Austin Trout’s been a world champion, ringside commentator and national advocate on an important issue—all thanks to boxing.
“Even as an amateur, boxing allowed me to see the world,” says Trout, a 30-year-old southpaw from Las Cruces, New Mexico. “Being a 17-year-old kid [fighting] in South Korea, in Greece and places like that would never have been possible if not for this sport.”
Outside of the ring, Trout has moonlighted as a TV analyst for Premier Boxing Champions, doing so five times on Bounce TV and once for Fox Sports after debuting on Showtime in October 2012.
Last month, Trout was on Capitol Hill for a news conference on brain research in sports alongside legendary heavyweight champion Larry Holmes, two-division titleholder Paulie Malignaggi and former football great Herschel Walker, among others.
The event addressed a new requirement by the Nevada State Athletic Commission that all participants in combat sports in that state must undergo brain testing.
“Boxing’s given me a voice to go to Capitol Hill and offer my opinion on brain health,” says Trout, a married father of three. “I get to speak on important issues, provide for my family, set an example for my children and even shape the youth in my local community.”
Come Saturday night, Austin Trout (30-2, 17 KOs) will let his fists do the talking when he challenges world champion Jermall Charlo (23-0, 18 KOs) at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas (Showtime, 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) as part of a 154-pound championship tripleheader.
Trout will be in pursuit of his fifth consecutive victory and his second stint atop the 154-pound division in what will be his first fight in Las Vegas. He won his first world title in February 2011 and made four successful title defenses, capped by a victory over Miguel Cotto in December 2012.
“ Boxing can be a game of inches, head movement and footwork. ... I want people to appreciate that there’s a lot more to boxing than just knockouts. ” Austin Trout
Trout was in the midst of training for the Cotto fight when he made his broadcasting debut on October 20, 2012, for a Showtime-televised championship quadrupleheader at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. He teamed with host Brian Kenny as well as announcers Mauro Ranallo, Al Bernstein and ringside reporter Jim Gray on a loaded card that featured Danny Garcia’s fourth-round knockout of Erik Morales.
“I have a connection and can relate with fighters. I know what they’re going through and can give insight on their psyche,” Trout says in explaining why he’s comfortable behind the mic. “Boxing can be a game of inches, head movement and footwork.
“Only focusing on knockout punching loses track of the sweet science and everything it takes to set up a game plan. I want people to appreciate that there’s a lot more to boxing than just knockouts.”
Trout was ringside with Ranallo working for Fox Sports last September when fellow 154-pounder Julian “J-Rock” Williams earned a sensational 93-second stoppage win over Luciano Cuello. After dismantling Cuello, the unbeaten Williams turned his attention to Trout and called him out during a brief exchange of ringside banter.
The two seemed on track to fight late last year in a quasi title-eliminator contest, but a deal never came together, leading Trout to sign on to challenge Charlo.
“The opportunity came to fight either J-Rock or Charlo for the title. Fighting J-Rock would be like a step backward,” says Trout, who is coming off a sixth-round knockout of Joey Hernandez in September. “It wouldn’t have been smart to allow my pride to get in the way because J-Rock called me out, otherwise I would have been calling out Floyd Mayweather a long time ago.
"But I’m not thinking about J-Rock now, because I have Charlo in front of me.”
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