Shawn Porter: Dressed to Kill
There are few prizefighters who have been nicknamed as accurately as “Showtime” Shawn Porter. With his punches in bunches style that challenges CompuBox to keep up with his fists, Porter has always shined brightly in main events. This Saturday, when Porter steps into the ring to fight for the WBC welterweight championship belt against Danny Garcia at Barclays Center, he plans to exceed your expectations. “You’re going to see fireworks,” Porter says.
Porter knows quite a bit about belts, as a former welterweight champion. He also knows his way around suits, ties and shoes as well. As Porter wraps his hands in Gleason’s Gym to prepare for his media workout, he shares a little secret about his life outside the ring.
I was never a name brand guy at all growing up,” he says. “Just because of the way I grew up (in Akron, Ohio), it wasn’t something we can afford. I wore hand-me-down suits from my brother. One day, I had a guy from Albany reach out to me about dressing me for my fight with Adrien Broner. We’ve been working together very closely ever since. From there, my dad said he needed his own line of suits! (laughs)
Porter’s dad, Kenny Porter, is also Shawn’s trainer and manager. When Shawn was at an early age, his father understood the importance of dressing like a champion. “Back when my boys turned 13 or 14 years old, Shawn made his first international team,” Kenny Porter says. “We had to make a trip to Japan for a tournament. Back during that 9/11 time, we had a lot of security changes at airports and such. I felt that in order for my boys to travel and be respected and not have the problems that other kids were having, they had to dress a certain way, talk a certain way, walk a certain way. So I made them wear suits and ties everywhere they had to travel. When Shawn turned pro, that evolved into our press conferences as well.”
When Shawn turned pro and move to Los Angeles with his father, they would have father/son suit days, where they would shop for new clothing. Kenny Porter liked the new looks so much, he wanted to start wearing suits every day. “After a while,” he says, “I got tired of waiting for other people. I decided to start making them myself.”
Shawn and Kenny Porter
From there, Kenny and Shawn created Suite Science, a line of custom-made men’s clothing aimed towards professional athletes. They have already started dressing other championship fighters such as Jermall and Jermell Charlo. “These are guys out in the world doing business and they can be hard to fit because of their athletic bodies,” Kenny Porter says. “Now, if an athlete lives in a different city, they can go into a local place to get measured up. From there, we’ll help them pick the colors, cuts and fabrics. Mostly, we want athletes to be able to come to us with their own ideas. That’s why all of the clothing is custom. For this fight, Shawn wanted a suit that was green and gold, the colors of the WBC championship belt.”
For Porter, the custom suits tie in perfectly to his Showtime persona. “When you’re a champion, you want to dress as such,” Shawn Porter says. “This clothing line was me wanting to do something that would resemble me as a person, something that people know me as now.
On Saturday, Porter wants to be known most as the champ. “I’m going to be dominant,” he says. “Keith Thurman has held this division hostage for a long time. On Saturday, I’m going to be a champion again. I’m coming for that WBC belt.”
Shawn Porter faces Danny Garcia for the WBC welterweight championship on Saturday, September 8 at 9 p.m. live on Showtime.