Lem Satterfield

Q&A: Trout feels ‘unstoppable’ for Cotto

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WBA “regular” junior middleweight beltholder Austin Trout, of Las Cruces, New Mexico, said that he is “a lot bigger, physically, than” three-division title-winner Miguel Cotto, whom he will face in a Showtime-televised fight on Dec. 1 from New York’s Madison Square Garden where the Puerto Rican challenger never has lost.

An undefeated southpaw who already was brimming with confidence, Trout (25-0, 14 knockouts) said that he observed the difference in size opposite Cotto (37-2, 30 KOs) “the first time I had been right next to him.”

That happened during separate press conferences on Sept 24 and 26 in New York and Puerto Rico, where Cotto was the overwhelming favorite among fans who attended both events overseen by Golden Boy Promotions.

An accomplished fighter from Caguas, Puerto Rico, Cotto is 7-0 with four knockouts at The Garden, where he stopped Antonio Margarito in the 10th round in December of las year to avenge an 11th-round knockout loss that was the first of his career in July of 2008.

Cotto is 9-0 with five stoppage wins overall in New York, and has decisioned former world titleholders Shane Mosley, Joshua Clottey and Paulie Malignaggi, and knocked out Zab Judah all at The Garden.

Cotto, who turns 32 next month, is coming off a unanimous-decision loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr., who added Cotto’s WBA junior middleweight to his WBC welterweight title, in May.

The loss to Mayweather ended a three-fight knockout and winning streak by Cotto, whose previous setback had come via 12th-round stoppage opposite Manny Pacquiao in November of 2009.

Rather than a rematch with Pacquiao, Cotto elected to challenge Trout, who is coming off a unanimous decision over Delvin Rodriguez in June that followed a Showtime-televised sixth-round stoppage of Frank LoPorto last November.

Cotto will be in his third fight under trainer Pedro Diaz against Trout, 27, who has served as a sparring partner for both RING middleweight champion Sergio Martinez and 160-pound contender Matthew Macklin

Trout helped fellow southpaw Martin to prepare for left-handed fighters such as Sergei Dzinziruk and Paul Williams, and he was there to get Mackin ready for Martinez.

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.

Macklin, meanwhile, gave Martinez all that he could handle and led throughout much of their fight before being stopped in the 11th-round in March.

As a result, Macklin told RingTV.com that he wouldn’t be surprised if Trout defeated Cotto.

“Overall, what Cotto’s done in his career, you know that he’s an exceptional fighter and he’s beaten some great fighters. But the thing with Trout is that he’s very quick and evasive, and he doesn’t stand there and get involved. He wants to hit you with one or two shots and move,” said Macklin.tarver-kayode_3

“Austin was great preparation for Martinez. It was awkward sparring, but he got me mentally prepared and ready for what to expect from Martinez. Austin’s a great guy, and I wish him all of the best. If it Cotto in his prime, then I would say Cotto. But the timing of the fight might suit Trout. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was an upset. Austin’s fresh and Cotto’s not fresh.”

RingTV.com: During the stare down, did you feel as if you were the bigger man as it appeared?

Austin Trout: That’s accurate. I am a lot bigger, physically, than him. That was the first time I had been right next to him. I knew pretty much about his dimensions.

But seeing it up close, it was funny. But it was cool. We kind of looked at him and we agreed that if we need to, we can definitely push this little dude around.

RingTVC.com: What was it like looking him in the eyes during the stare down?

AT: He looked me right in the eyes, and a lot of people don’t do that for as long as we were in the stare down. I didn’t expect fear.

But I thought that it was funny that he really had to look up a lot to do the stare down. I’m 5-foot-10, and I would say that he’s about 5-8 or 5-7.

RingTV.com: What was it like for you being in New York?

AT: It was cool, man, you know? There were a lot of hecklers but there was a lot of love, too. I can’t get mad at people cheering for their fighter, you know?

I was never intimidated. Not one bit. I know that it’s not even close to the intensity that there will be on the night of the fight.

It was like I said at the press conference: You can have 20,000 fans in the stands, but they won’t be able to do anything to help Miguel Cotto.

I have a super power called “Super Ignore,” and I’m very good at ignoring people and ignoring their fans and what their fans say. The best way to deal with that is to ignore them.
 
But after the New York showing, I kicked it with the fans a little bit, you know, as much as I could. I But know that on Dec. 1, they are going to go and cheer for their fighter.

RingTV.com: What was it like for you being in Puerto Rico?

AT: I mean, I was glad that I was there, but I’m not just satisfied in the fact that I was there. Me being excited with the fact that my face is on big posters and stuff like that, I’m just enjoying the moment. 

But as far as the fight, you know, I’ve got work to do and I’ve got to beat this man. And I will do that on Dec. 1. Trust me, I’m not going to be star-struck.

The big lights and the cameras are not going to affect me or anything. But this is my first big fight, and I want to be able to remember it, so I am enjoying the moment. 

RingTV.com: Anything else?

AT: Well, I think one of the reasons that he’s going to Big Bear is that he’s seen how big I am, physically, compared to him and that he saw how in shape I was.

We had to do the Showtime promo, and whatnot, and we had to do it with your shirts off last Tuesday. I’m not saying that he was fat, or anything, but he did have a little bit of a belly on him.

altRingTV.com: What are your thoughts on Macklin appearing to favor you against Cotto?

AT: You know, I think that he is spot on. I think that he knows, just like a lot of other people who know that have been in the ring with me.

Macklin has been in the ring with me. A lot of people who have been in the ring with me, they know and they say the same thing, like, “don’t sleep on Austin Trout.”

That’s because they may have [underestimated him,] and felt bad about it because I’m still undefeated. I think Delvin Rodriguez will tell you the same thing.

So I think that Macklin knows, because he’s been in the ring with me, and he’s a middleweight, and I’ve banged it out with him. So he’s seen the best of my ability, and I came out alright.

RingTV.com: Do you have a prediction?

AT: All I know is that I’m ready, and I feel very unstoppable, and on Dec. 2, they can embrace me as the new champion.

 

Photo by Damien Acevedo

Photo by Tom Casino, Showtime

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Lem Satterfield can be reached at lemuel.satterfield@gmail.com

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