Wednesday, March 22, 2023  |


Austin Trout: ‘I want to be champion again’


Blood and guts is top of the agenda for many fight fans but Austin Trout has absolutely no interest in providing it. The former WBA junior middleweight titleholder is a crafty southpaw who relies on speed and skill to notch up victories and he sees nothing valiant about hanging his chin out to dry.

That philosophy, however, has not prevented the New Mexico native from taking on the very best at 154 pounds. Currently ranked No. 6 by THE RING, Trout has already faced the top four junior middleweights on the planet in competitive matchups: Canelo Alvarez, Jermall Charlo, Erislandy Lara and Miguel Cotto.

He came of age when he soundly outpointed Cotto in December 2012 but would suffer unanimous decision defeats to the rest. His most recent outing, in May of last year, was the loss to IBF junior middleweight titleholder Jermall Charlo, who is fast becoming the man to look out for at 154 pounds.

“It was an honor to share the ring with Jermall and I’m looking for that rematch,” said Trout when interviewed by “I know I’m better than I was that night and I just need the opportunity to prove it.

“There’s always room for improvement. I gave one hell of an effort and in my mind I put enough rounds in the bag to get the win. The fight could have gone either way but it wasn’t going to go my way. History shows that I have to work harder to do as good as the rest and I’m built for that.”

Despite mixing with the best, Trout has not been fighting often enough. In the ring he can be hard to find but he also has the habit of pulling disappearing acts outside of it. It’s been eight months since the Charlo bout but Trout insists that he is not to blame and vows to be more active in this comeback.

“I’ve always wanted to fight three or four times a year but it just hasn’t worked out that way,” Trout said with a sigh. “Honestly, the fans haven’t seen the best of Austin Trout because I’ve only been in the public eye since 2012 (Cotto victory) and I’ve averaged two fights a year since then.

“I’ll be staying at 154 pounds because I think there are a lot of good fights to be made. I don’t want to be half-stepping (in terms of opponents) but I want to stay busy. If the right fight isn’t available, I’d rather be in the ring and active instead of waiting. I understand that I need to fight my way back but that’s nothing knew and I just need the opportunity.”

Trout (30-3, 17 KOs) revealed that he will be looking to steadily climb the rankings over the course of two or three fights. He acknowledged that a defeat and time off has dropped him several rungs down the food chain but cringed when reminded that Cotto, who is coming off a points defeat to Alvarez, will return from a 15 month lay-off to face James Kirkland in a pay-per-view event on February 25.

“That would have been a good matchup on regular HBO but as a pay-per-view event there’s nothing to sell,” stated Trout after releasing a well-timed yawn. “There’s no history and there’s no story. Cotto is coming off a competitive loss to Canelo, whereas Kirkland was destroyed (by Canelo).

“Honestly, I don’t like the matchup and my rematch with Cotto would have been a lot bigger. I’m not even sure that would have been pay-per-view but it would have been a lot more deserving than Cotto-Kirkland. A lot of people have told me they would rather see Cotto and myself again and they have no interest in Cotto-Kirkland.”

There was a moment of levity when it came to Cotto rematch talk. In their fight three judges scored a combined 36 rounds and Cotto won seven of them. Based on those stats and the fact that the legendary Puerto Rican is now 36 years of age with several miles on the clock, it’s doubtful that Team Cotto will allow the pair to be in the same zip code, far less the same ring.

Experienced enough in this game to realize that, Trout will target the 154-pound titleholders once he regains his groove.

“I want to be champion again,” he said sternly. “I lost my belt to Canelo and that loss has been haunting me ever since. I’m back in boxing to be a champion and defending a world title is my goal. I still have a lot left and I don’t take too much punishment. I’ve not been in many wars and I’ll last longer than most.

“I also feel that 160 pounds is in my future but I can make 154 pounds comfortably at the moment. I would move up to middleweight right now providing it’s the right fight. A rematch with (Jermall) Charlo would be great and that’s a fight I would take in a heartbeat.”



Tom Gray is a UK Correspondent/ Editor for and a member of THE RING ratings panel. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing


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