RingTV.com caught up to the WBA’s 154-pound beltholder Austin Trout, who will defend the organization’s “regular” belt against THE RING No. 10-rated junior middleweight Delvin Rodriguez as part of a Showtime-televised quadruple-header from the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., on June 2.
The 26-year-old resident of of Las Cruces, New Mexico, is coming off a Showtime-televised sixth-round stoppage of Frank LoPorto last November.
Trout (24-0, 14 knockouts) desires bouts opposite fighters such as WBO and WBC counterparts, Sergei Dzinziruk and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, whose older brother, Rigoberto Alvarez, was beaten by Trout via unanimous decision last February in a bout for the WBA title (which should not to be confused with the organization’s “super” title held by Miguel Cotto).
In his past two fights, Rodriguez battled to a majority draw and a unanimous decision over Pawel Wolak last July and December. The first Rodriguez-Wolak bout was named Fight of The Year by the Boxing Writers’ Association of America.
Martinez stopped Williams in the second-round of their clash of southpaws in November of 2010, and dropped the previously unbeaten Dzinziruk five time on the way to an eighth-round stoppage in March of last year.
Trout was also a sparring partner for Matthew Macklin, who gave Martinez trouble prior to being stopped in the 11th-round in March.
Trout is hopeful that those experiences will translate into an eye-catching performance against Rodriguez (26-5-3, 14 KOs) on the undercard of an event will feature unbeaten cruiserweight contender Lateef Kayode against former light heavyweight champ Antonio Tarver, and undefeated middleweight prospect Peter Quillin against former junior middleweight champ Ronald “Winky” Wright.
RingTV.com: How do you believe that you helped Macklin?
Austin Trout: Well, I thought that Martinez was going to destroy Macklin inside of five or six rounds, but Macklin was actually winning the fight at one point.
So I think that I must have helped him, because, early on, during our sparring, Macklin was having some problems adjusting to my movement.
But I knew that he wasn’t going to go in there and lay down. He’s a tough fighter, and I hope that he gets another chance.
RingTV.com: How do you believe that you helped Martinez when you sparred with him, and what did you gain from your sparring experiences?
AT: For Sergio, my jab obviously helped him, because he was having trouble with it during our sessions, early on. But he was out-jabbing Dzinziruk. So I must have done my job.
I thought that he would have more problems with Dzinziruk, because, during the sparring, I had thought that Dzindziruk had a better jab than me.
But Sergio ended up out-jabbing Dzinziruk. When I saw the fight, I was like, “Yo, I must be a lot better than I thought that I was.”
RingTV.com: What do you believe Martinez would say about your skills?
AT: Sergio would probably say — and this is from what his managers have told me — that I’m one of the best 154-pounders in the division out there.
Sergio is not a coward. He’s pretty real with it. I think that he would tell everybody about the facts. I’m one of the best at 154.
RingTV.com: Are you excited about your upcoming fight with Delvin Rodriguez?
AT: Yes sir. Pure excitement. I can’t wait. It’s an exciting opportunity. I can’t wait. It’s going to be great to finally be in a real fight. This is what I’ve been waiting for — a chance to show my skills and toughness in front of a big, huge audiece on national television, and I know that Delvin is going to bring that out of me.
The last time I was in a televised fight was on ShoBox last November. But it was nothing like this. Delvin is coming off of a great win.
Everybody knows about his win, and the fight before that he was in the Fight of The Year. So he’s got a good buzz going.
Ring magazine has him at No. 10, and I’m not even in their top 10. A win over him should definitely get me my spot in that top 10.
RingTV.com: What do you say about the activity within the division — Floyd Mayweather-Miguel Cotto, Saul Alvarez-Shane Mosley, Erislandy Lara-Ronald Hearns, James Kirkland just fought Carlos Molina, Carlos Bundrage-Corey Spinks. Your thoughts?
AT: This is really my opportunity to show that I should be in the mix and to show people how good I really am. Once again, it’s the biggest fight of my life.
I have to showcase my skills. The last fight, I showed a lot of skills, but people were still critical because he shouldn’t have been in the ring with me. So that’s understandable.
But I don’t see how anybody can make any excuses if I have a decisive win over Delvin Rodriguez. There should be no doubt about my abilities and where I belong if I do that against this guy in this fight.
RingTV.com: Is that what you feel that you have to do to cement yourselves in the minds of the public and in the minds of the other fighters in the division?
AT: I think that I’m already in the minds of the guys in the division and in the minds of my potential opponents. I know that they realize that I’m good.
I know that they’re watching for me. They may not say it, but if they’re smart, they should be watching for me. But in the minds of the public, it’s going to be fights like this against Delvin Rodriguez that are on national television.
That’s what is going to get my name and my face in the public’s mouth and in their heart. All that I really have to continue doing is to keep winning. If I can keep on winning in good, solid fashion, then my time will come.
That’s when the public will start getting behind me. They’ll start saying, ‘Let’s see what Trout can do with Cotto,’ or, maybe even, ‘Let’s see what Trout can do with Mayweather.’
Beating all of those other guys, they’ll want to see Trout in there with bigger names. So, that’s what I have to do. I just have to just keep on winning and working hard, and then, eventually, the public will begin to get behind me.
Photos by Chris Cozzone, Fightwireimages.com
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com