Reality Check For Austin Trout
By Mark Uliano: In two weeks WBA Junior Middleweight champion, Austin Trout, will step into the ring for the biggest test of his career against Miguel Cotto (37-3, 30 KO) at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. A lot of boxing writers on multiple outlets are giving Trout (25-0, 14 KO) a legitimate chance to come out of the December 1st fight with his title and undefeated record still intact.
There is always the punchers chance when it comes to boxing, but when people are telling me outright that he is going to easily beat Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto I think they really need to step back to reality.
Trout, 5’9” in height and with a 72” reach, is obviously the bigger fighter with the longer reach compared to Cotto’s 5’7” height and 67” reach. What we haven’t seen yet is how Trout’s chin holds up when hit by a legitimate puncher. With his two biggest fights against Delvin Rodriguez and Rigoberto Alvarez, older brother of WBC Junior Middleweight champion Saul Alvarez, it shows how Trout hasn’t really been tested in his career. Being a pro since 2005, Trout doesn’t have one legitimate name on his resume coming into this fight. Most likely Trout will try to box and stay on the outside against the shorter fighter, but Cotto’s ring generalship could trouble Trout. I see Trout trying to stay on his feet looking for the fight to come down to the scorecards. Say what you will about matchmaking and promoters protecting their fighters, but the ring experience that Trout doesn’t have could in fact hurt him when he is in front of the Puerto Rican crowd at Madison Square Garden.
Cotto, coming off his May 5th decision loss to Floyd Mayweather, seems to be cool as ever coming into this fight. Facing an undefeated fighter and fighting for a world championship isn’t new for Miguel. With his career winding down, Cotto seems to be looking for that last hurrah before hanging up his gloves. With a potential showdown with Mexican Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez next May, the Caguas native seems to be pulling all the stops in this training camp. Spending time training in Puerto Rico, the high altitude of Big Bear and then finishing at the Don Miguel Gym in Orlando, Cotto teamed with Cuban trainer Pedro Diaz look to be satisfied with how their camp has turned out. With stamina issues troubling Miguel for the majority of his career, Diaz suggested they try high altitude training in legendary Big Bear, California and he believes the training has paid off. With not much knockout power for Trout, Cotto will most likely look to bring the fight into the late rounds. If Cotto can effectively work the body in this fight, Trout will lose his hand speed and be susceptible to a late round stoppage.
What this fight will truly come down to is whether or not Trout can handle the big stage. At this point of his career I don’t think he is ready for the big show. He looked to tense and nervous at the pressers and his lack of exposure is going to get to him when 20,000 fans are chanting for his opponent. I’m predicting an 11th round TKO for Cotto. I just think that Cotto’s experience and power will be to troubling for the younger champion.