By Keith Idec
NEW YORK — Like a typical New Yorker, Austin Trout jokingly shook his head in disgust and offered a “no comment” when asked about the trials and tribulations associated with being a longtime supporter of the Jets, Mets and Knicks.
Austin Trout was raised in Las Cruces, N.M., but the WBA 154-pound champion has deep roots in Brooklyn and Harlem, where he spent plenty of time during his formative years.
He fully understands, however, that virtually everyone in the capacity crowd at Madison Square Garden will cheer for Miguel Cotto on Dec. 1. That just makes Trout (25-0, 14 KOs) more determined to send them home as disappointed as any Mets fan from Citi Field, Jets fan from MetLife Stadium or Knicks fan from the Garden.
“The crowd don’t bother me at all,” Trout said at the El Museo Del Barrio in Manhattan. “One of the things I like to do when I’m in hostile waters is to maker sure that the building is quiet. If I’m the visitor and the building is quiet, it means I’m doing the right thing. On Dec. 1, I plan for a quiet Garden.”
The undefeated southpaw knows, of course, that no matter how many of his family members and friends attend the biggest fight of his seven-year pro career that they’ll be overwhelmingly out-numbered by the faithful fans of the wildly popular Cotto (37-3, 30 KOs).
Cotto, 31, has been a consistently successful gate attraction at the Garden since the former three-division champion first fought there in June 2005. His last fight at “The Mecca of Boxing,” a grudge rematch against Mexico’s Antonio Margarito, drew a Cotto-crazed capacity crowd in excess of 20,000 last Dec. 3.
“It’s fine,” Trout said. “Like I’ve said, the passion that they show for boxing, I appreciate. Whether it’s for me or against me, you’re still making the sport greater.”
He is much more concerned with one particular Puerto Rican, anyway.
“We know Miguel Cotto’s a great fighter,” Trout said. “We know we’re going to have to do everything we need to do to take the right steps to be at our best. But I feel me at my best can beat anybody, especially Miguel Cotto.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.