By Keith Idec
Austin Trout respects Erislandy Lara’s impressive amateur pedigree.
The former WBA super welterweight champion just doesn’t think Lara (18-1-2, 12 KOs) is the bravest boxer he’ll ever encounter. In fact, Trout (26-1, 14 KOs) expects his perceived superior will to be one of the deciding factors in their 12-round, 154-pound fight for Lara’s interim WBA super welterweight title Saturday night in Brooklyn.
“I feel like he lacks real heart and will, and we’re going to go out and expose that,” Trout said. “I’m a technical fighter as well, but as I said, I’ve got the high determination to win in all different types of scenarios.”
The Trout-Lara clash is perhaps the most intriguing of the four fights Showtime will televise Saturday night from Barclays Center. It appears to be an evenly matched battle between primed, highly skilled southpaws that either fighter could win, though you wouldn’t know it from the way both boxers have spoken about each other throughout the promotion.
“Austin Trout is an OK fighter,” Lara said. “There’s nothing special about him. I feel that he’s on his way out. He had his time and I’m going to prove that. And as far as having heart, you know, let’s see in the ring. I’ll show him in the ring who has heart or not, and we’ll decide then.”
The 30-year-old Lara last fought June 8, the night he overcame two knockdowns to stop Mexico’s Alfredo Angulo (22-3, 18 KOs) in the 10th round in Carson, Calif. The 28-year-old Trout will fight for the first time since suffering his lone professional defeat, a 12-round unanimous-decision loss to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (42-1-1, 30 KOs) on April 20 in San Antonio.
Showtime’s broadcast, which will match Brooklyn natives and former welterweight champions Zab Judah (42-8, 29 KOs, 2 NC) and Paulie Malignaggi (32-5, 7 KOs) in the 12-round main event, is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
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.