Exclusive: Austin Trout eyes Charlo double, Liam Smith UK unification
Even though it has been a long, hard, humbling road for Austin Trout following back-to-back career losses in 2013, the New Mexico fighter is ready to put those setbacks behind him and reaffirm his position as a leading super welterweight.
In just under two weeks’ time ‘No Doubt’ Trout (30-2, 17 KO) will challenge IBF world champion and undefeated Jermall Charlo at the Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas as part of a mammoth triple header of 154lb world title fights.
It is an opportunity for Trout to win his second world title having previously held the WBA version for over two years – a reign which included a win over Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto. That standout win would be his last as champion though as decision losses to Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Erislandy Lara followed next.
Of course, there is no shame in losing to two such highly-regarded opponents and Trout, desperate for revenge, believes that he is a greater man because of them.
“I have two losses on my record and I would love to eventually avenge them,” the 30-year old exclusively told World Boxing News, “Those fights were more than just defeats for me, they were God’s way of giving me a wake up call – a humbling experience that has made me into a better fighter and a better person. They brought me closer to God when perhaps I had got away.
“I now have this chance against Charlo and I feel great, am in brilliant shape and feel strong and sharp – I couldn’t ask for more. It’s my first time fighting in Vegas so I am really excited about that and the opportunity to win the world title is making me super ambitious to come in and give my best,” he said.
“Charlo is a good fighter and a good guy. I trained alongside him during my Lara camp, but at the end of the day, I feel like as far as dues are paid he hasn’t paid any. I feel I deserve this title and deserve to be champion more than him and come Saturday night we will see.
“I’ve been in with some top guys, but that doesn’t mean I will win this fight just because I have some names on my record. It’s going to come down to skill and grit. I feel like I’m the better fighter and I will prove it. I know it’ll be tough and if I have to bite down and grind to get it so be it, I’m ready,” he continued.
Trout’s fight will be part of a triple-header card which also sees Charlo’s twin brother Jermell face John Jackson for the vacant WBC belt, while Lara defends his WBA strap against Vanes Martirosyan. The only champion not in action is Liverpool’s Liam Smith who will defend his WBO belt later in June.
“The other two fights are very tough to call and although I’m not focussed on them right now, I know I want one of the winners in a unification bout. What a great story it would be to beat both twins for their belts. John Jackson will have other ideas of course and will be doing all he can to become champion.
“The Lara rematch is also a fight that entices me because I want to avenge that loss. I believe I can beat him and would love the opportunity to do so.
“Finally, in England you have Smith, the other champion, and I would happily travel for that contest. He should have fought me for the belt in the first place, but due to politics and what-not he didn’t. Once I get my belt I’m looking at Liam Smith to unify as soon as possible. I am ready to unify the 154lb division.”
Matt Horan is lead writer for WBN. Follow on Twitter @mhoran123