Austin Trout: “I’m just trying to see what I can do at this new weight-class.”
By Ian Aldous
Despite having nothing left to prove to yone in boxing, Austin Trout (32-5-1) is standing at the advent of his last run at glory. The former 154-pound world champion fights this Saturday night against Juan Garcia in Mexico, live on FITE!
In his seventeenth year as a professional, Trout is just enjoying his boxing. With no intentions to hang up his gloves – a new weight-division beckons for the long-time super-welterweight campaigner.
“I’m just trying to see what I can do at this new weight-class and really give it one good last run,” the thirty-five year-old revealed. “I’m also building my brand outside of the ring and have some investments. I’ve never been afraid of hard work, so my long term goal for boxing is to win another world title.”
Most fighters move up through the weight-divisions in the twilight of their careers, however, such is Trout’s drive and desire, he’s willing and able to shed the seven pounds required to tread the waters at welterweight, and leave no stone unturned in his final quest for gold.
“I don’t want to know, ‘what if?’. I started looking at the landscape back in 2010 and I was a big 154-pounder, or considered (to be),” the tricky southpaw said. “But now, I’m the small guy in the weight-class, and even looking at the 147-pounders – they’re about my size. Looking at how big these 154-pounders get, if they can make 154, I can actually come down and make 147. It just takes a lot more discipline outside of camp, but I’ve been wanting to know, ‘what if?’.”
Way back in 2012, prior to his upset win over Miguel Cotto, despite being the defending champion, the Las Cruces, New Mexico native told me of how he prepared as though Cotto was the champion. It’s a mentality that he carries to this day. Juan Garcia will oppose an equally-driven Austin Trout, as Miguel Cotto did all those years ago in Madison Square Garden.
“I’m not going to take anybody lightly, but it is more of me showing up and doing what I do best. According to his style – my style should eat him up. We’re working on utilising those strengths and sharpening myself, and becoming more active. I hope I get a good name fight within the next couple of wins.”
That determination has survived throughout a career plagued with inactivity. To add to that, 2020 was a near-washout, but for a straightforward second-round stoppage win in February, as the Coronavirus pandemic gripped the globe. Fight dates are even harder to land at this time.
“I don’t know when I might get a chance because fighting is not necessarily essential in this world and time,” Trout pondered. “I want to stay busy and keep some kind of income coming, and stay sharp because it’s hard. I haven’t fought in a year due to Covid, but before then, it was about a year before I fought again. I’m just trying to avoid these layoffs.”
Despite the current restrictions strangling the world of professional sport, the former 154-pound king is desperate to keep busy for the remainder of his career. He’s now in full control of his destiny and wants to pave his own road to becoming a two-division world champion.
“When I had that comeback fight in February (2018) before I fought (Jermell) Charlo, I didn’t look good at all. I was like, ‘I’m not ready, I need to tighten up’. They were like, ‘take it or not’, so I had to take it. Being able to stay busy is going to be a blessing for this run. I’m beyond my ‘A’ game which I feel like I’ve not been able to be on because of my inactivity.
“A lot of the time I’ve spent having layoffs,” he says with more than a hint of disappointment. “After the Lara fight, I had four good fights in a matter of time, and then I got to fight Jermall Charlo. I felt like I did enough to win that fight but I didn’t get the decision. It was a close fight. It is what it is. After that I was off seventeen months before fighting Hurd. It was a good fight until my body gave up on me. After that, I fought in February then fought Jermell Charlo and after that I had a whole year layoff before (Terrell) Gausha. Within the last five years, I’ve had maybe four years of layoffs, (then) coming back and fighting a killer.”
Having shared a ring with the likes of Miguel Cotto, Canelo Alvarez, Erislandy Lara, Jermall Charlo, Jarrett Hurd, Jermell Charlo and Terrell Gausha; you’d think it may be obvious who Trout felt was his toughest opponent, but, not so.
“Honestly, Erislandy Lara (IBO super-welterweight world champion) is the hardest fighter I’ve ever had to fight. I’ve never wanted a fight to be over so bad. Physically, Jarrett Hurd (was a) monster in that ring. But, mentally and physically, Lara had an answer for everything that I brought. Especially at the time that I fought him, he was definitely in his prime.”
As well as readying for his final run at greatness, Trout and his team are facing a continuous and lengthy legal battle with the World Boxing Organization. It’s a war that he’s supremely confident of winning and it won’t lead to any distractions as he prepares for Saturday’s ten-round main-event, live on FITE!
“I’ve been working on going back to what made me, me,” he explained. “You’ll see a whole, complete package of infighting and boxing. It’s a precursor of what’s to come. The better the opponent – the better Austin Trout you get. We’re staying active and we’ll keep getting opponents that challenge me at 147.”
***On February 6th Promociones Paquime presents “Back to Action” World class boxing live on FITE!
The main event of the evening features the fight between the former world champion Austin “No Doubt” Trout against the mexican warrior Juan “Tortuga” Garcia.
Two ABF titles are on the line – Alexis Olmos faces off Craig Parker and Rene Palacios takes on Emmanuel Villamar in a ABF championship battle. Check the full fight card below:
Austin Trout vs Juan Armando García
Bryan Mosiños vs Jesús Lemus
Alexis Olmos vs Craig Parker
Rene Palacios vs Emmanuel Villamar
Carlos López vs Edgar Martinez
Brandon White vs Israel Flores
Savion Kent vs Salvador Martínez
***fight card subject to change