By: Hans Themistode
It’s been a long time since Austin Trout could call himself a champion. But if things go according to plan, he’ll be ending his eight year title drought sooner, rather than later.
Arguably no one in the entire sport of boxing has suffered more highs and lows than Trout (32-5-1, 18 KOs) over the past few years. The former Jr Middleweight titlist, has found himself in some of the more arduous matchups within his division. And unfortunately for him, he’s come up short. The road to a title shot seems almost impossible at 154 pounds, but at 147, Trout could jump to the front of the line.
“I wanna try my hand at 47, but if I fight at 54 I’m right there,” said Trout in an Instagram Live interview with Abboxing News. “I ain’t going anywhere. The 154 division is still popping and there is still plenty of opportunity there.”
Moving on to a new weight class is nothing new. But normally, as a fighter ages and their body changes, they decide to move up in weight, not down.
Trout wouldn’t be the first former titlist to make a backwards attempt at a title. Chad Dawson and Roy Jones Jr are the first names that come to mind as former champions who made the wrong choice in moving down in weight. Trout on the other hand, has already done his research and isn’t expecting to have his name added to that list.
“I was just looking at the landscape. I remember at one time I used to be kind of a big guy at 154. So you know, looking at the landscape of 147 and those guys are kind of my size. If they’re naturally getting down to get to 47, I never tried it. So to sit there and say I couldn’t do it wasn’t an educated guess. So I was saying let me add a little bit of discipline in between fights to see what my weight could be like. I’m closer to 47 than I would be to 154. I’m not that heavy, maybe 15-20 pounds over the weight limit that I want to be.”
Going from the super talented 154 pound division to the murderers row of 147, isn’t going to be a walk in the park for Trout. And just because he brings some name notoriety to the division doesn’t mean he’ll get the shot he’s looking for. But in a perfect world, he would prefer to be thrown to the wolves from the get go.
“Honestly I would love to fight Broner. I would love to fight a Danny Garcia to get myself up to somebody like Thurman or a Spence. Or even Crawford. I don’t see anybody lining up to fight Crawford, but I’ll fight his ass.”
Regardless of Trout’s plans for his new division, everything will have to wait. COVID-19 has no reprieve in sight. Fans of the sport shouldn’t hold their breath in terms of when they’ll be able attend an event. But states such as Florida have sent out a bit of a lifeline as sporting events have been ruled essential.
Fighting in front of an empty arena has it’s disadvantages. Most notably, less money. But while the fighters will be a little lighter in the wallet, Trout views it as a major advantage for a number of lesser known names.
“Have you ever heard of some of these fighters that will whoop Floyd Mayweather in a sparring session, but then they couldn’t beat a journeyman when it comes to fight time? I think if boxing was to stay in that format for a long period of time, you’re going to see some guys that you wouldn’t have even thought could do anything, start smashing everybody. Just because it might take the pressure off from the lights being off.”