Boxing: austin trout

Lara vs. Trout: 'They both hate each other'

December, 3, 2013
With four title fights on the card, the Saturday slate at Barclays is the most packed fight yet at the arena, which offered boxing for the first time on Oct. 20, 2012. The vacant WBA junior middleweight faceoff between Erislandy Lara, a Cuban fighting out of Texas, and New Mexico's Austin Trout, features some pretty high stakes, according to Lara's trainer, Ronnie Shields, apart from that crown.

With Floyd Mayweather signaling that he'll be campaigning at 147 pounds, the 154 pound hood is ripe for a takeover. The winner of this Lara-Trout bout, Shields told me, is in the mix big-time to get a scrap with Canelo Alvarez, the Mexican phenom who impressed fight folk with the intensity of devotion his fans showed in his last two bouts, a win over Trout and a loss to Mayweather. "Both guys have to make a statement," Shields told me at a fighter workout for press held at Gleason's in DUMBO on Tuesday afternoon. "With Floyd going to welter, someone has to step up and face Canelo. A win might force that."

No surprise, Shields likes his guys' chances to get his hand raised. "Lara told me he wants to punish Trout," he said. "These guys don't like each other. Lara wants to knock him out, and nobody's ever done it." Shields said he'd like Lara to take away Trout's jab, and be busier than him.

"It'll be a good fight, a technical fight, but Lara will show some different things than we've seen before," he said. "He's a little more angry. They both hate each other."

Shields, who has worked with Pernell Whitaker and Evander Holyfield, said he doesn't worry that his guy loses composure in trying to remove Trout's head from his shoulders. With the immense experience gained fighting in the highly structured and competitive Cuban amateur system, he said, there's little to no danger Lara leaves himself open for a vicious counter because he gets overanxious in his quest for a conclusive stoppage in his favor.

Lara enters at 18-1-2 with 12 KOs. He hit the deck twice in his last outing, a TKO10 win over Alfredo Angulo on June 8. Trout enters at 26-1 (14 KOs).

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Trout-Canelo close for May 4?

January, 27, 2013
Boxrec says Austin Trout will fight Canelo Alvarez on May 4 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. That venue and date would be topped by Floyd Mayweather fighting the vaunted "TBD."

I called Trout's promoter, Greg Cohen, for confirmation. "I'd like to see it happen," Cohen said.

So, if it isn't a done deal, is it fair to say Trout is at the top of the list to fight Alvarez?

"Canelo's at the top of the list to fight Trout," Cohen redirected. "Canelo is at the top of the list and has been for two years since Austin beat his brother Rigoberto for the vacant WBA world light middleweight title."

Alvarez, a 22-year-old Mexican, holds the WBC 154-pound crown. He has a 41-0 record, and a fight with Trout would shut up doubters and semi-skeptics who believe his management hasn't stepped him up to the point where we can declare him the goods.

Trout (26-0, age 27) is a New Mexico resident who earned himself a ton of new fans, many of them Miguel Cotto rooters who grudgingly had to concede that he has pound-for-pound level skills, with his UD12 handling of Cotto on Dec. 1 at MSG.

And what of the listing on Boxrec?

"I can't speak for Boxrec, I can only speak for Team Trout," Cohen said. "It's one we want. Hopefully it gets done. I'll call us cautiously optimistic."

I asked Cohen if he cared to share any info on any other member of his stable. He paused and replied, "We'll leave it at Austin. I think it's going to be Austin's week."

Should Miguel Cotto retire?

December, 3, 2012
Miguel CottoEd Mulholland/US Presswire
About 40 minutes after he had been handled by Austin Trout at Madison Square Garden, Miguel Cotto addressed the media in a postfight media conference. His face looked like it had been run over by a tractor with poison-ivy studded tires.

