By Gabriel Barrio
Interviewing Austin Trout is that unlike interviewing any other professional athlete. He is professional and straight forward and unafraid to be unapologetically himself. He is incredibly knowledgable about his craft, he has many insights about how to improve his game, the whole arena of boxing. Above all else he is honest, candid and humble. If other boxing greats were as real as Austin Trout they would also have a loyal following that would support them as Austin Trout’s fans support him. A local legend in the Southwest, and an underground superstar that is about to breakthrough into the mainstream. He was accompanied by his daughter Kaira to this interview who is charismatic as her father. The interview had a feeling of comfortability and was conducted quickly and professionally. Austin Trout has many stories and has had many obstacles but none have obscured his sight from the main goal of attaining each belt in his weight division. He has a drive that is unmatched and that shows in his speech, his demeanor and his faith. His faith in God, his love for his family and his respect for his fans rings true every time I have had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Trout. In his own words he explains where he is headed, how he will get there and what will happen when he meets opposition.
GB:First of all how do you feel coming off that win with David Lopez?
AT: It was a great fight, after I won that fight my rankings jumped like ten spots. From 17
to 7 on boxrec.com, top ten in light middleweight division for most rankings. I was very
happy with that. He was a tough cat (sic), I know I could do that again. He hadn’t lost his
last sixteen fights.
GB: What was the controversy over the drug test in Mexico?
AT: There are no drugs or alcohol in my body, I am always ready to fight. I just don’t do
it. When it came time for that drug test and I submitted my test, I was waiting to sign the
paper saying that this is my test, and then seal it and label it. They didn’t have me sign
anything and when I asked him if he was going to seal it, he basically told me that it was
ok, saying “Esta Bien, todo bueno.” I took the test but they didn’t have me sign anything,
so my manager told me that if something popped up that isn’t your test. They didn’t seal
it, sign it, and there was no chain of custody. So when I came home, I took a test and
submitted under the regulations. It came out negative.
GB: It seems that your career has been dogged by a lot of politics. Bringing up anything
to discredit you. You seem to handle it well.
AT: It is upsetting because it harms my name, and you know it doesn’t make any sense
because if they wanted to really get to me or cause problems they could have said I was
taking steroid or HGH. In a way I am kind of flattered in a way. That they would take the
time to try to bring me down, you know.
GB: How much of that do you feel is directly related to the politics of the game? do you feel like there is a resistance in boxing to you moving up?
AT: I thought about that before. The promoters know who I am and its not that they are
organized against me, its more like I come to their promoters and we wanna fight your
kid so we have a fight, and their promoters are coming up saying No. Its a bad career
move, I don’t its an organized thing, Its just that I am bad career move for everybody in
this weight class so they are collectively saying no.
GB: What kind of obstacles are there to your fights getting air time?
AT: Thats a big organized movement, there are only two organizations that have all the
tv spots, and thats Top Rank and Goldenboy. My promoter though, he is doing a good
job, he had a meeting two days ago with showtime and let all the people know that No
Doubt Trouts team wants a good fight in October, so I’m calling Pawel Wolak out. He is
a good opponent, he has a good style for me, and he will keep it coming, he will make it
a good fight.
GB:Thats another thing. I heard that just recently Mundine decided to pull out of the fight
this month at the last minute. Any public comments you can give?
AT:I went and talked to some Australian websites and newspapers. He was going around
telling everybody that the reason why he pulled out of the fight is because I was asking
for options on his next three fights. Which is not true! Thats unheard of, and not just
that. I don’t want options on his next three fights. The only thing we asked for was a
rematch clause and we were negotiating on one fight after the rematch. We were going
to give him the rematch right away so if loses or wins the rematch we have no options
on any fight, so it was just a rematch clause. I don’t even care about an option on a
fight after that. We wouldn’t even have to go to a rematch, it was just that clause, just
an insurance in case of any fluke stuff happens, we could come back. He was talking a
big game, talking so much stuff on twitter, having his little followers come talk stuff to me
on twitter. Then he comes out saying that its in his best interest to use his mandatory
position instead. Now what confuses me is that you get in a mandatory position to make
the champ fight you, I was going to fight him already. We were going to do a 50-50 but
now you want to do a mandatory I’ll take my check and give him the challengers cut.
