By Chris Cella
Miguel Cotto had predicted a victory over Austin “No Doubt” Trout. Boxing writers and fans around the world considered the belt holder a heavy underdog. Going into Madison Square Garden Saturday night, Trout may have been one of the only people who believed he would emerge from the ring victoriously.
Photo: Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos
When WBA world light middleweight champion Trout (26-0, 14 KO) defeated Cotto (37-4, 30 KO), it wasn’t due to a lucky shot that landed on the button; it was a result of 12-rounds of outworking the former four-time and three-divisional champion. For the first time in seven fights at the Mecca of boxing, Madison Sqaure Garden, and in front of over 13,000-plus adoring Cotto fans, Trout did something against the former champion that no other boxer has been able to do: have his hand raised following their bout.
Through each round of the fight Trout remained elusive and didn’t allow Cotto to get into a rhythm which would have helped him to dictate the pace of the fight. Relentlessly, Trout kept his right hand in the face of the former champion, using his jab to set up his straight left and right hook which seemed to land at will.
Last week, Austin Trout told Boxing Insider that he believed his conditioning would be a serious advantage and play a big part in the fight against Miguel Cotto, and this proved to be the case Saturday night.
It was apparent late in the fight that Cotto was aware that he needed to stop Trout in order to capture the belt, as he was behind on points. And despite his top efforts of landing his signature left and doing damage to the title holder, his attempts were futile. Trout looked as fresh in the championship rounds as he did in the opening ones, using his crafty footwork to avoid any punishment.
About his performance in the closing rounds against Cotto, Trout shared, “I felt great late in the fight; I wasn’t breathing hard, and I didn’t want to let up. I wanted to continue to push the action and leave it all in the ring.”
In his fourth consecutive title defense, and in undoubtedly the biggest fight of his career, Austin “No Doubt” Trout showed the boxing world that he is the real deal and is here to stay.
In a division led by undefeated champions Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Saul Alvarez, it should be interesting to see who Trout is paired up with next.
The slick southpaw showed Saturday night a hunger, determination and confidence of a champion who doesn’t plan on relinquishing his belt anytime soon, and there is “no doubt” that fight fans will be in for a treat when he steps between the ropes of the squared circle to again defend his title.