by David P. Greisman
BoxingScene.com: When you fought Delvin Rodriguez earlier this month, the talk was that the fight could possibly land you a shot at Canelo Alvarez. What was the talk in the time following about whether that had earned you a shot? Have you been up in the air since then?
Trout: “I’ve pretty much up in the air since then, but they’ve been talking about it still after the fight. In the post-fight press conference, they were asking if I was going to get the fight. I told them pretty much since I didn’t look stellar in my performance that that probably landed me the fight with Canelo. Had I looked great and took Rodriguez out in the manner that I was supposed to, in the manner that I could do, there’d be no talking about Austin Trout-Canelo.
“But I thought because I didn’t have such a great night — I had an off night, in my opinion — that it secured me a fight with Canelo. Then we fast forward and Victor Ortiz gets the fight, I think De La Hoya isn’t stupid and was like, ‘You know what, this kid won’t fight Trout.’ We know what happened to Victor Saturday. I think if I don’t get the fight, it’s because they just seriously don’t want to fight me. Me being in a position right now to get this fight is nothing short of a miracle.”
BoxingScene.com: What was going through your mind when you watched the Ortiz fight? Were you kind of hoping that would happen to him?
Trout: “Well I don’t hope that anybody gets seriously hurt, but I was hoping that Victor lost, and this is coming from a Victor Ortiz fan that watched Victor Ortiz in the amateurs at various tournaments. The only reason why I wanted him to lose because it’d be better for me to get the Canelo fight than him. It was nothing personal, just business. Yeah, I was hoping that Lopez would pull an upset, and God willing, he did.”
BoxingScene.com: It’s not even been 48 hours since that fight, but have you heard anything now about whether you’re back in the position now for facing Canelo?
Trout: “Yeah, I’m hearing I’m back in the picture. That’s what they’re telling me. I’d been in the gym, but that was so much motivation to get back in the gym.”
BoxingScene.com: Are there certain contractual terms they’d be making you accept or that you’d want?
Trout: “They haven’t brought any of that to my attention. I would like the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association to be involved in this fight. That’s one of the things that I would like, as far as my terms goes. And then of course we’re not going to take peanuts for the fight. I got a belt, too, and if they’re offering us peanuts, I don’t see why my belt should be put on the line. To be honest, I probably would fight for free just for the opportunity, but this is a business and I can’t do that, because then I’d probably fight a lot more fights for free.”
BoxingScene.com: Why do you want VADA involved? Is it something specific about Canelo, or something more about the state of the sport right now?
Trout: “Nothing specific. I’m not trying to say Canelo’s on anything or nothing like that. It’s just look how many freaking people have been caught using some illegal substances, people I would have never thought of. It’s just because of the state of the sport. And there’s been no controversy with VADA, as opposed to USADA. I think VADA’s been on their p’s and q’s, and that’s the company I’d go with as far as this fight goes.”
BoxingScene.com: What do you see from Canelo as a fighter?
Trout: “He’s a good fighter. I like his combinations. I like the power he brings. But I feel like my style and the adaptability I have, I have a variety of things I can do, and one of the things I see that’s lacking is his footwork. He’s standing right there, he has great combinations, but when you take that step around, I think he can be neutralized.”
BoxingScene.com: Are you concerned at all that the fight could go to someone who’s been on TV more, like James Kirkland if he’s back in the picture, or Miguel Cotto or somebody else who’s been more in the spotlight than you?
Trout: “I’m definitely concerned, and I can understand and see why they would do that. That has nothing to do with my goals. My goal is to be the undisputed, undefeated champion, and if Canelo has the aspirations of any champion in this game, his goal should be the same. Really, Kirkland and them don’t offer anything that I do, because I have the belt, if nothing else — and I beat his brother. There’s a little back story to it.”
BoxingScene.com: Did you ever talk to Canelo about that after you beat his brother, Rigoberto?
Trout: “Yes. We called him out. We even reminded him numerous times about the revenge that he talked about. After the fight, he came and challenged me for my belt and for revenge of his brother. When he got his belt a month later, he stopped talking about it altogether.
“So yeah, we talked about it. We even sent a press release probably a year ago reminding him that he wants revenge and that I’m more than willing to give him that chance. Now it’s the other way around. He’s giving me a chance at his belt, and I’m going to take full advantage of it. I think he better think long and hard about if he wants to give me a chance at his belt.”
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter at twitter.com/fightingwords2 or on Facebook at facebook.com/fightingwordsboxing, or send questions and comments to [email protected]