Thats to lay that to rest, someone must have told him he wasn’t going to win.
GB: Seems like a bad career move after his loss to Garth Wood, do you feel like when
you won the Alvarez fight do you like you took something he wanted and that might be
another reason he was trying to make some kind of beef with you?
AT: Yeah, I think so. Yeah I do, I think he was looking to beef because I took that from
GB: That brings me back to rankings, your rankings run the gamut, some have you
ranked number 3 some have you much lower, some don’t even have you listed in the
top ten. Do you feel that something is keeping you from being ranked higher?
AT: They just have to see me, I don’t have that exposure here. Internationally I have
that exposure, but here in the states where the money is at, I don’t have that type of
exposure as much. If that showtime comes through and I have a good performance on
their, I know those rankings will shoot up. Without a doubt, they just gotta see me. Most
of the time when I see these articles, most of them say is based on what the papers
say, and they say well I haven’t seen much of this kid but what I have heard or have
seen I do like what he has done. So right now its still based on what people have heard.
GB: Whats the biggest obstacle right now? do you feel like it would be a specific boxer or do
you feel like its the problems in the game itself?
AT: I would say its politics. I wouldn’t say its any one specific boxer because there is
a lot of talent in this class, they’re all tough. I am confident that I’m better than all, not
most of them, all of them. Of course there might be some up and comers looking to get
me but, right now I feel that I am better than all of them. Right now it seems politics is
my biggest problem. Getting into the ring is going to be the fun part, but the process of
getting into the ring is going to be a hard road.
GB: So the business, management side isn’t really what you are into then?
AT: Well I am, I just don’t like it though. I make sure my manager and promoter update me
with every piece of information. I don’t like to now know whats going on. I wanna know
if there is a potential opponent so I can go look him up and do my homework. They
update me all the time, and some of these things sound great and I get excited and if
it doesn’t work out, thats when I understand why you don’t want to update me all of the
time. There are a million updates, a lot of possibilities. I do like keeping my head in the
game and knowing whats going on.
GB: Beating lopez was a great stepping stone, alvarez was a good fight. Getting these
bigger fights is important but who would you personally like to call out? If you could pick
the next three fights who would it be?
AT: (very quickly answers) COTTO,ALVAREZ, BUNDRIDGE. In that order.
GB: What is the motivation for Cotto first, alvarez and then bundridge?
AT: Cotto because he has the super champion status, and everyone keeps calling my
belt regular, which I am getting tired of, Alvarez because he has that WBC belt. I have
always wanted that WBC belt and then Bundridge because the other one. I am just
trying to get all of the belts. After I clean out my division I will look at the middleweights
you know. Challenge Martinez, Sergio Martinez and see what happens.
GB: Mundine moving down in weight to fight you. Do you feel like that was a concern at
AT: Nah, my last two fights came down from a little higher just like Mundine. I actually
think that them coming down hurt them.
GB: Since Mundine fight fell through, who is next and how do you feel about that fight?
AT: Well we are trying to get a fight with Pawel Wolak, number three ranked in the
world. He is a big name right now, and his style is perfect, he has been on television his
last three fights. Thats who were are trying to get next. There are a lot of champions,
and we will just go down the list.
GB: Would he be a difficult fighter for you?
AT: I am going to have up front, I am going to work hard in camp, and I am going to
work hard in the fight. Basically its going to be how much punishment he can take,
because I am going to be right there.
GB: Bundridge, would he be a difficult opponent for you?
AT: Yes, like wolak they would keep coming. They are tough fighters, there are only
two losses on Pawel Wolaks record, only a handful on Bundridge’s record. Either one
would be a good fight. Nobody is going to be an easy fight, not in this class. Yes I am
going to have to be on my A game but I can beat everyone of them.
GB: What about calling out other fighters and their promoters influencing the decisions
of these other fighters to actually fight you? Will fighters tell their promoters that they
want a fight with you? Do you feel the boxers are avoiding you as much as their
AT: Its the opposite. If it was up to the fighters, the biggest fights in the world would
have happened already. The only reason the fight with Pawel Wolak is where its at, is
the promoters. I issued the terms to Pawel Wolak, he said much respect and that he
had to have to talk it over with his people. The next I heard is that he would love the
fight with me but Top Rank doesn’t. Its not Pawel Wolak that is saying no, we knew that.
