Five keys for Austin Trout
Plotting a path to victory in Saturday's title fight against Canelo Alvarez
After defeating Miguel Cotto by unanimous decision in December, unbeaten 154-pound titlist Austin Trout will look to continue his streak in a unification bout against Canelo Alvarez on Saturday at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
Canelo Alvarez-Austin Trout
Where: The Alamodome, San Antonio
When: Saturday, 10 p.m. ET
Trout (26-0, 14 KOs), who has just one KO in his past nine victories, is a finesse fighter with great technique. Against a power puncher like Cotto, Trout dominated most of the fight and stayed away from the Puerto Rican's powerful left hand.
Alvarez (41-0-1, 30 KOs) is also a power puncher, but he's younger and hungrier than Cotto.
Here are five keys to victory for Trout against Alvarez:
Bake and shake
|Trout will be facing a slow opponent with robotic movements and one who will try to start aggressively. Trout will have to move and avoid being a stationary target while going through a series of backing up, restarting, releasing combinations and moving out. Slippery opponents usually disorient Alvarez. Leaving the initiative up to his opponent until he can settle on his own rhythm is a good option for Trout -- if he can keep away.|
|Alvarez is frontal. He doesn't have a good waist movement and uses his guard to protect only his face. Trout will have to hit his sides with his powerful left hooks, forcing Alvarez to move his guard and breaking his balance while Trout returns with the same hand on a double hook -- an offensive resource that has always provided excellent results.|
Save the best for last
|Trout is not a KO artist; he is a fighter who works on his punches, takes one or two rounds for a break and accelerates toward the end to overwhelm his opponent. This strategy worked against Cotto, and I don't doubt that it will pay dividends against Alvarez.|
|Trout gets too anxious at times. This happens when he finds an opponent who leaves the initiative up to him. He usually launches punches without any direction and becomes exposed to counterpunching. This is what happened in November 2011 against Frank LoPorto before Trout stopped him in the sixth round. However, against a puncher with Alvarez's power, leaving his guard open could bring serious consequences.|
|Trout hasn't fought in his hometown of Las Cruces, N.M., since 2009. He traveled to Panama and Mexico (twice) and never hesitated when the fight with Cotto was offered to him in New York, in front of Cotto's raucous Puerto Rican fan base at Madison Square Garden. This time, once again, he will be fighting with the entire Alamodome rooting against him. In these types of situations, Trout grows and shows heart, courage and a bulletproof serenity. Against Canelo, this will be his winning card.|
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