By Chris Cella
Following his impressive win over Miguel Cotto last December, undefeated WBA world light middleweight champion Austin “No Doubt” Trout (26-0, 14 KO) has exploded onto the scene and has become one of the most sought out fighters in the division.
On April 20 he will put his belt on the line as he steps into the ring with WBC light middleweight champion and also undefeated rising star Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (41-0-1, 30 KO).
Photo: Stephanie Trapp/Showtime
Trout is anxious to get into the ring and continue his domination as he fights for the unified belt, and with a win can line himself up to go to battle with pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. in September.
“I’m a fast, hungry champion,” said Trout. “I don’t believe that Canelo is the second coming of Oscar De La Hoya. I do believe that I’m the better fighter. If I didn’t think I could be victorious, I wouldn’t be risking my life and limb to face this man. I wouldn’t be risking my undefeated record and belt if I didn’t believe in myself. I’ll be victorious and I’ll go home as the unified champion.”
On December 1 at Madison Square Garden, the Mecca of boxing, Trout outclassed Miguel Cotto for 12 rounds in front of the Puerto Rican’s adoring fans en route to defending his title and earning the shot against Alvarez. Despite having the belt going into the fight, the boxing world wasn’t too familiar with the name Austin Trout, but following his performance, he exploded onto the scene.
Stylistically Alvarez should make for a great fight against Trout. Both boxers have shown their versatility and adaptability within recent fights, and regardless of what the other brings into the ring April 20, the opponent should be ready.
For Alvarez this will be about defining himself as a top notch fighter. He has beaten elite competition, though the names on his resume are a bit outdated. Trout will be his first really true test against one of the game’s best, in their prime.
Although this will be Trout’s fifth fight since winning the vacant title in 2009, he has yet to really show all of his cards inside the ring. The 27-year-old fighter has shown he is able to box when need be, as well as bang, so it makes him dually dangerous. He is no longer flying under the radar as he was when he stepped into the ring against Cotto, and now can move one step closer to being the undisputed light middleweight champion of the world.
“Someone’s ’0′ has got to go. It sure as hell isn’t going to be mine and I’m sure he is saying the same thing. That’s the formula for a great fight. [Hip-hop artist] Drake said it best, ‘Started from the bottom, now we’re here. Started from the bottom, now my whole team’s here.’
“I know that Canelo is a hungry champion. I’m not just hungry. I’m starving. I’m ready for April 20.”
Austin Trout and Canelo Alvarez’s light middleweight title unification bout will be shown live on Showtime April 20.