By Francisco Salazar & Cliff Rold
They fight the fights for a reason.
28-year old former WBA 154 lb. titlist Austin Trout (27-2, 14 KO) of Las Cruces, New Mexico, picked up an expected decision over ten rounds against 36-year old Daniel Dawson (40-4-1, 26 KO) Perth, Western Australia, Australia, on Friday night at the Pechanga Casino and Resort in Temecula, California. It was the route to arriving at the expected that made the trip worth it.
Trout came off the deck twice in the third, and dropped Dawson in the eighth, in what ended up an entertaining scrap. Both men weighed in at the division limit of 154 lbs. The referee was Jack Reiss.
Trout was on the offensive from early on, beginning to overpower Dawson with fast jabs and stiff right hands. With six minutes gone, it looked like the beginnings of a walk for the former titlist.
Matters took a serious turn in round three.
Finding a home for the right hand, Dawson came down the pipe and Trout was sent to the floor clearly stunned. He rose and continued on, Dawson looking for another right hand. He found it, Trout deposited on the seat of his trunks for the second knockdown of the round.
Trout made it out of the round and managed to stay safe in the fourth and fifth, boxing and moving to keep the Dawson right hand in the holster. Towards the end of the latter, Dawson got closer but Trout, alert, kept himself away as he began to build a lead again.
In the sixth, Trout began to open up, throwing combinations and bringing the fight to Dawson in spots. Dawson was taking hard shots, evident in the sweat flying from his head, but he was undeterred. Digging to the body, he couldn’t find the chin and Trout held the edge.
Dawson was all guts in round seven, taking an assortment of jabs, uppercuts, and crosses from an assertive Trout. He couldn’t keep taking them with abandon in round eight. Pummeled by the more polished professional, Dawson ate a left and right to be sent to the floor near the corner. Dawson rose and bravely stayed on his feet to make it out of the round.
Trout was till looking for the knockout in the ninth. Dawson was there, waiting and praying for a right hand to save him. It didn’t happen but Trout couldn’t put him down again and they went to their corners with three minutes to go.
The closing frame punctuated the win for Trout but, after an early surge, he never really went all in for the knockout again. Sensing his lead, Trout boxed well and firmed up a certain lead on the cards, the crowd giving its approval to both men for an unexpectedly dramatic outing.
Unanimous scores of 97-90 were rewarded to Trout. He earned every one of those points and stops a losing streak of two after decision disappointments at the hands of Canelo Alvarez and Erislandy Lara.
In the co-feature bout, welterweight Erick Bone won a 10 round unanimous decision over Mahonri Montes.
After a slow start, Bone found his rhythm, landing combinations to the head of Montes, even though he fought in spurts. Bone began finding a home for repeated left hooks to the head of Montes in the third and fourth rounds, coupled with lead right hands.
Montes made things hard for himself, as he did not use a consistent jab while attempting to walk Bone down. Anytime he had Bone within punching range, he was too late to land anything flush as Bone beat him to the punch during most exchanges.
Montes began baring the brunt of Bone's punches to the head, as his face reddened with each passing moment.
Sensing he was down on the scorecards, Montes made one final push in the 10th round. While Montes was able to land more punches, Bone was never in any danger, keeping his distance up until the final bell.
All three judge scored the bout in favor of Bone, 97-93, 97-93, and 100-90.
The Ecuadorian-born Bone, from Howard Beach, N.Y., improves to 15-1, 8 KOs. Montes, from Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, falls to 28-4-1, 20 KOs.
The televised opener got things off to an explosive start.
23-year old Egyptian Light Heavyweight Ahmed Albiale (6-0, 6 KO), 175, Miami, Florida, needed a single right hand to end the evening for 31-year old Dwayne Williams (5-4, 2 KO), 175, of Detroit Michigan. In the midst of an exchange, Elbiale connected flush to the temple to send Williams face first into the floor. Referee Pat Russell didn’t both to count, halting the bout at 1:51 of round one.
The card was broadcast in the US on ESPN2, promoted by Goosen Promotions.
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene and a member of the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]