Terence Crawford has been warned by Shawn Porter that the tension in their rivalry will crank up when they go face to face for the first time ahead of their world title clash.
Crawford’s WBO welterweight champion and his status as one of the world’s pound-for-pound greats is at stake against Porter, his best opponent to date, from 2am on Sunday morning live on Sky Sports.
Porter, a former two-time champion, has always had a respectful relationship with the fiery Crawford but has warned to expect fireworks when their eyes lock at 10pm on Wednesday night at a press conference which will be live streamed across Sky Sports’ platforms.
Asked if there is animosity with Crawford, Porter told Sky Sports: “Not yet, not yet. It will change. As the days go on.
“I’m a fighter who is active, not reactive.
“Terence will have to react to me. I will not react to Terence.
“He’s a fighter so I’ve got a feeling that he will want to fight.
“I’ve got a feeling he will abandon some of the things he does well. And that’s what we want him to do.”
Crawford has built an immaculate 37-0 record with world titles in three divisions, including the undisputed super-lightweight championship, but Porter is his most dangerous rival so far.
“He has fought elite opponents but not in their prime, in the way you would consider me to be,” Porter said.
“He has dominated everyone put in front of him.
“We, the fighters, don’t do the business and don’t always get to decide who we fight.”
Porter’s father and trainer Kenny told Sky Sports: “I don’t compare the résumés and look at his as less than ours.
“I take confidence that, if we go up against a southpaw, we’ve already been in one of the best southpaws in Errol Spence Jr.
“I take confidence that, if Crawford is a big strong guy, we’ve already been in with a big, strong guy in Spence Jr.
“I take confidence that, if we go up against a power-puncher, we’ve already been in with Danny Garcia.
“I take confidence that, if we go up against a quick, powerful, smart puncher, we’ve already been in with Keith Thurman.”
As well as Spence Jr, Garcia and Thurman, Porter has also shared a ring with Yordenis Ugas, Kell Brook, Adrien Broner and Paulie Malignaggi.
He is aiming to capture a welterweight belt for the third time and said: “I compare this fight to my third Super Bowl. Commentators say that teams who go to multiple Super Bowls are more prepared for everything that leads up to the night. I do believe I’ve been to multiple Super Bowls, and won some. I’m more prepared for this than he is.”
He explained how he will approach fighting Crawford: “By not allowing him to have his way. No-one has been able to do that to him. But I specialise in that. That’s where my confidence comes from – an understanding that, time and time again, I get guys to be uncomfortable and to move the way I want them to move.”
Crawford has previously insisted that his inability to fight fellow champions such as Spence Jr or Manny Pacquiao is not down to his own willingness.
Porter said: “A select few individuals recently are willing to get in the ring with the best – I’m one of them.
“That separates me from a lot of guys.
“Guys are told: ‘You can fight Crawford or nobody’ and they say ‘nobody because he might take my 0 from me’.
“I wanted to fight Crawford in 2018 and I’m not getting the opportunity until 2021.”
Sky Sports Boxing schedule
November 20 – BOXXER in London
Richard Riakporhe vs Olanrewaju Durodola
Florian Marku vs Jorick Luisetto
Hosea Burton vs Dan Azeez – British light-heavyweight title
November 20 – Top Rank in Las Vegas
Terence Crawford vs Shawn Porter – WBO welterweight title
December 11 – BOXXER in Cardiff
Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Williams
Claressa Shields vs Ema Kozin
December 11 – Top Rank in New York
Vasiliy Lomachenko vs Richard Commey
Jared Anderson vs Oleksandr Teslenko
Nico Ali Walsh
December 17 – Top Rank in Montreal
Artur Beterbiev vs Marcus Browne – IBF and WBC light-heavyweight titles
February 26 – Top Rank in Glasgow
Josh Taylor vs Jack Catterall – undisputed super-lightweight title