In the fight game, some guys just never seem to get the respect that they deserve. Austin Trout is one of the classic cases for this generation of fighters.
Aside from Manny Pacquiao, and when Antonio Margaritto fought with questionable hand wraps, nobody has given Miguel Cotto a more decisive loss than the one Trout put on him December 2012. Austin Trout won more rounds against Cotto than Floyd Mayweather did.
That victory briefly elevated Trout to near the very top of the junior middleweight division and put a lot of pressure on Saul Alvarez to step up and face him in a WBC/WBA unification bout. They faced off in April 2013 in a very competitive bout, although the scorecards were a bit heavily weighted in Canelo’s favor, which has become a regular occurance for the Mexican star. Stanley Christodoulou’s 118-109 for Alvarez was particularly outrageous. I had the fight even at six rounds a piece, with Canelo winning 114-113, on the strength of his Round 7 knockdown.
Austin Trout followed his loss the Canelo with another one to Erislandy Lara, in December 2013. Lara straight up pounded Trout. It was a terrible matchup for him and showed his limitations, as a very good fighter instead of a great one. Lara was like a better version of Trout: a more clever southpaw with better power.
But that loss seemed to entirely remove Trout from the picture at 154 pounds, which was ridiculous. Younger fighters without anything like his resume were given more screen time, better fights and higher rankings. Trout fought twice each in 2014 and 2015, every time against a fringe contender/journeyman level fighter.
On Saturday in Las Vegas, he finally gets the opportunity he has deserved, when he faces IBF champion Jermall Charlo.
Make no mistake, Charlo has the look of a true superstar. The six-foot tall Charlo is an outstanding athlete with a deep amateur career and very dangerous power. He crushed the tough Cornelius Bundrage, to win his belt.
While I tenatively see Charlo as the favorite in this bout, it’s a true test fo him and will give us a much better idea of how good he really is. Bundrage was a tough, experienced fighter, but Trout can flat-out box and is fighting to give his career an exciting second chapter.