The 32-year-old Cotto, who previously had gone 7-0 at MSG, saw his streak end Saturday night. Some said, based on his showing and his inability to handle the mobile and sturdy lefty Trout -- who is, by the way, a severely skilled pugilist whose talents and game plan emerged to the extent Saturday that some pundits will insert him in their pound-for-pound top-20 lists -- that it's time for Cotto to walk away.

A pro since 2001, Cotto (37-4, 30 KOs) has now lost two straight. Granted, those two losses came against unbeaten fighters Trout (26-0, 14 KOs) and Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Cotto has money in the bank and, according to a source, owns a bunch of gas stations in Puerto Rico, so we can presume that he likely has enough funds to retire on. He looked flat from the get-go at MSG, to my eye, and although I'm pretty certain he can handle the B-plus boxers of the world, I'm afraid he's too worn down to get it done against the top tier. He didn't sound like a man ready to exit the stage, though, after Saturday's fight. Unlike Ricky Hatton, who between the ring and the dressing room and the postfight media blitz decided to retire a week earlier, Cotto sounded like a man unwilling to concede. He protested that the scores -- 119-109, 117-110, 117-110 -- were too much in Trout's favor, and promised to mull his future in the coming weeks.

I asked Paul Malignaggi, who fought Cotto in 2006 and was ringside working Saturday's fight for Showtime, if he thinks Cotto should leave the sphere. "It's a personal decision," said Paulie, who just turned 32. "It's clear he loves his family very much, so he's going to have to take some time and think if it's worth it to be away from his family for such long periods of time if the reward won't be what it used to be. He's earned the right to make the decision himself, though, and that should be respected."

Indeed ... although fight fans and pundits aren't all simply being intrusive know-it-alls when they lobby for a boxer to retire. Much of the time, they respect the entertainment and joy that fighter has given them, and simply want him to exit the game without absorbing punishment that could impact him later. Cotto ate a not-trivial amount of clean, hard shots in losses to Antonio Margarito, Manny Pacquiao, Mayweather and Trout. People who care about him will ask why he should risk more head trauma if he's financially secure. I heard many Cotto rooters on the way out of MSG on Saturday night declare that they think it's time for their fighter to walk away for good.

Readers, do you think Cotto should retire? Give us your take in the comments section.

Trout pulls off unanimous upset vs. Cotto

December, 2, 2012
Austin Trout told us he'd have to knock out Miguel Cotto to ensure a win in the main event on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. Turns out he just needed to box smartly and use his mobility and superior athleticism to get the better of Cotto, now 7-1 at MSG.

The judges, all credit to them, didn't let Cotto's status in New York influence them; they scored it 119-109, 117-111, 117-111 for Trout, a New Mexico boxer who defended his WBA 154-pound crown.

A gig with Canelo Alvarez, the Mexican phenom, might have gone down the tubes for Cotto. He looked all of his 32 years, and we will wonder how much of that was due to Trout's solid game plan.

"Fighting a guy like Miguel Cotto is a dream come true for a guy like me," Trout said.

He said he had to show Cotto he was the bigger guy. He said he knew the rounds were close, but he believed he won them.

Trout landed 238 of 779 punches compared to 183 of 628 for Cotto.

Trout: 'I'm more New York than Cotto'

November, 30, 2012

Much has been made of Miguel Cotto's home court advantage over Austin Trout at Madison Square Garden. Cotto is 8-0 at the Garden and has said he sees the crowd, most of whom will be there to see him do his thing, as almost a second trainer and ace motivational coach.

Trout, though, takes issue with the "the Garden is Cotto's home" meme.

"I'm more New York than Cotto!" Trout told me. I asked him to explain. He told me his mom was born in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. His grandmother lives in Brooklyn still, and her dad lives in Harlem. "I also have mad cousins and aunts in New York," he said.

The WBA junior middleweight champ Trout also played another card, informing me that he is part Panamanian. "I'm (MLB Hall of Famer) Rod Carew's third cousin," he informed me. I joked that Cotto might not like it if some Roberto Duran-style Panamanian comes out in the ring at MSG.

