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Family motivated Austin Trout ready for second phase of boxing and life

07
Sep

Pay close attention Tuesday night to former junior middleweight titleholder Austin Trout when he makes his walk to the ring at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles. Focus primarily on his eyes and you will notice a difference.

The man who once wore the WBA belt around his waist has a new set of priorities when it comes to boxing. And it is very noticeable. No longer solely motivated to hang on to a world title or regain one — after a closely contested loss to Canelo Alvarez. Trout will enter the arena to face Joey ‘Twinkle Fingers’ Hernandez in the Premier Boxing Champions main event [Fox Sports 1 at 9 p.m. ET] burden-free.

No longer carrying the responsibility of proving he’s worthy of being ranked among the top 154-pound fighters, no longer carrying the weight of having to dominate every opponent to earn a victory. Trout (29-2-0, 16 knockouts) has rid himself of such pressures.

Winning will always be a motivating factor, but it is a distant second to being a good father and husband. While best known as a championship-caliber fighter, Trout describes himself first as a family man.

“I love being a father and husband, big time,” Trout told RingTV.com. My 8-year-old son, Elijah, is playing football, my youngest daughter, Charlotte [5], is doing cheerleading and gymnastics and my oldest daughter, [13-year-old] Kaira, plays basketball.”

When Trout speaks of his wife and three children there is a sparkle in eyes, excitement in his voice. He still envisions becoming a champion again, but it’s not the be-all, end-all, as it was when he began his professional career 10 years ago.

Trout, 29, was a kid then, a novice in the sport — talent- and business-wise. Experience has a way of changing us all. And these day Trout is a highly experienced pro fighter. Boxing continues to play a major role, but he knows it won’t last forever, so he’s preparing for life after his final punch is thrown. The ex-titleholder is a pursuing a business-management degree. He’s also added boxing analyst to his list of accomplishments.

Trout made his debut as an analyst Aug. 2 on Bounce TV, calling the WBA bantamweight title bout between champion Juan Carlos Payano and Rau’shee Warren.

“I’m far from being done as a boxer,” said Trout, who makes his second Bounce appearance Sept. 18. “I have a lot of fight left in me, but I can’t do this forever. However, I can talk about boxing forever.”

While caring for his family and life after pro boxing, Trout remains committed to the task at hand — chalking up win No. 30 with an impressive outing against Hernandez [24-3-1, 14 KOs]. Having been in the ring against the likes of Alvarez, Miguel Cotto and Erislandy Lara, it might seem that Trout would be motivated for Hernandez. But that is far from the case.

If Trout needed a reason to get hyped for this fight, Hernandez — intentionally or not — provided it.

“As always, I’ve worked hard for this fight, but even if I didn’t I’m not losing to a guy named ‘Twinkle Fingers.’ If he’s going to have any chance of beating me, any chance in hell, he’s going to have to change his name.

“He’s been talking a lot on Twitter. ÔǪ He’s made a lot of improvements; he’s very efficient when he’s coming forward. But when pressured in the latter rounds, he tends to get on his bicycle. This shows me that he has heart issues.”

Aside from Hernandez having a funny monicker, Trout’s excitement going into this fight is enhanced by being in the feature bout of Fox Sports 1’s boxing debut.

“This is a luxury,” Trout said. “It shows that Al Haymon really believes in me. This the first PBC fight on Fox and I’m blessed to be a part of it. I know both of us are going to give our all, which is the formula for a great fight. I’m not going to disappoint.”

Another sign that Trout really is confident of defeating Hernandez, he took a few minutes to offer his thoughts on the upcoming Cotto-Alvarez WBC middleweight title showdown Nov. 22. The HBO pay-per-view bout, promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, will be held in Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay Events Center.

“I think Canelo is going to win, but I’m rooting for Cotto,” Trout said. “I’m a big fan of to Cotto; I like Canelo too. But I’m rooting for Cotto because of what he’s done in the game. He does have the experience edge, but Canelo has youth and strength on his side.

“Cotto does bust up; he does have scar tissue but if his face holds up, I think Cotto will come on strong in the latter rounds. That’s what I’m hoping for.”

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