Sandwiched between two bouts where the crowd, both big and small, made a huge difference in the fight is Austin Trout’s white whale: a fight he’d like to have back, but one that pushes him forward. And the timing for his match in Hidalgo, Texas, on Saturday is perfectly set up to serve as a gentle reminder.
3 vs. David Alonso Lopez, June 11, 2011, at Auditorio Miguel Barragan in San Luis Potosi, Mexico
Lopez had 40 wins under his belt and was a regular presence in the 160- and 168-pound ranks. He came all the way down to 154 to take on Trout. He probably should have stayed at a higher weight.
The first half of the fight was close, but Austin Trout pulled away after the sixth round, en route to winning a 12-round unanimous decision.
“I felt like in the fourth round I hit a wall,” Trout said. “For the next three rounds it was pure survival mode. Then in the seventh round I just woke up and everything was back together and I was able to finish real strong.”
So what was the difference? It had a lot to do with who was sitting ringside that day.
“My daughter was there in the crowd and I was looking at her like, I’m not going to let her watch me lose today,” Trout said. “She came all the way down to Mexico to see her pops fight. My daughter, Kaira, she gave me that internal fight.”
2 vs. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, April 20, 2013, at the Alamodome in San Antonio
Trout was 26-0 and 27 years old, while Alvarez was 41-0-1 and just 22 when they fought. Two young, unbeaten fighters coming together to put it on the line. That’s basically hitting gin for boxing storylines you want to see. It didn’t end like Trout would have hoped. He was knocked down in the seventh, and ultimately fell on the judges’ scorecards.
“It was the first time I’ve ever been dropped,” Trout said. “It was my first loss. It’s kind of a fight I’ve been trying to erase from my mind. I’ve learned a lot of things about myself and about the game. To ignore those lessons would not be doing a service to myself.”
The best part about fighting this Saturday in Hidalgo, Texas, is that Alvarez will be back at it that same night, five hours away in San Antonio.
“I’m glad we’re fighting on the same day,” Trout said. “I want people to keep associating Canelo and Trout in the same frame, because I’m coming back for that rematch.”
1 vs. Miguel Cotto, December 1, 2012, at Madison Square Garden in New York
Before Alvarez, though, there was the big stage against Cotto.
“That was my breakthrough fight,” Trout said. "He’s a future Hall of Famer and I was able to whop his ass in Madison Square Garden.”
Trout had spent most of his career fighting in Texas and around the Southwest. Then he got the call to go play on the big stage, taking on Cotto fresh off a loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. seven months earlier. The New York crowd was firmly behind the popular Puerto Rican fighter.
“I knew [the crowd] was going to call for blood. It felt like I was in a Roman gladiator arena,” Trout said. “I knew that’s what was going to happen, so at least I wasn’t shocked.
“In the fifth round I remember coming out and it was pretty silent compared to the first few rounds. By the fifth round they didn’t have much to say, and that spoke volumes to me. And I’m sure it spoke volumes to him, too. I was able to use the crowd to my advantage against him.”