In December 2012, Austin Trout faced Puerto Rico legend Miguel Cotto. The fight took place in Madison Square Garden–where Cotto has been the most popular boxing star of this century. Although Trout was undefeated at the time, he looked like an underdog on paper.
Instead he turned in the fight of his life. He beat Cotto and made it look easy. He took nine rounds on two cards and 11 on a third. The victory made him a top fighter at 154 pounds.
He immediately campaigned for a showdown with Canelo Alvarez. In April 2013, he got his wish–and took the first loss of his career. Still, despite two very dodgy cards, Trout fought Alvarez tough in that bout. I scored it six rounds each, with Canelo deserving the win by virtue of a Round 7 knockdown of Trout.
But since 2013, a new generation of boxing stars have pushed Trout down to the lower half of the super welterweight top 10. Erislandy Lara beat Trout decisively in December 2013. In May 2016 he fought a game fight but was simply over-matched by Jermall Charlo, losing via unanimous decision.
Trout has a chance to put himself back near the top of the division this weekend, although it won’t be easy. He’s scheduled to face undefeated Jarrett Hurd.
Hurd holds the IBF trinket at super welterweight–it’s a promotional tool at this point, not a true world champion. But while his belt might not be legitimate, Hurd definitely is. He is a big, powerful 154-pound fighter with power and outstanding boxing skill.
Hurd is 6’1″ and has a reach of 76.5″–he has substantial advantages over Trout in both departments. His past two wins have both been impressive–TKOs of second-tier contenders Ionut Dan Ion and Tony Harrison.
Trout is a definite step up in class from Ion and Harrison. But I will be very surprised if he can do much to slow the rampaging Hurd down.