Lem Satterfield

Q&A: ‘No Doubt’ Trout seeks clout against Rodriguez

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Austin Trout is a proven commodity to RING middleweight champ Sergio Martinez and RING No. 6-rated middleweight Matthew Macklin, each of whom has employed him as a chief sparring partner.

But on Saturday night, Trout (24-0, 14 knockouts) will try to display his talents to the world against junior middleweight rival Delvin Rodriguez (26-5-3, 14 KOs) as part of a Showtime-televised quadruple-header from the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

Trout will defend his “regular” WBA belt against Rodriguez on the undercard of quadrupleheader dubbed “Four-Warned” that features 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.

Promoted by Golden Boy, Saturday night’s card also has an IBF bantamweight title bout between lefthander Vusi Malinga and unbeaten Mexican Leo Santa Cruz.

Coming off a Showtime-televised sixth-round stoppage of Frank LoPorto last November, Trout is hoping to lure fighters such as Sergei Dzinziruk, Cornelius Bundrage and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, whose older brother, Rigoberto Alvarez, was beaten by Trout via unanimous decision last February in a bout for his current title.

As a southpaw himself, Trout helped Martinez to prepare for left-handed fighters such as Dzinziruk and Paul Williams, whom Martinez stopped by eighth- and second-knockouts respectively. Trout was also in camp for Macklin, who troubled Martinez before being knocked out in the 11th-round in March.

Trout’s opponent, 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.

Trout discussed his fight with Rodriguez as well as his aspirations in this Q&A with RingTV.com.

RingTV.com: How do you feel your training has prepared you for Rodriguez’s style of fighting?

Austin Trout: We had to prepare for what is a different style of fighting. If you watch Delvin, he doesn’t fight the same style every fight. Delvin does change things up, So we’re prepared for whatever he wants to bring to the table.

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RingTV.com: What do you make of Rodriguez’s performances against Wolak?

AT: We’re prepared for what he did in both fights with Pawel. From a fan’s point of view, those were good fights. But you know, I called it. From the first fight, I saw that Delvin had made an adjustment later on in that fight.

He came on stronger as the end of that last fight. In the rematch, Delvin was able to just take over from the beginning to the end, and he did that the whole night.

I saw that coming from the first fight. I knew that he would take over in the second fight, and he did. He put on a good performance, and it was exciting. But that’s fighting against a limited Pawel Wolak.

Pawel Wolak only has one style, and that’s to come forward. I feel like Delvin is going to have to try to figure out something different with me.

I’m not just going to keep running into shots. If you hit me with one shot, I’m going to figure it out, and you’ll never be able to hit me with another shot.

I think that’s like comparing apples and oranges, because he can’t do against me what he did against Pawel Wolak.

RingTV.com: From a strategical standpoint, is this going to be a boxing match or a fight where there are going toe-to-toe exchanges?

AT: I feel like he adapts very well and that he changes his style up from fight to fight. I feel like I’m going to go out and do me, and let him make his adjustments. Then, I’ll come out and do something else if he makes an adjustment. I don’t see this fight being too much of a boxing match.

But if he does want to sit back and try to box, then I don’t feel like he can outbox me. I feel like he would have to revert back to coming in and trying to bang me out. If that happens, then we know exactly what to do with that. So I actually think that it’s going to be a good, exciting fight all the way around, you know?

RingTV.com: What sort of performance do you envision having if you are able to execute your gameplan to perfection?

AT: Really, I want to take the doubt out of people’s hearts of what type of champion I am. I have no doubt that I’m where I’m supposed to be. I have no doubt that, after my fight against Delvin Rodriguez, that I’ll be bigger than where I’m at now.

I think that this is going to be a perfect showcase of why I’m where I am, and why I feel like I’m one of the best in this weight class. It’s going to get the public to see the same thing.

It’s one thing for me to believe that, because I’m supposed to. I’ve got to get the public to see it, and the critics and the naysayers to believe it as well.

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RingTV.com: What do you hear from your naysayers in terms of criticism and/or lack of acknowledgement?

AT: I think that it’s a little bit of both. I don’t get the acknowledgement or the respect that I deserve, but I also realize that part of that is because I don’t have any really big names under my belt or to my credit.

So this is a fight where that gets started. This is the type of name that I need toward getting the bigger names to fight me. So there can be no doubt in the minds of people as to why I’m here.

RingTV.com: Given your style and Rodriguez’s style, is this the sort of fight that has the potential to lend itself toward gaining that sort of attention?

AT: I feel like, stylewise, he doesn’t have the best style to make me look great. I feel like the best style for my type of abilities is a guy who comes forward and tries to bring the fight to me.

It would be a guy who would force me to come up with answers. But I think that great champions can cater to any style, and that’s what I consider myself to be.

I think that the best style for me to look my best is a come-forward, Mexican-type of brawler. I feel like Delvin can put his combinations together and he moves a little bit.

That’s not necessarily the sort of style that might make me have to dig down and have to come up with answers within myself. But I think that all champions should be able to have an answer to any style.

RingTV.com: In victory, are there any particular names you would pursue for your next defense?

AT: There are a lot of names out there, but in a perfect world, I would want to get another one of these belts and have a shot at being the undefeated, undisputed world champion of this weight division.

I just want to go forward. I don’t want to go backward. So to me, the best way to go forward is to get a title from the Floyd Mayweathers and the Canelo Alvarez’s and the Cornelius Bundrages even.

Anybody who has a bigger name than me, I want to fight. That’s my main goal in this game as of right now. Understandably, though, the powers that be might not allow that to happen.

So I’m not averse to chopping down the tree and starting from the base. At the same time, I think I would be going forward if I fought a James Kirkland or a Carlos Molina or a Miguel Cotto.

Like I said, anybody that I feel like has a bigger name than me. I would love to fight Cotto, and I feel like I could beat Cotto, just like I feel like I can beat anybody that I just mentioned. I would love to fight Cotto.