The 2012 U.S. Olympian has made changes outside of the ring that are manifesting in it. He plans to show all versus former world champion Austin Trout in a 154-pound showdown this Saturday on FS1.
There was nothing subtle about it. It was like a splash of cold water in the face that makes every nerve, every fiber tingle.
Terrell Gausha had to make changes. The kind of seismic adjustments he knew must be made to place him on the pantheon he always felt he belonged on ever since he left the badlands on the east side of Cleveland.
Gausha, a former 2012 U.S. Olympian and two-time national amateur boxing champion, needed the Erislandy Lara loss in 2017 to shock his senses.
“No one wants to lose, but losing to Lara, that woke me up,” Gausha said.
He eats better, he trains better, and he lives better.
This Saturday, May 25, Gausha is looking for his boxing transformation to take another step when he battles former WBA super welterweight champ Austin Trout (31-5, 17 KOs). The 10-round super welter main event on the Premier Boxing Champions card from the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino, in Biloxi, Mississippi, will be televised live on Fox Sports 1 and Fox Deportes (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT).
Gausha (21-1, 10 KOs) lost to Lara, then the WBA 154-pound champ, in October 2017. Since then, he has gotten married, and again found his passion for boxing.
“Terrell is a well-rounded boxer with a lot of talent, and that’s something I saw in Terrell from Day One,” said Manny Robles, Gausha’s trainer since he was an amateur. “Recently, there has been a big change in his personal life and his personality. That’s probably been the biggest change I saw. Once he got married, Terrell matured and his diet is better. She’s also been able to help him psychologically.
“What bothered Terrell is knowing that he is a much better boxer than what he showed against Lara. You don’t get angry about it; you address it and eliminate the mistakes. Terrell always had world-class ability.”
According to Robles, Gausha’s changes outside the ring are manifesting in it.
“We wanted to have him sit down more on his punches, and we’re seeing and getting more of that. The ability has been there. Then we fought Lara, who was one of the best 154-pounder out there at the time.
“We learned Terrell has to throw punches with more conviction. He had to commit more with his punches and combinations. We’re seeing that.”
Lara and Trout have similar characteristics. Both are southpaws. In fact, Trout will be the third-straight southpaw Gausha will fight.
“Austin has been in the ring against the best, but he, too, lost to Lara,” Robles said. “Trout has been there and done that, but just because he’s done that, doesn’t mean we’re looking past him.
“ No one wants to lose, but losing to Lara, that woke me up. ” Super Welterweight Contender - Terrell Gausha
“Trout does much of the same things Lara does. They’re both boxers who are southpaw counterpunchers. Austin Trout has experience, but Terrell has fought the best fighters in the Olympics. He just has to throw punches with more conviction. His dedication right now, at this stage of his career, is better than at any time before.
“Believe me, you’re going to see a new, improved Terrell Gausha.”
Trout has gone 12 rounds with both Jermall and Jermell Charlo. He’s also gone 12 with Canelo Alvarez and 10 with Jarrett Hurd. There’s no question Trout has faced the best. But his signature victory goes back to 2012, when he had future Hall of Famer Miguel Cotto going around in circles to win the WBA super welterweight title.
Since then, Trout, who’s 33, has gone 5-5, losing to both Charlos, Lara, Alvarez and Hurd.
Gausha has acclimated to the different lifestyle from Cleveland, to where he lives now, in Encino, California. Gausha is not about to disclaim his hometown, “gritty Cleveland,” he says, laughing, though Encino enables him to train without distraction, without friends and family yanking him in different directions.
In Encino, when it’s fight time, it’s fight time. His focus becomes sharper, the diet becomes tighter and his drive goes deeper.
“I get to live and train in peace,” Gausha said. “I love Cleveland. I love where I came from. That won’t ever change. But my focus has to be on boxing. I grew up in a tough section of Cleveland. Where I came from, to be honest, a lot of people didn’t and don’t make it. The friends I grew up with were either killed or doing life sentences.
“It’s why boxing has been, and always will be, important to me. Boxing has always been my way out. So, when I lost to Lara that was threatened.”
As for Trout, Gausha feels extremely confident. He’s 31 and knows the time for a title is ticking.
“I would love to fight three times this year, starting with Trout,” Gausha said. “Julian Williams beat Jarrett Hurd, and I think that opens a lot of new avenues to a world title. But first, I have to take care of Austin Trout. He’s a quick, crafty guy. But I don’t think he can hurt me. I know I can hurt him. He’s a tough guy. He’s only been stopped once.
“I won’t let the Lara loss hit my heart. For me, I’m a better fighter because of it.”
For a closer look at Terrell Gausha, check out his fighter page.