Former welterweight champion Shawn Porter earned praise for his now-famous victory over heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk.
Porter, a two-time ruler at 147 pounds in the professional ranks, fought at much higher weights in the amateurs.
Regularly scaling just over 165 pounds, Porter dropped weight gradually after making his debut at his amateur weight without the vest in 2008.
By 2010, Porter was scaling under 147 pounds in a remarkable transformation. In eight years as a boxer, Porter had lost almost 20 pounds.
Shawn Porter defeats Oleksandr Usyk
While campaigning in the amateurs, Porter won a series of tournaments and reached the final of many others. The Usyk fight came about four years into his tenure.
At The Harvey Boxing Club, the USA staged a tournament against their Ukrainian counterparts four years before the days of the World Series of Boxing.
Heading into the Porter contest, Usyk was on one of the worst runs of his amateur career. He’d lost three of his last four bouts, including the 2006 European final against Matt Korobov.
Usyk lost twice at the 2006 World Cup. One of those came again to Korobov. He did manage to defeat China’s Yuping Lei to travel to the USA clash on a win. It was another loss against Porters, but a close one. Porter edged the fight 23-20 on Zachary Young’s card in Illinois.
Usyk’s incredible amateur run
It took Usyk another year to begin the improvements that would eventually see him go a fantastic run from 2008 to 2012. The stretch culminated in gold at the 2012 Olympic Games in London after he missed out in 2008.
But that failure to make it past the Olympic preliminaries in 2008, when good friend Vasyl Lomacheko scored his first gold, must have stung Usyk badly.
He never lost a fight from 2009 and won everything in sight until claiming that career-defining gold.
Porter’s triumph over Usyk, which he took praise for on the Premier Boxing Champions broadcast of Deontay Wilder vs Robert Helenius, only seems to improve with age.
Trainer and analyst Joe Goosen seemed genuinely surprised when Porter’s exploits got noted.
Wilder vs Helenius
Wilder would knock Robert Helenius out cold in just 177 seconds in Brooklyn. After the fight, Porter spoke to ES News and gave his views on Wilder.
“Everybody using that word ‘different.’ But that’s [Deontay Wilder] the definition of different.
“I think it’s cool to see Deontay be able to get back like this in the way he did today. He looked different in the ring today.
“He looked calm, and he looked poised. Like he knew exactly what he wanted to do.
“Wilder looked very confident, and that’s what the game is all about. The mental part is more important than the physical. The physical usually handles itself,” he added.
Anyone who thinks Porter doesn’t know much about the heavyweight division should now think again.
After all, he beat the unified champion, number one in the division, and the current Pound for Pound king.