Photo: Will Fox
I opened up my conversation with Austin Trout (31-4, 17 KOs) asking him how he felt, mentally and emotionally about his fight versus Jermell Charlo on June 9. His responses were somewhat expected when he mentioned adjectives such as “confident” and “excited.” What he said next was a little, unexpected. Trout says destiny brought him to this moment, and his previous moments as well. Specifically, he explained how he was the unknown fighter, brought in to be a sacrificial lamb for Madison Square Garden’s superstar native son, Miguel Cotto, after his grueling loss to Floyd Mayweather. “Beating Cotto made me believe in destiny even more,” says Trout. “Here I am, an unknown fighter with a small promoter and I was able to walk away with the UD (unanimous decision). It usually doesn’t work out like that. I have no other way to explain my journey other than destiny.” Trout is right in a sense. Fighters with little to no name value being brought in to lose by any means possible, is unfortunately all too common in boxing. Fortunately for Trout, he fought exceptionally well and there was really no question about the outcome.
His strong belief in destiny, or God for that matter, wasn’t always as strong as it is today. Trout admits some of the hardships he endured in life, boxing included, were due to the fact that he wasn’t quite ready to completely walk the straight and narrow path. “I definitely strayed away, but instead of trying to get closer to God, I rationalized the wrong things I was doing,” said Trout. “I thank God he humbled me as quickly as he did. Otherwise I would be in the same place I was years ago.” Trout seems to have learned from his mistakes. Against Charlo he’ll be looking to learn from a different set of mistakes. Mistakes he made in the ring against his most recent opponent, current unified junior middleweight champion, Jarrett Hurd. When asked what happened versus Hurd, Trout quickly commented on Hurds size. “He’s a massive junior middleweight with a granite chin and I definitely had the wrong plan against him. I definitely should have fought a lot smarter. I took the early rounds easy but should have been smarter later.” To Hurd’s credit, he set a rapid pace and sustained it from beginning to end, something Trout had trouble adjusting to. Trout was quick to give Hurd full credit for his performance. “You see him against Lara, and you have to talk about his relentlessness. He was in Lara’s face all night and eventually wore him down. He’s a great fighter and is hard fight for anyone.”
In addition to learning to from his past mistakes, Trout also has a unique, yet familiar source of inspiration for his upcoming fight. He has sarcastically titled the card he will be fighting on as the “Charlo Show”, a title he also gave to the card he faced Jermall Charlo on, brother of Jermell. After fighting Jermall, Trout would vent in his post-fight interview to Jim Gray about how he felt he wasn’t given a fair shake. “It happened when I fought Jermall,” Trout told me. “They never gave me a chance the day the fight was signed. In the lead up all you were hearing about is how they (the Charlo brothers) have a chance to make history by both winning titles.”
When asked what edge he holds over Charlo, Trout quickly mentioned experience. “He doesn’t have a plan b. No second gear.” Trout quickly mentioned the struggles Charlo had against John Jackson. “Against John, he looked very ordinary and confused. He never changed anything. He kept doing the same things and fortunately it worked out for him. I’m not gonna left him off the hook.”
While Austin Trout is a true fan of boxing and watches every show he can, even providing ringside commentary on some shows, there’s one show that he doesn’t care much for; “The Charlo Show.” He’ll try his best to make sure it doesn’t air again. Or at least anytime soon.