The crowd, of course, would not mind at all. I expect Trout to box smartly using his reach and his southpaw stance to full affect. I don't expect to see much of that Trout-as-Duran sort of style.

See for yourself at MSG tomorrow -- first fight starts at 5:15 p.m. or so -- or on Showtime. The Main Event is scheduled for an 11 p.m. start. Follow NYFightBlog all night long, as well, that goes without saying.

Follow me on Twitter here!/Woodsy1069.

Malignaggi likes Cotto over Trout

November, 29, 2012
Paul Malignaggi likes the seasoned pro who has been successful on the big stage over the under-the-radar titlist at MSG on Saturday night. "Miguel Cotto's experience will win the fight," the just-turned-32-year-old WBA welterweight champion told NYFightBlog when asked for his assessment of the clash between Cotto and WBA junior middle champ Austin Tout. "Trout is hungry, though, and will have to fight that way because in these kind of fights digging deep is essential."

Malignaggi knows about "these kinds of fights." He took on Cotto at the Garden in 2006, and while he had a solid number of rooters there from the 'hood, the Bensonhurst contingent was drowned out by the NewYoricans who roar madly whenever Cotto so much as feints. Cotto gets lifted up by the fans at MSG and Trout will have to excel in other areas, because it will be Miguel's house on Saturday, and Cotto will be treating him like an unwelcome guest in the ring.

Cotto seems ultra-confident

November, 28, 2012
Miguel Cotto is a man who really doesn't ever edge out onto a limb -- but he went there in the last couple days, saying that on Saturday night, against Austin Trout, "we're going to see the best Miguel Cotto ever."

Yeah, that's saying something, considering he's 32 and is coming off a loss. But the loss was to the best in the biz, Floyd Mayweather, and Cotto gave a deeper hint why he feels re-energized in the fight game while sitting down with media at the end of the Wednesday news conference at Madison Square Garden. He said beating Antonio Margarito last December, at MSG, helped him get his head on straight.

How so? He had been "refusing to trust" himself after the 2008 loss to Margarito and cited his "attitude when I face a challenge." If I may be so bold as to read between the lines -- Cotto took a knee twice in Round 11 of his first fight with Margarito, and looked at his corner, as if to indicate he didn't want any more punishment. His trainer-uncle Evangelista hopped up onto the apron to signal surrender ... and that has stuck in Cotto's craw ever since. When he kicked Margarito's tail last December, and the docs determined after nine rounds that the Mexican shouldn't continue, Cotto basically swatted the ghosts of self doubt out of his head.

That he pressed Mayweather to the extent he did further emboldened him, and then there's a training tweak which I think has him extra amped about the Saturday scrap. Cotto's trainer, Pedro Diaz Benitez, told me that for the first time Cotto trained at high altitude, at Big Bear in California, and the trainer thinks his stamina will be a cut above where it's been.

Certaintly, Cotto seems confident; why wouldn't he be? He's 8-0 at MSG. "The people (the fans) there help me a lot," he explained. "They have me boxing when I need to box, and brawling when I need to brawl," he said, painting the MSG rooters as something like an extra trainer/motivator come fight night.

"No lefties have caused me problems, so I don't expect Austin will cause me problems." Nope ... Cotto didn't seem worried, in the least. I contrast that with what he told me before the Mayweather fight, that he was looking to do the best he could, before catching himself, and assuring me that he would beat Floyd.

Plenty of pundits are picking Trout to stay unbeaten and go to 26-0, but I like Cotto's strength and stamina and will and seasoning on such immense stages to push him to prevail on Saturday.

Readers, feel free to drop a prediction in the comment section, and read NYFightBlog for copious posts Saturday night.

Cake sends Cotto's trainer scurrying

November, 27, 2012
Never seen anything quite like this: At Miguel Cotto's open workout at Gleason's today, after Cotto engaged in some pad work with trainer Pedro Diaz, he went, sat in a corner, and Diaz draped a white towel over him.

