are you gonna handle when he switches,’ well I’ve been handling that literally my whole life. I’m 34, I’ve been doing this since I was six years old. I’ve been competing since I was eight. That’s a part of who I am.”

“I’m prepared for everything that Terence Crawford is gonna bring on fight night. Easier said than done, but my record speaks for itself. I always answer the bell, I’m always ready, and there’s a reason my name is ‘Showtime,’ I show up on showtime.”

“Terence Crawford has never been in the ring with a fighter as confident, as poised, and as excited as I’m gonna be on fight night, and that is a problem for him.”

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