By Jackie Kallen
Miguel Cotto will be facing Austin Trout on December 1 at Madison Square Garden for the WBA Superwelterweight title. Unless you are a die-hard boxing fan, you may be asking yourself, “Who the hell is Austin Trout?” Cotto has been in the ring with the top names in the sport like Mayweather, Margarito, Pacquaio and Mosley. The most recognizable name on Trout’s record is Delvin Rodriguez.
This is one of those match-ups that leaves most of us scratching our heads. Not to say that the undefeated Trout doesn’t deserve a shot at Cotto. He is 25-0. But the list of his opponents looks like a Palookville phone book. A quick scan of the names reveals records like 40-12, 8-38 and 10-20.
Cotto is four years older, which probably doesn’t mean much except that he has had a whopping 40 fights against the best in the sport. Trout is a southpaw, which could be a factor since Pacquaio is also a leftie and did a number on the Puerto Rican in 2009.
I really can’t see these two men being in the same league, though. I have only seen limited youtube footage of Trout, but I was not overly impressed. He seems competent, but not a candidate for the pound-for-pound elite.
I also watched an interview with him about Canelo Alvarez. He seemed cocky and sure of himself and declared that Canelo “is not on my level. He would not be able to hit me. He doesn’t have the footwork to deal with me.” Really? I know a few people who might disagree with that statement.
Personally, I am not chomping at the bit to see this fight. It will not have boxing aficionados canceling plans that night to sit in front of the TV. They may DVR it and watch it later, but I doubt there are too many people who give Trout much of a chance. This is one of those match-ups that could end up shocking everyone if Trout somehow pulls it off. But I imagine it will be similar to the Alvarez/Lopez fight a couple of weeks ago. A game challenger, but a much better foe.
Cotto has worn a championship belt every single year since 2004 and has won 16 out of 19 title fights. He is happy to be fighting in New York, which is the next best thing to being in Puerto Rico. He knows that the people there love him and will come out in droves to support him.
Trout claims to have no concerns about the New York crowd.
“I know the Puerto Rican fans are going to be out in full-force, but on December 1st, there is going to be a new star in boxing. They’re going to see why I’m here, why I’m the champion. I have two things in this sport right now – my belt and my undefeated record and I plan to keep both of them.”
We shall see. I like Trout’s manager (Bob Spagnolo) and I wish them luck. But this is a bit like David fighting Goliath. Or is it?
Jackie Kallen is a boxing manager who has been in the business for over three decades. Her life inspired the Meg Ryan film “Against the Ropes” and she was a part of the NBC series “The Contender.” www.JackieKallen.com, www.facebook.com/JackieKallen