Austin Trout breaks down Canelo-Charlo from his view in the opposite corner
Former WBA junior middleweight titlist Austin Trout is the only man to have shared a ring with both Canelo Alvarez and Jermell Charlo and is in a good position to assess each man ahead of their meeting for the Mexican’s undisputed super middleweight championship this Saturday at the T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas.
Trout was dropped and lost a 12-round unanimous decision to Canelo in a WBA/WBC 154-pound unification in April 2013. He got off the canvas twice but was edged out by Jermell Charlo in June 2018.
“I think it’s a good fight, it’s going to be a harder fight than people are giving Jermell credit for,” Trout told The Ring. “I think [people are] looking at where [each fighter] has campaigned for the majority of the last couple of years and are assuming one is bigger than the other. I think that assumption is wrong. I think Jermell is probably naturally bigger than Canelo.”
The veteran, who hopes to continue his own career later this year, believes that for Canelo to win he needs to be the best version of himself.
“It’s not really [that] Canelo has to do anything different,” he said. “If Canelo does what Canelo does, I’m going to assume he wins the fight. I don’t think he’s going to change his style for Charlo, [though] he may box a little more.”
Trout feels that for the outcome to favor Charlo he has to show he can compete with an elite fighter such as the Mexican superstar.
“It’s really about what is Charlo going to do,” he explained. “It’s really if Charlo can handle the pressure and if Charlo can get Canelo’s respect with his power and his jab, that’s going to be the deciding factor, if it’s going to be a good night for Canelo or not.”
The Texan will be in the biggest fight of his life and will be fighting for the first time in 16-months, hardly the best preparation.
“Hopefully ring rust isn’t bothering him but I think he’ll be fit for this fight,” he said but concedes it’s certainly far from ideal. “I hope not but it’s hard not too. Layoffs, I feel, plagued my career. Hopefully Charlo has been in the gym since last May that helps fight ring rust but even so it’s definitely going to be a bit of an issue, I hope not but I don’t see how it couldn’t be.”
Charlo will also be jumping two divisions, from 154-pounds to 168-pounds, but Trout doesn’t feel that the two prizefighters are really that far apart in terms of size.
“I don’t know how [Charlo] has been making weight at 154 anyway,” he explained. “I think he’ll be filling in real nice, he might feel better than he’s ever been.
“I don’t know if it’ll be a shock to Canelo,” he said. “I think Canelo knows he not naturally a super middleweight. He’s got balls and I don’t think he likes making weight! Which I understand.
“I think he’s had to approach a lot of these super middleweight and light heavyweight fights as, ‘I’m not going to be the stronger guy.’ [Though] he has seemed the stronger guy, except for [Dmitry] Bivol. I think it would be a mistake for him to approach this fight as the stronger man.”
Trout broke down each fighter in 10 key categories:
Charlo: “Charlo has the best jab in my opinion. When he uses it, it’s a good jab. Canelo has a good jab and uses it more constantly. Charlo is on and off, when he uses it, it’s a helluva jab.”
Canelo: “I’d say Canelo has the better defenses, he’s a little bit harder to land clean shots on.”
Charlo: “At the time when I fought Canelo, he didn’t have good footwork. So, I would say Charlo but Canelo’s footwork has definitely improved since I fought him.”
“They’re different. Charlo has combination punching and Canelo has good explosive one-two shots. That’s a toss up, it’s 50/50 for me.”
Canelo: I’d have to say Canelo but Charlo has got better since I fought him. [Canelo] knows when to pick his shots and he picks his shots well. It’s not even about him being able to adapt to pick his shots, he sets those shots up. He’s probably been working a hook and roll for a long time but he’s going to set that up, which he’s working on as well. That’s probably one of the best things I can say about him. He seems like a real student of the sport. He seems like after each fight he goes and breaks it down and watches and figures out what he did wrong just to get better. Not too many people do that. He stays in the gym; he never really gets out of shape and all of those things work in his favor.”
Charlo: “It was Charlo who was the stronger fighter. I was kind of walking Canelo down in our fight. With Charlo that was not the case, I was on the backfoot. I had a lot of great success against Charlo as well as Canelo but definitely boxing on the backfoot.”
Canelo: “They both have good chins. Canelo probably has the better chin, he took some of Triple G’s shots and he didn’t even blink, so I guess I have to go with Canelo just off of that.”
Charlo: “I’m going to have to go with Charlo, he dropped me twice. Canelo dropped me once. I felt that [Charlo] power from jump.”
Canelo: “They’re both good technically. If I had to choose one, I’d choose Canelo.”
Charlo: “Overall career wise, you’ve got to give it to Canelo but overall where they are in their careers right now, I’m going to say Charlo. It’s Charlo’s time to be that guy. If he had more activity I feel this wouldn’t even be a question. I think right now Charlo is superior, we’ll see, it’s why it’s a good fight.”
When all is said and done, Trout believes Charlo will pull off the upset.
“People say it’s a cherry pick but if it was Jermall like they were asking, that in my opinion would have been a cherry pick,” he explained. “Jermall has not looked good in his past few fights and his past few fights were a few years ago. I’m glad they’re doing Jermell.
“I think Mell is hungry he loves this game. It’s his time and sharing a ring with both, Jermell was the stronger fighter, so there goes that advantage that people think Canelo has. Jermell was the bigger fighter, there goes that other advantage people think Canelo has and I think speed wise they match and skill they match but with Jermell being the bigger, stronger guy I think that’ll be the difference.”
Canelo-Charlo, plus undercard bouts, will be broadcast on Showtime Pay-Per-View at 8:00 p.m. ET/ 5:00 p.m. PT.
Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected].