Wednesday, March 22, 2023  |



Austin Trout’s comeback begins with Daniel Dawson


Austin Trout sticks a jab to the mid-section of future hall of famer Miguel Cotto en route to a decision victory in December 2012. Photo by Naoki Fukuda


If a loss humbles a fighter, what does two losses in a row do?

It makes you start all over again, according to junior middleweight contender Austin Trout

Before suffering unanimous decision losses to Canelo Alvarez and Erislandy Lara in back-to-back bouts last year, Trout seemed to be on top of his weight class.

His confidence was at an all-time high, he was earning significant paydays, and he held a “world” title belt.

However, the setback to Alvarez caused Trout to lose his belt and some of his confidence and the one-sided loss Lara made some question whether he would ever be an elite fighter again.

After some time away from the ring, Trout is eager to recapture success. The talented southpaw takes that first step on Friday when he fights Daniel Dawson at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, Calif.

The 12-round bout will headline a Goossen Promotions card and an ESPN2 “Friday Night Fights” broadcast, the last telecast of the 2014 calendar, which begins at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT.

Trout says his losses haven’t lessened his love of the sport he has been involved with since he was 10 years old, but he admits that it forced him to reevaluate his career.

“I had to make adjustments to my game,” Trout told “At the same time, I realized that in my defeats I was forcing everything rather than letting the fight come to me. I’m a rhythm fighter and I felt tight in those two fights. I was forcing things when I shouldn’t have.

“I was never dominated or beat up in the loss to Alvarez. In the Lara fight, maybe I should have spent more time away for personal reasons. I didn’t feel comfortable.”

Dawson is an Australian veteran who is unbeaten in his last seven bouts. His win over Alex Bunema in his last fight last September has been his most significant victory to date. Other notable bouts in Dawson’s career were a 12-round decision loss to former middleweight titleholder Daniel Geale and a 10th-round technical knockout at the hands of then-junior middleweight beltholder Sergey Dzinziruk.

Early in his career, Trout fought in obscurity, rarely fighting in his hometown of Las Cruces, N.M., but still fighting regionally in his home state or neighboring Texas.

He made his television debut in July of 2008, winning a one-sided eight-round unanimous decision over Byron Tyson. Then it seemed he fell off the map, winning fights in Canada and Panama.

His first opportunity for a world title took place outside of the U.S. Trout won a one-sided unanimous decision over Rigoberto Alvarez in Alvarez’s hometown of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. He would fight twice more on television, a technical knockout over Frank LaPorte in November of 2011 and a unanimous decision win over Delvin Rodriguez seven months later.

But it was not until his dominant unanimous decision win over Miguel Cotto in December of 2012 where his career catapulted to elite status. A win over Cotto at Madison Square Garden was unheard of, but it gave Trout more credibility as a world title holder, something he never had when won the title against Canelo Alvarez’s older brother.

“The moment of winning a world title is memorable,” said Trout, who was once promoted by Greg Cohen. “That night, I had people (in Guadalajara) coming up to me to ask for my autograph or a picture. When I got back home, no one was there to greet me. The feeling I got of winning a world title was gone real quick.

“When I got home after the Cotto fight, people were there to greet me. The Cotto fight gave me that recognition that I never had. To beat someone like Cotto at Madison Square Garden was something else. It was bittersweet because I had already been a world champion for two years.”

That high of being on top of junior middleweight division came crashing down for Trout after the Alvarez fight. Trout’s stock sank significantly as he lost a wide decision to Lara, where he was even dropped in the fight.

Not only did the two losses humble Trout and make him realize what led him to greatness, but it also made him realize who his true friends were. The last year also made Trout realize how writers and fans can be more than critical, which could even affect the psyche of a fighter.

“Boxing (fans and reporters) can chew you up and spit you out,” he said. “I was able to see how people even questioned my heart. People would make comments if I was still good enough to fight. But I was able to lean on my family and friends, the ones who have been by my side.”

Trout acknowledges that he has a ways to go before he makes a serious run at a world title, but not only does he target a world title, he wants rematches against Alvarez and Lara.

His ultimate goal is to be considered one of the best in this era and he believes he will achieve that someday. But Dawson comes first.

“I want to be where Floyd Mayweather is at right now,” Trout said. “I still seek those rematches against Alvarez and Lara. I’m still looking for that opportunity to prove who I really am.”



Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. He also cover boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper,, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing