Standing in the middle of the ring with SHOWTIME lead inquisitor and HOF worthy Jim Gray, former WBC welterweight champion Danny “Swift” Garcia (34-1, 20KOs) grabbed the mic and went Guns N Roses on party crasher/former IBF welterweight champion “Showtime” Shawn Porter (28-2-1, 17KOs) a few days after Valentine's Day in Las Vegas. At the Dream Hotel in Manhattan on Monday, as expected, Garcia V Porter was officially unveiled for September 8 in colorful fashion.
With comfy newlywed and belt kidnapper Keith “One-Time” Thurman at ringside, DSG has no time to describe a massive 9th round detonation of Brandon Rios from Mandalay Bay in Vegas on February 17. Porter, looking like the pimp edition of a Back to the Future Leon Spinks, has decided to Cleveland Brown the ring and quasi tackle a bamboozled Garcia. What ensued was a flag on the play and a 10-8 round for Swift, who commenced to insult, threaten and dismiss Porter, culminating in the broadcasts' classic last audio clip: “It's ‘The Danny Garcia Show', get the f*ck outta here!”
Gray, picking up right where he left off on Monday, decided what happened in Vegas was absolutely not going to stay there. No one knows how to stir up and chef beef better than Grey, as Garcia, sporting what appeared to be a Picasso painting with ice, grabbed the mic and started going in on Porter again. Gray, responding to his network's desire to control the proceedings, reached out to mic check Swift for going PG-13 on Showtime. Same network that brought us the XXX-rated Floyd Mayweather V Conor McGregor 3-city ridiculousness for nothing but divided “Money” and PPV conquer, rubs sanitizer on a hotly contested match-up for the WBC welterweight championship.
There's nothing contrived about DSG V Showtime, which features two former world champions at 147 in their absolute prime. Garcia lost his WBC strap in a terse, slow burning split decision opinion at Barclays in March 2017; Porter dropped a split decision to Thurman no wider than dental floss in June 2016, before losing his IBF belt by UD to Kell Brook in August 2014.
Ever since PBC/SHOWTIME showcased it's fighters in a gaudy NYC presentation as if cars for potential suitors on a showroom floor, the network control freaks have gone OCD. I did a hot interview with Thurman for NY Fights in January, just ahead of Errol Spence Jr V Lamont Peterson at Barclays. Some of the content proved useful for Spence on the podium after bludgeoning Peterson, as ESJ challenged Thurman to a fight before the end of 2018. Alternative media sites and hardcore fans went wild with YouTube video on Spence V Thurman, but that fight wasn't in the plans of network executives. Soon after, Kevin Iole from Yahoo Sports! did an interview with Thurman debunking a very real conversation with Thurman.
Porter has had a bone to pick with Garcia for years, as the underlying tension between their colorful trainers/fathers is automatic box office. The expletive laden drama between fallen Angel Garcia and “Ponytail” resulted in a ratings bonanza for CBS, following the hugely successful storyline between Thurman and Porter– which featured more than a little mic time for the loquacious Kenny Porter.
Not allowing Angel Garcia or Kenny Porter to speak, while carefully guarding the free speech of DSG and Showtime in front of an assembled mix of independent and mainstream media making their own sacrifices to attend – in their own silence – was disrespectful. The fight (an extremely difficult one for both men) will speak for itself, but the network, whether the respectable Brian Custer or Gray, didn't need to silence a loud affair the streets see as lit.
Up Next… DSG V SHOWTIME [Vol.II]: Daddy's Boys