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Shawn Porter’s father explains decision to stop close Crawford fight in the 10th round: ‘Criticize me, I love it’

After making headlines with his blunt assessment of his son Shawn Porter’s performance against Terence Crawford, Kenny Porter expanded on his decision to call their fight in the 10th round.

Terence Crawford v Shawn Porter Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images

While UFC Vegas 43 at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, was light on passion and drama, across town inside Mandalay Bay Events Center you had Terence Crawford vs. Shawn Porter engaging in a gutsy battle between two of the best boxers at Welterweight.

Despite coming into the fight nearly even on many viewers’ scorecards (including our own), Porter’s father and coach Kenny waved off the fight in the tenth round after Crawford knocked down Porter twice in quick succession.

Crawford isn’t known for letting guys off the hook once he has them hurt, so it was probably a wise decision from Porter’s father. But, less wise was calling out his son bluntly for preparing poorly in front of a crowd that had just watched Shawn fight his heart out.

“He didn’t prepare like I wanted him to prepare, and that makes me say, ‘I don’t want him in that situation,’” Kenny said, leading the crowd to shower boos down upon him. “He fought a great fighter, the guy’s super sharp, and he’s at a deficit. It’s like fighting this guy blindfolded when you’re at a deficit like that. I wasn’t going to let that happen to him.”

In the Crawford vs. Porter post-fight press conference, Kenny started off just as abrasive, but managed to eventually express his feelings in a more heartwarming manner.

“There was no argument,” Kenny said when asked about the stoppage. “He was more within himself, mad at himself, not mad at what I was saying. Kind of stuck in this ‘Ugh’ as he went down. And he slammed his hands on the canvas and he’s pissed at himself, not me.”

“I planned on stopping it going into the fight. I already knew this,” he said, before adding “If I saw what I saw, that was my plan.”

Moments before at the press conference, Porter had declared his retirement ... something that was planned “win, lose or draw” coming into the fight. And while he kept that information secret from his father, Kenny said he knew.

“No knock against Shawn in terms of who he is, but as he mentioned earlier when he thought that Spence would be his last fight ... I’m his father, I knew that,” Porter Sr. said. “So I knew everything that was going to happen before it happened. So this was something that was coming. Not to be negative to wards him, but because I’m his father I can see these things. I can see it in his training. I can see it in his movements. I can see it in looking at the clock to see how long I gotta be here today. I can see it.”

“The most important thing, more important than anything else ... I smile because someone said I was criticized,” he continued. “Please, criticize me, go right ahead, I love it. Because at the end of the day, which this is where we’re at right now, we’re at the end. Tomorrow morning, I will be able to look out my window at his house right across the street. I will be able to play with my little g-men, my grandsons, I will be able to walk my dog over to his house, 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 the picture, when this thing is over with, I’m still his father, he’s still my son. And we get to do that part. There’s a long life of that, there’s a whole bunch of that to go on. So I just saw things that told me it was time.”

“I’m hard to the point of ‘Listen man, I need you to protect yourself.’” Kenny said when asked about his stern coaching style. “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. I’ve jumped out of airplanes with my son multiple times. I’ve raced cars with my son over 100 miles per hour, he beat me. I’ve rode camels in the Sahara with my son. I’ve gotta be able to continue doing these things. This is just a small part of his life.”

“And people would ask me some time ago, he had over 270 amateur fights, why I fought him so much?” Kenny concluded. “He was winning. If he got hurt in fight number 3 as an amateur, we wouldn’t have continued this. He was winning. He may have been right in this fight, right there with the guy. It was a surprise for me that he went down. I 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 he took to protect himself. And coming in here, I wasn’t seeing that same thing going on protecting himself. So the most important thing was that I was able to walk away from here and he’s safe.”

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