Having ended 2012 on a bang with his unanimous decision victory over three-division champion Miguel Cotto on Dec. 1, Austin Trout wants to begin 2013 in similar fashion, his preference being a clash with WBC beltholder Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
“It’s time to have just one champion in this division,” said Trout, a 27-year-old father of three from Las Cruces, New Mexico with a mark of 26-0 that includes 14 knockouts.
“He’s a guy who is tough, he’s going to be right there, and he throws a lot of punches. I may not be able to push him around as easily. But, you know, with that type of strong fighter in front of you like a Canelo, he makes you have to dig deeper.”
Both Alvarez (41-0-1, 30 KOs) and Floyd Mayweather Jr. (43-0, 26 KOs) have targeted May 4 for their returns at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, in addition to each boxer having said that he wants to fight on Sept. 14. The dates fall on the two traditional Mexican holiday weekends — Cinco De Mayo and Mexican Independence Day.
In the past, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer said that he would work on negotiations for a matchup between WBC interim 147-pound beltholder Robert Guerrero and Mayweather, who has also been requested by Alvarez.
If Trout is chosen for Alvarez, it would be his first bout in Las Vegas. But that should not be a problem for Trout, whose debut at New York’s Madison Garden ended Cotto’s run of seven victories without a loss at the venue, as well as the Puerto Rican legend’s mark of 9-0 with five knockouts in New York.
Cotto’s domination against rivals at The Garden had included four knockouts, including those over Antonio Margarito and Zab Judah, as well as decisions over Shane Mosley, Joshua Clottey and Paulie Malignaggi.
Cotto’s contract with Trout included a rematch clause, Schaefer said the Puerto Rican legend could be involved in a June 8 date at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., either as a fighter or as a promoter.
Trout spoke to RingTV.com regarding his effort against Cotto as well as his desire to face Alvarez in this Q&A below.
RingTV.com: How have the holidays gone for you and the family?
RingTV.com: How is life as the champ?
AT: [Laughs.] Life is good. Life is good. You know? I’m adjusting. I’m adjusting to all of it.
RingTV.com: Do you have any idea when you would be returning to the ring, and, if so, against whom?
AT: No, I don’t, but, you know, we’re in that Canelo Alvarez sweepstakes. So, like I said, I’m not sure. But we’re in the Canelo sweepstakes for May 4.
So, ideally, I would love to come back in May. But if May is not possible, then I would like to be back as early as March.
RingTV.com: What have you heard in regard to you being in the Canelo sweepstakes?
AT: Nothing official. I still haven’t heard anything official. I know that we still have to wait for the whole rematch clause situation with Miguel Cotto time period to finish up.
Before we can do any real talking about Canelo, that has to end. So, as I said, I haven’t heard anything official.
RingTV.com: Do you know when Cotto’s time period for accepting or not accepting a rematch runs out?
AT: Mid-January. Jan. 15, or Jan. 14, actually, I believe.
RingTV.com: Do you believe that you had your best performance against Cotto?
AT: I’m telling you, and I don’t want to sound ungrateful or be too critical of my performance, but that was not my best performance, nor was it the hardest fight that I’ve been in.
RingTV.com: What are some things that you believe you can improve on?
AT: They should see me in the ring when everything is 100 percent snapping. When I’m at my best, I feel that nobody can contend with me.
But, you know, I’m looking for someone who will be there to bring it out of me, or for me to just have one of those days.
RingTV.com: If you could pick your next opponent, who would it be?
AT: Canelo. Totally. It’s time to have just one champion in this division.
RingTV.com: What could Canelo bring out of you?
AT: Well, you know, he’s a guy who is tough, he’s going to be right there, and he throws a lot of punches. I may not be able to push him around as easily.
But, you know, with that type of strong fighter in front of you like a Canelo, he makes you have to dig deeper. So there’s a lot more to Austin Trout than what was shown on Dec. 1.
Photo by Rich Kane, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
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Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com