For three minutes, Cotto sat under the towel, silent, as the gym activity hummed all around. I asked Diaz about this activity, and he indicated that Cotto does that throughout his workouts, and that it brings his pulse and heart rate down.

Basically, he takes meditation breaks during workouts. Hey, whatever works.

Things have been working out pretty good of late for Cotto, who seems to have found a cornerman he bonds totally with, and gets the best out of him. After he and his uncle Evangelista parted ways, with great acrimony, Cotto employed strength and conditioning coach Joe Santiago to oversee him. Then, the late Emanuel Steward worked with Cotto for two fights, wins over Yuri Foreman and Ricardo Mayorga.

Cotto then tapped Diaz, who came to the U.S. from Cuba in 1998, and they are 1-1 together, with a December 2011 rematch win over Antonio Margarito being followed by the UD loss to Floyd Mayweather in May.

I was just about to do a video interview with Diaz, when the trainer hoofed it out of Gleason's. What spooked him? A birthday cake; Cotto's mom was heading his way, and wanted the trainer to blow out the candles on his birthday.

How old is he? I couldn't say, I couldn't ask; Diaz jetted to a waiting SUV, and my queries about what Saturday foe Austin Trout brings to the table, and how many candles Diaz was going to blow out, went unanswered.

Sorry, FightBlog fans!

Trout: Only a KO will guarantee a win

November, 27, 2012
I wonder, a few days out from the Miguel Cotto-Austin Trout junior middleweight title fight which will unfold at Madison Square Garden, if New Mexico's Trout is too nice a guy to do the hard and nasty work which will be necessary to defeat Cotto, who is almost impregnable in that building.

I put that question to the 25-0 Trout in a phone chat Monday.

Austin, you said on a conference call that you picture yourself knocking out Cotto. On that call, you also said you asked Cotto for an autograph a little while back, that you've been a fan of his work. And, you thanked Cotto for the opportunity. Is it possible that you are just too damned nice for this business?

Trout chuckled. "Mike, in the ring I'm an a------!"

So, you'll be able to transition from nice to nasty to stay undefeated, and hand Cotto his first loss at MSG? (The Puerto Rican boxer is 7-0 at MSG, and has sold more tickets at the Garden than any other boxer in this millenium.)

"The a------ wasn't there for my last fight, against Delvin Rodriguez in June, but I learn from my mistakes," he said. "I was not satisfied with my performance. The a------ came out of me in fights not on television, in Panama and Mexico. I know I have to put lot of leather on him to make sure the judges know who won the fight."

Smart assessment. The 27 year-old southpaw Trout is heading to NYC -- he'll be in town by this evening -- with his eyes wide open. He will for sure have to be extra impressive in Cotto's second home, because the judges will be hearing high-decibel love from the fans when the 32-year-old Cotto so much as lands with a tepid jab.

"If I'm in a close fight, that means a loss for Trout," said the underdog, who holds the WBA 154-pound crown.

Trout may be "nice," but it looks to me like he's no fool: "If I want to guarantee a win, I have to knock Cotto out."

Cotto promises his best; Trout craves KO

November, 26, 2012
Miguel Cotto isn't prone to trash-talking, period, but the Puerto Rican pugilist is even less chatty when he nears fight time. The 32-year-old hitter offered up no incendiary blasts aimed toward Austin Trout, the 27-year-old New Mexican who holds the WBA junior middleweight title, on a Monday conference call to hype Saturday night's clash at Madison Square Garden.

Cotto told the media that he feels rejuvenated, strangely enough, following a loss. The fighter gave 35-year-old Floyd Mayweather all he could handle in Mayweather's last outing, in May, and in that UD loss, Cotto showed all that his skills are at or near peak level. "Sometimes you win when you lose," is how Cotto put it on the call. On Saturday, Cotto promised, "you will see the best Miguel Cotto ever."

