My trip to the Porter Boxing Gym in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA for Boxing News and Views.
Upon getting to the Porter gym in Las Vegas I was greeted warmly by everyone from Shawn’s father Mr.Kenny Porter, to the gym manager Mr. Wade to Shawn himself and everyone else at the facility.
Straight off the bat I got to have some enjoyable sweet science conversations with Premier Boxing Champions reporter Jordan Hardy, who also gave me the low down on what it’s like to live in Las Vegas – as my trip out here with Boxing News and Views might turn into me moving out here full-time next year for us (potentially).
She was quite a knowledgable reporter on the sport I must say. I’d encourage our readers to give her a follow on Twitter:
— Jordan Hardy (@PBCJordanHardy) December 16, 2016
After taking a look around the gym and after wiping some of the sweat off my forehead, business of the day (sparring) was almost about to commence in the brand new, state of the art ring.
You really got the feel of a professional fight gym when walking in – sparring partners with steely glazes, readying themselves mentally to go four rounds each with the former welterweight world champion Shawn Porter.
Shawn himself relaxed however, with a quiet focus about him before getting down to work with his two sparring partners for the day:
The sparring was high intensity, but also tactically you could tell Shawn was working on a number of things, carefully fine tuning his craft.
In between rounds I got a genuine insight into the level of strategy employed by coach and pupil, at a world class professional boxing level.
No stones are left unturned.
An almost unspoken bond existed between father and son, coach and fighter (Shawn Porter and Kenny Porter below in between rounds):
After the 8 round total sparring sessions ended and after Shawn had finished hitting the pads and body bags, I had an opportunity to have a chat with him one to one.
As our conversation started off and I told him I was from Ireland, Shawn told me that Ireland is actually one of the number one countries on his list to visit.
A warm welcome for a travelling Irishman in the US if there ever was one.
(Shawn Porter blasting away on the pads and bags with full intensity)
On his training methods at the moment, Shawn spoke to me about how he is now incorporating Yoga into his training and how it is actually improving his reach as a prizefighter:
“Yoga is kind of like the hot thing right now. A lot of us do it now. The studies have been phenomenal around the world the benefits that you get from it, flexibility obviously. But one thing about boxers, that most of us don’t even know, is that we have built up muscle that is tight just from doing this (motioning a punch). Everything we do in yoga, I’ve been told that the studies show that is loosens up the joints and helps extend the reach of the boxer. The night of the fight my reach is usually two to three inches longer than usual.”
I wanted to know what Shawn thought of the current booming UK boxing market at the moment, to which he said:
“It’s somewhere that I want to shine. I’ve seen it on TV. They are filling the stadiums and they roar man. That’s honestly one of my favorite things about boxing knowing that all eyes are on me and showing what I can do. You guys got a lot of stars over there right now. Obviously Carl Frampton has shined a little bit in the States now. You guys over in the UK are doing a great job.”
Speaking on the differences between US and UK boxing, I asked Shawn what things he thought American boxing could learn from the UK in terms of bringing more boxing fans to the arenas.
“I think we are doing a better job of it. One thing you have now that we didn’t have a decade ago is social media. I think that’s really bringing fans back to boxing and putting fans back into the seats. I think if you take the numbers the last few years outside of the Mayweather fights, they are kind of low, but over the last year or two they are starting to rise. I think things like we are doing here in the gym for social media, reality TV for boxers, being able to put boxers on TV when they are not just fighting. If you are not fighting people lose track of you.”
The Shawn Porter gym was an excellent first gym visit over here in Las Vegas all in all.
Stay tuned for more on Shawn Porter over the coming weeks and months ahead, as he stays ready for his next fight opponent announcement.