Austin Trout’s debut on Showtime can be summarized by his ring moniker: No Doubt.
The WBA “regular” 154-pound beltholder unleashed a hellacious beating on an overmatched Frank LoPorto, notching a sixth-round TKO at 2:32 of the sixth round in the main event of ShoBox: The New Generation.
“He just kept coming. I felt like every punch that I landed, he was gonna go down, but he never did,” Trout told analyst Steve Farhood after the bout, which was staged in his birthplace of El Paso, Texas, at Cohen Stadium.
From the first round onward, Trout (24-0, 14 knockouts) was landing hard power shots in an uncharacteristic role as the aggressor. The Australian challenger could not mount any offense, in large part due to his horrific balance, and as such, was relegated to taking flush blows from his ultra-precise opponent.
By the third round, Loporto’s trainer Mick Hargeaves was unleashing expletive-laced tirades on his fighter and asking if he wanted the fight to be stopped. But for all his shortcomings, LoPorto (15-5-2, 7 KO) is a courageous combatant, and accepted a beating for the better part of three more rounds.
“I felt like I was gonna have to stay busy, because if Frank wasn’t going to go down, either the ref would stop it, or his corner was going to step in,” said Trout.
Surely, Trout was happy to have an easy gig near home for once, but he’s going to have to take the show on the road again real soon.
It’s another Australian, Anthony Mundine, whom Trout is most eager to get in the ring with. Although Mundine is maligned by North American critics, bouts involving hthe former rugby standout Down Under are among the most profitable in the sport.
Since Trout is the WBA’s “regular” champion at 154 pounds, Mundine was supposed to be his mandatory challenger this year. Negotiations fell through, and Mundine was instead given a chance to fight for a nonsensical interim WBA regular super welterweight title instead, against Rigoberto Alvarez. Making the situation more unusual is that Alvarez is the man Trout defeated for his title in the first place.
Nonetheless, Trout’s performance against weak opposition Friday night didn’t reveal anything new about his skill set, but didn’t lower his stock in any way either.
More than likely, he’ll go back to his routine of fighting in his opponents’ backyards, perhaps one in the farthest possible continent from home. But now he has the proven interest of at least one television outfit in the United States to document it.
In the ShoBox opener, middleweight prospect Michael Oliveira (16-0, 13 KO) fended off an early barrage from journeyman Xavier Tolliver (23-8, 15 KO) and went on to an otherwise dominant victoryÔÇöalbeit under strange circumstances.
Save for the first 30 seconds of the contest, when Tolliver bull rushed and forced the fight, Oliveira dominated his opponent and showed an impressive punch variety. “The Brazilian Rocky,” as he is known, didn’t have to endure Balboa-like punishment, but dished out enough of his own to make Tolliver’s corner question allowing him to fight the eighth and final round.
It didn’t matter, as in a bizarre sequence, Tolliver hit Oliveira during a break, and was seemingly disqualified by referee Robert Chapa. It was declared a TKO by ring announcer Thomas Treiber, but the result was later changed back to a DQ.
The official result is a moot point, as Oliveira was en route to a victory–most likely by stoppage–had the fight continued.
Follow Corey Erdman on Twitter @corey_erdman