by David P. Greisman
Austin Trout is a world titleholder in a division full of big names, but that level of fame and attention has eluded the 26-year-old junior middleweight.
That might not be true for too much longer.
Trout, 24-0 with 14 knockouts, recently signed with influential boxing adviser Al Haymon. And on April 12, BoxingScene.com broke the news that Trout would be fighting Delvin Rodriguez on Showtime on June 2.
Trout spoke with BoxingScene.com in an interview done prior to news of that fight being made.
BoxingScene.com: Itís been a bit since weíve seen you. Whatís been going on with you?
Trout: ďAside from boxing, just hanging out with family, raising the kids. Iím supposed to get married next year. Thatís kept me busy.Ē
BoxingScene.com: What about boxing ó whatís going on in the boxing world with you?
Trout: ďI got exciting news. I signed with Al Haymon. Thatís like being drafted right there. Weíll be ready for whatís going on soon. In the near future, we got a fight lined up in June. Iím hoping that I get the call that says that itís official. Iím trying to get back in there by June, hopefully on a major network.Ē
[Later, the news broke that Trout will be fighting Delvin Rodriguez on Showtime on June 2.]
BoxingScene.com: Letís take this bit by bit. Why did you decide to sign with Al Haymon?
Trout: ďHe called me and asked if I was interested. I thought that was kind of a dumb question. Of course Iím interested. It was kind of out of the blue. He said heís been a fan from afar since I won the title and heíd like to do some major things.Ē
BoxingScene.com: What do you think that will bring to your career?
Trou: ďWell if nothing else, the exposure level. A lot of his fighters, they stay on TV. And if he didnít bring anything else, if he just brought more exposure to my career, Iíd be happy, because I feel thatís the one thing I need is for people to see me. I feel like I have the skills and the heart and the mindset to be one of the best, but the best-kept secrets arenít considered the best.Ē
BoxingScene.com: But youíre thinking itís not just exposure heíll bring you.
Trout: ďNo, no. Iím sure heíll bring a lot more wealth, a lot more opportunities. But if he did nothing else but just get me more TV dates, that would be worth it.Ē
BoxingScene.com: You said you want to be back in the ring in June. Who are you aiming for?
Trout: ďI would love to fight Delvin Rodriguez [See note above]. I believe heís my mandatory, and I really just want to get that mandatory out of the way. I want to exercise my own mandatory position, and I canít do that if I got a mandatory hanging over my head that I got to take care of.Ē
BoxingScene.com: Your mandatoryís the winner of Miguel Cotto vs. Floyd Mayweather. Clearly youíre aiming for the big names.
Trout: ďThatíd be great. In a perfect world, thatíd be great, get my mandatory out of the way, exercise my mandatory position and become a star. I understand that [it might not happen, or I might have to take another] fight to get a superstar in there. But you know, thatís fine.† I still want to go make that buzz, make that noise, saying Iím the mandatory. Then if not, there must be something about me that makes them not want to fight me. Thatíll have people start looking more into that.Ē
BoxingScene.com: Iíd seen the rumors that youíd be coming back in August on an HBO doubleheader. Whatís going on with that?
Trout: ďIím still very interested in fighting [Sergiy] Dzinziruk on HBO in August. My problem was I donít want to wait until August. If they have me sign now, part of the contract is I canít fight until then. Iím not waiting until August. My last fight was November. I donít see any reason to wait almost a year to fight. So if the fightís still there after I get a fight between now and August, Iíd still take it.Ē
BoxingScene.com: Your preference, though, is to do Delvin Rodriguez in June, and then let whatever chips fall wherever they may.
BoxingScene.com: Itís been in a while since youíve been in the ring and youíre trying not to have it be any longer. What are you doing to keep yourself in shape and from being rusty?
Trout: ďI stay in the gym. I was in Matthew Macklinís camp when he was fighting Sergio [Martinez]. While I was there, I didnít just spar Macklin. I sparred with everybody. Ö I was trying to get work with everybody. Now Iím just back home. Iím just starting camp. I donít have a date quite yet. But I feel like if Iím not in camp, if I donít have a fight coming up, I feel like such a bum. Iím with the kids and go to the gym for a few hours a day, but when Iím in camp I feel like Iím at my most productive.Ē
BoxingScene.com: What are you walking around at right now?
Trout: ďRight now Iím in the high Ď60s.Ē
BoxingScene.com: Youíre definitely not in the James Toney blowup phase. Thatís a good thing.
Trout: ďNo, I hate losing weight, so I try not to get too high up.Ē
BoxingScene.com: I know you pay close attention to the junior middleweight division. What do you see with the other names out there?
Trout: ďThe more I see these guys fight, the more hungry I get, the more I want to get in there and show Ďem how to do it. We got Canelo and Mosley coming up. That should be interesting. You always want to see what kind of Mosley shows up. As far as whatís supposed to happen, Canelo is supposed to beat that old lion Mosley. I would love to get that fight as well. I hear that theyíre promising the Mayweather-Cotto winner to Canelo.
ďThen I think we got K9 [Bundrage] going with Cory Spinks. Is that whatís going to happen? I donít really care about that fight. And then K9 should probably win. Cory Spinks is not consistent. James Kirkland-Carlos Molina, that was interesting. Kirkland was exposed a lot. But Iíve always thought Kirkland was limited; heís just very strong. I would love to fight Kirkland, especially after that. I wanted to fight him when he beat Angulo.Ē
BoxingScene.com: These guys are pairing up, and I know youíve wanted these guys. I know thatís got to be frustrating, but at the same time itís also got to be looking better because youíve signed with such a powerbroker.
Trout: ďThatís right. Like you said, Iíve been wanting to fight these guys, but now that Iíve got some influence on my side, the fights can definitely happen.Ē
BoxingScene.com: What else do you want people to know?
Trout: ďI got a lot of these different projects that are going on outside the ring. But I want my work in the ring to bring them all together. As impatient as Iíve been, you guys have been awesome. Look forward to seeing me soon. Iím about to be on your TV screens a lot. They canít deny me too much longer. Your patience will pay off.Ē
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 firstname.lastname@example.orgTags: Austin Trout , Delvin Rodriguez , Trout-Rodriguez , Trout vs Rodriguez