If you aren't attending the bout, promoted by Cotto Promotions and Golden Boy, you can watch on Showtime.

Brooklyner Danny Jacobs, fresh off his Oct. 20 TKO1 win following a comeback from cancer at the Barclays Center, gloves up in a support bout. The undercard begins at around 5:15 p.m., for the record.

Several times, Cotto gave a shout-out to the terrific fans at MSG, who have regularly packed the place to see him, going back to 2005 (a KO9 win over Muhammad Abdullaev). He has fond recent memories of the building; it was at MSG last December he gave a holiday beatdown to Antonio Margarito, payback for the whacking Margarito gave Cotto in their 2008 scrap.

Cotto (37-3 with 30 KOs) has beaten Abdullaev, Paul Malignaggi, Zab Judah, Shane Mosley, Michael Jennings, Joshua Clottey and Margarito at MSG, and Trout didn't sounds like he's sensing he'll be added to that list.

Trout, a 25-0 fighter who hasn't fought anyone in Cotto's ballpark, admitted as much when he hopped on the call after Cotto was done. "Miguel Cotto is the best fighter I've faced," he said. But he told the media that he has daydreams about beating Cotto. Trout isn't known for having excessive pop, with 14 KOs to his credit. He will seek to quiet the pro-Cotto crowd, which has a tendency to cheer when their guy does anything, even use the spit bucket.

A win here, and he will no longer be one of the most anonymous belt-holders among the higher weight divisions in the game. A Trout win would be one of the top upsets of the year, but it is hard to imagine Cotto disappointing the masses.

But, the fight game is, after all, the theater of the unexpected, so we shall see.

Cotto-Trout set for MSG Dec. 1

September, 24, 2012
Miguel Cotto is unbeaten in nine fights in NYC since turning professional in 2001. On Saturday, Dec. 1, Cotto looks to extend the streak against Austin Trout, a slick and smart foe, at Madison Square Garden. The former four-time and three-division world champion wants to add to his belt collection Trout's WBA super welterweight crown.

"I am really excited to come back to my second home," said Cotto during a Monday afternoon press conference, held at El Musio del Barrio, the East Harlem Latino cultural center, which was open to the public. "Fighting at The Garden is always special for me and a true pleasure. There is something unique in the atmosphere and it means a lot to me every time I fight there because the energy of the fans gives me extra motivation. Austin Trout will be a challenge for me, but I will win my fifth world championship on December 1." Cotto, age 31, has a 37-3 record. He gave a solid account of himself in his last fight, on May 5 against Floyd Mayweather, a UD12 loss.

Trout, a 27-year-old lefty from New Mexico, doesn't seem over-burdened with expectations or pressure, not yet anyway. "Miguel Cotto needs no introduction," he said at the presser. "He's a true champion and one of the best fighters of the last 10 years, but I'm the present and future of the sport and this is just the showcase I need to prove to the world that I'm one of the best, pound-for-pound. I can't wait to fight in such a legendary place like Madison Square Garden; it's every fighter's dream."

We wonder if the 25-0 (14 KOs) Trout has the pop to dissuade Cotto's assaults, which figure to be persistent. Showtime will televise the scrap.

Cotto presser Monday open to public

September, 20, 2012
Hear ye, Miguel Cotto fans. And Austin Trout fans. ... The Monday presser to hype the Dec. 1 showdown between the Puerto Rican ace and slickster Austin Trout of New Mexico is open to the public. The four time, three division champ will battle for Trout's WBA junior middleweight crown. Fans can check out the pageantry at El Museo Del Barrio, 1230 Fifth Avenue, in NYC, at 11:30 AM ET.

Tickets are priced at $500, $300, $200, $100 and $50, not including applicable service charges and taxes, and go on sale on Tuesday, September 25 at 1:00 p.m. ET. Showtime will show the scrap, as well.

