Trout’s team unhappy with the sponginess of the ring during pre-fight inspection
(Photo Credit: Stephanie Trapp / SHOWTIME) By Dan Ambrose: The team of WBA junior middleweight champion Austin Trout were reportedly unhappy with the sponginess of the ring mat during the pre-fight inspection for his fight against WBC junior middleweight Saul “Canelo” Alvarez tonight at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. According to LA Times writer Lance Pugmore, they said the canvas was “like running in quicksand.”
Making the canvas spongy is an old trick that the home teams use to slow down a visiting a fighter that moves a lot in order to make him slower so that the flat-footed fighter can catch up to him. So is this was Canelo’s team have done for this fight against Trout? Who knows? But it is clear that Trout is the fighter that depends on movement to win his fights and he IS the visiting fighter for this bout, and Canelo IS the slower, flat-footed fighter that needs the action to be slow in order for him to win the fight.
It’ll be interesting to learn whether any kind of adjustments were made for the canvas to be less spongy. My guess is no. Since Trout is the visiting fighter, he’ll likely have to accept the ring being spongy just as Andy Lee had to accept that the ring was going to be a smaller one for his fight with former WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. when Lee fought him last year in June that also took place in Texas in El Paso.
Lee wasn’t able to get away from the slow, flat-footed Chavez Jr. in the smaller ring. You have to wonder whether Trout will be able to move well in the spongy ring. It would be a pity of this slowed down Trout’s ability to move and forced him to stand in one place to fight Canelo’s fight. Is this a Texas thing or is just some dumb coincidence?