By Jackie Kallen
I was talking about the upcoming Cotto/Trout fight this weekend and a friend asked me “Who the hell is Austin Trout? I never heard of him. Should I even care about this fight?”
That’s a good question. I, for one, do care about this fight. I want to know if Cotto is on the decline at 32. And I want to see just how good Trout actually is. At 27, he is probably the least-known champion on the map. Not too many people know that he is the WBA Light Middleweight Champ. It’s not the most prestigious title, and he won it last February by fighting little-regarded Rigoberto Alvarez for the vacant title.
But, a belt is a belt and Trout has defended it three times since. Admittedly the opposition has not been too impressive. His first defense was against David Alonso Lopez, who was 40-12 at the time. Not surprisingly he won an easy decision. Next he fought 15-4-2 Frank LoPorto in Texas, stopping him in the 6th round. In June he solidly out-boxed a game Delvin Rodriguez in Carson, CA.
His 25-0 record is outstanding. The names on his record may not have any boxing fans jumping up and down, but Trout has been solid and consistent. This is, by far, his toughest battle.
Miguel Cotto is nothing to take lightly. He has a respectable 37-3 record with 30 KOs. He has, however, been stopped twice. By Pacquaio and by Margarito. Not exactly shabby guys to lose to. The Margarito fight was very competitive. Before the 11th round stoppage, it was a pretty even fight. As for Pacquaio–what can you say? PacMan is in a league of his own.
The heavy-hitting Cotto has destroyed guys like Yuri Foreman, Ricardo Mayorga, Zab Judah and Joshua Clottey. He outfoxed Shane Mosley in 2007 and chopped down”Chop Chop” Corley in 2005 and obliterated Randall Bailey in 2004.
If you go by a boxer’s resume–you’d have to go with Cotto. Trout is the obvious under-dog. But he seems to embrace that and it has been his motivation. He feels that he has more to prove than Cotto does and he realizes that this is the opportunity he has been waiting for.
The other factor is Madison Square Garden in New York. The crowd will be overwhelmingly in favor of the Puerto Rican warrior. Now that Hector Camacho has passed, the PR fans will be pulling for Cotto to win in his honor. The New York boxing fans are vocal and plentiful. Few even know (or care) much about Austin Trout.
An upset would put some spark back into the sport and remind fans of Lamont Peterson’s December 2011 surprise win over Amir Khan. Upsets are the spice in every sport. Nothing could have been more shocking than Timothy Bradley’s win over Pacquaio. Most fans agree that he did not deserve the win, but it stands. When Josesito Lopez stopped Victor Ortiz in June, the fans were stunned. Upsets are fun to watch.
Although I am pretty sure that Cotto will prevail this weekend, a Trout win would not surprise me. He may be hungry enough to out-hustle Cotto. If you are a bettor, a $100 bet on Austin Trout would earn you $187 in profit and a $100 bet on Miguel Cotto would earn you $40 in profit. The last-minute gamblers will probably drop some cash on Trout.
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