Trout hopes to convert Cotto fans at MSG

September, 5, 2012
Pundits reacted with surprise when they learned that Miguel Cotto, the Puerto Rican future Hall of Famer and a top economic driver in the sport, announced he would fight New Mexico junior middleweight Austin "No Doubt" Trout, who holds the WBA crown.

"I was just as surprised as you were," said Trout, 26, who was born in El Paso, Texas, and moved with family to New Mexico soon after.

Trout is a lefty, slick, someone who can make a foe look bad, because he realizes his limitations. Trout (25-0, 14 KOs) isn't blessed with anvil hands, so he sticks and moves and pays attention to defense, and there are more than a few smart analysts who think he could be trouble for Cotto when they glove up at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 1.

Trout surely thinks he will make Cotto, 31, coming off a solid showing in a UD12 loss to Floyd Mayweather on May 5, regret picking the undefeated pug as a dance partner. "I know I will beat Cotto, without a doubt," he told me. "If I do what I do best, I'm going to shut Cotto out."

No, Trout said, he won't be put off by a full house of Nuyoricans hollering for their guy. He said he's used to fighting as the underdog on the other guys' turf. "I will be the underdog, the hated one," he said. "I've been in hostile territory, in Mexico three or four times, and I came out victorious."

Trout gave super-adviser Al Haymon props for getting him this date. "He was the key to unlocking this box," said the fighter, who has had difficulty tempting foes to try and snag his belt. "I didn't think I'd get this fight. Al said, 'I got something big in the works,' and I was thinking something a bit smaller, like Alfredo Angulo or John Molina."

So does Trout have a message for those fans who will pack the Garden and try to help Cotto get the W? "Let New York know I'm coming," he said. "I know the passion of Puerto Rican fight fans; boxing needs more passion like that."

And if he meets resistance, Trout can know there will at least be a handful of pro-Trout rooters in the building. His mother's parents live in Sheepshead Bay, and some cousins live on Long Island.

"Hopefully the fans will embrace me as one of their own after I beat their own," he said.

Powell gets stopped by Rosado

June, 4, 2012
He told us he would attack first, and attack last. But it didn't go his way on Friday night, so Sechew Powell is in contemplative mode. He was stopped by Gabriel Rosado in the ninth round of their bout at the Sands in Bethlehem, PA. The Flatbush, Brooklyn, boxer is "only" 32, but has now lost three straight. He dropped decisions to Cornelius Bundrage, and Cory Spinks, and now the loss to Rosado (20-5; age 26).

He took to Facebook to address his friends and fans.

"First off no excuses, my hat is off to Gabriel Rosado who fought a tremendous fight and did what he had to do to be victorious ... There was definitely a size difference between the two of us and Gabriel took advantage ... I will reevaluate my options and see what I want to do next. Again thank you all for the support there will always be haters as that is a part of the game of life.. If I decide to continue which at this time I feel like is definitely in my future I will ALWAYS fight to win."

Powell (26-5) was outweighed, 150 3/4 to Rosado's 154, and he believes that played a part in the outcome. He did indeed look like he was a weight class lower than the victor, in my eyes. He debuted in 2002 at 157, so it would be hard to drop to 147, but that may be an option moving forward.

Powell got manhandled a bit on the ropes, and in the ninth, ate a left hook which dropped him, at the 1:02 mark. Rosado went into beast mode, looking to finish, and he did so, with a non-stop flurry of power punches. As Powell sagged into the ropes, ref Steve Smoger stepped in to end it. He halted it as the bell ended the round.

Trainer Freddie Roach, working as an analyst, said that Powell is probably the better boxer, but Rosado does possess a vicious killer instinct that cannot be manufactured. Rosado afterwards called for a world title shot, and all in all, he deserves it. He is an action fighter, tries to give the fans what they want, KOs, and it is likely a matter of when, not if, he gets a shot at the biggest guns at 154, like Canelo, or Austin Trout.