There is nothing like a father’s love. It shows itself in every aspect of a child’s life, but none more so than in the father-trainer, child-athlete dynamic.
Over the weekend, Terence “Bud” Crawford successfully defended his WBO welterweight title against “Showtime” Shawn Porter. The fight ended in a tenth round stoppage by Kenny Porter, the father-trainer of “Showtime,” and for many it was controversial.
“That’s It! We’re Done”
The elder Porter stood atop the ring apron in his fighter’s corner and yelled out, “That’s It, We’re Done!” His son pounded his gloves on the canvas in disappointment, got up, and the towel was waved, signaling the end.
“I planned on stopping it going into the fight,” said Kenny Porter in the post-fight press conference. “Already knew this; if I saw what I saw, that was my plan. No knock against Shawn in terms of who he is, but as he mentioned earlier, when he thought Errol Spence would be the last fight.
“I’m his father; I knew that. So I knew everything that was going to happen with him before it happened. So this was something that was coming, not to be negative towards him, but because I’m his father, I could see these things.”
Errol Spence was ringside for Terence Crawford TKO10 Shawn Porter and walked straight out when Kenny Porter stopped the fight… pic.twitter.com/yeecLuwdUz
— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) November 21, 2021
A Father’s Love
The fans in the arena quickly booed as Kenny Porter explained that he saw something in training and the ring that made him want to save his son. Even current WBC and IBF welterweight champ Errol Spence, Jr. left the arena in disgust with what he felt was an early stoppage.
“I can see it in the training, I can see it in the movements, I can see it in the looking at the clock ‘how long I gotta be here today?’ I can see it, and I smile because someone said I was criticized. Please, criticize me.
— Kevin Thang (@Skip2MyJays) November 21, 2021
“Go right ahead; I love it. Because at the end of the day — this is where we at right now, we are at the end — tomorrow morning I will be able to look out of my window at his house right across the street from me. I will be able to play with my (grandsons), I will be able to walk my dog over to his house, I will be able to hug my daughter-in-law, and I will be able to love on my son.
“So we won before we got here. We were already winning. It’s just what’s expected in the ring, but in the biggest part of this picture, when this thing is over with, I’m still his father, he’s still my son, and we get to do that part. That’s a long life of that, there’s a whole bunch of that to go on. So I just saw things that told me that it was time.”
— Ray Jackson (@RayJack97010720) November 21, 2021
Polarization Of The Black Father
It harkens back to the role of the Black father-trainer and the polarization that ensues. Like “King” Richard Williams, who led his daughters Serena and Venus to become the best tennis players in the world, Kenny Porter has always been hard on his son.
He saw him through the amateur circuit, competing primarily as a middleweight, and together the two compiled a remarkable amateur record of 276–14. Then in 2007, Shawn Porter won the United States Golden Gloves Championship.
— caleb truax (@GoldenCalebT) November 21, 2021
He would turn pro the following year.
Watching his son take clean shots in the later rounds as Crawford began to catch Porter’s rhythm signaled not only a stop to the fight, but as we found out later, a cessation of his career.
Super Hero To Super Human
Although boxing wants Shawn Porter to be an indomitable superhero who can absorb Crawford’s bad intentions, he is still a human and Kenny Porter’s son.
“Absolutely, but when you say I’m hard on him, you gotta understand the reason for that is exactly what we dealt with tonight. I’m hard to the point of, ‘Man, I need you to protect yourself, I need you to go home to your wife, I need you to go home to your kids, I need you to be able to play ball with them. I need you to still play ball with me.’
— overrated (@KiladelphiaGOON) November 21, 2021
“This is just a small part of his life, and people would ask me some time ago he had over 270-something amateur fights, they’d say, ‘Why you fight him so much?’ He was winning. If he got hurt after fight No. 3 as an amateur, we wouldn’t continue with this. He was winning.
Rooted In Family
“He may have been right in this fight, right there with the guy, it was a surprise for me that he went down — and I’ve never seen him go like that — and then what happened after that, he got hurt again and I saw him at a deficit. He didn’t have everything it took to protect himself. And coming in here I wasn’t seeing that same thing going on, protecting himself. So the most important thing is I’m able to walk away from here and he’s safe.”
— Steve Kim (@SteveKim323) November 21, 2021
You don’t play boxing, and you cannot please everyone; even if the world expects it live on television. Kenny Porter proved that, and after a career rooted in family, Kenny Porter chose his son above all else.
Because that’s the Porter Way.
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