Its the promoters they know its not a good fight for him.
GB: Vanes Matiroysyan is asking for a fight. He is saying fight me instead of Mundine.
Would you take that fight? Is that fight a decision that is a collaborative effort between
you and your promoters?
AT: After I get to my goal. I am trying to fight bigger names right now. The thing is we
tried to fight him back when I was 16-0 and we were trying to get a fight with him, they
told us we don’t need a fight with you. Now they are all calling me, telling me fight me,
fight me, but for what. I want to fight a top ranked fighter, I would rather fight Cotto. I
mean I will fight him eventually, when I feel like it. He didn’t give me a chance when I
needed a chance. Plus he has to get past Angulo to get to Canelo, if he gets that done,
then we will definitely fight!
GB: Do you feel like some of it is your two histories? Do you feel like he felt he was a
better fighter and now that you are blowing up he wants that attention?
AT: Yeah I feel like he thinks he was the better fighter, and that he still is the better
fighter. He might think he will take my belt, I promise you he is not the better fighter. He
did beat me for the Olympic spot but after that I was in camp kicking his ass. He has to
remember that. Most of these promoters don’t believe the hype that they are putting out
there. A lot of the times these promoters and publicists put out stuff that sounds good.
Its not really what the guy says.
GB: There is a lot of politics in boxing, has any fight ever been setup or offered to you
so that you were paid to lose?
AT: No that hasn’t happened at all, I haven’t experienced that personally. To me I would
take that kind of fight and knock that person out, so they lose money and they lose.
GB: Do you feel like a promoter would drop someone taking a fight like that and not
fulfilling the contract?
AT: Oh yeah, they have done that. They will tell someone look you are going to have
to take a dive, and it doesn’t happen, they cut short the end of the contract. I haven’t
personally experienced it though, no friends or boxers that I know of have had that
happened to them.
GB: Sergei in Russia, will you be traveling for that? Going to someones backyard and
taking the fight on their turf again?
AT: With Sergei I would, because the WBA is real good with us, my promoter has a
good relationship with them. They give us fair judges and it would be a good fight for us.
GB: Do you like traveling to these other countries and fighting these other fighters
outside the states is hurting your popularity stateside?
AT: Its upsetting because I am from here. Its ok though, because the rest of the world
is calling out my name soon enough the states will have to hear it too. Its also kind of
another strategy of mine. If you look at a lot of the old school fighters they took it world
wide, even after they won world champ, they still traveled around the world and fought.
GB: Do the crowds affect how you fight as well? Does it feel like you are also fighting
against the crowd since you fight these fighters in their home countries and you get a lot
AT: There are two sides to it, when its against you, you have that motivation to shut
them up. Then again you have a lot more to lose because everyone expects you to win.
I try not to focus on any of that. I try to use whatever motivation I have, things like I am
winning this for my family.
GB: After this year, do you feel like 2012 going to be the year you get the belt Cotto
AT: I am taking it to anyone who wants it, if it gets to the point that every main fighter
wants it, then I might have to start picking choosing, and sure I will pick the ones that
make me the most money. I am not going to ignore my mandatory or anyone that
deserves the shot. I was there waiting for a year and half waiting to get my shot. I am
just going to follow the rules and fight who I am supposed to.
GB: Saul Alvarez and Alfonso Gomez? what is your opinion on that fight?
AT: I think that is a going to be a good matchup. Gomez has a hell of a chin he has
gotten a lot better. When he lost to Cotto he came back and he is a much different
fighter. I am a fan of Alvarez as much as I want to beat him up and he is a good fighter.
I think Alvarez is a better fighter. Even though you are good fighter Alvarez I’m a kick
GB: How would you characterize Alvarez’s boxing style?
AT: He is aggressive, he can’t really counter punch. He is slow, he has speed but there
is not enough speed. He throws good four punch combinations, and then wait a while,
but he doesn’t throw them enough. Thats where I am different I will be throwing three
or four punch combinations and if his defense is good he will be running from jabs the
whole night then.
GB: Any shout outs you would like to put out there?
AT: Shout out to my children they are my motivation. To God for giving me these
opportunities and for people wanting to interview me. To all my fans and friends who
have been there to support me.