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: It’s been a bit since we’ve seen you. What’s been going on with you?
Trout: “Aside from boxing, just hanging out with family, raising the kids. I’m supposed to get married next year. That’s kept me busy.”
BoxingScene.com: What about boxing — what’s going on in the boxing world with you?
Trout: “I got exciting news. I signed with Al Haymon. That’s like being drafted right there. We’ll be ready for what’s going on soon. In the near future, we got a fight lined up in June. I’m hoping that I get the call that says that it’s official. I’m trying to get back in there by June, hopefully on a major network.”
[Later, the news broke that Trout will be fighting Delvin Rodriguez on Showtime on June 2.]
BoxingScene.com: Let’s take this bit by bit. Why did you decide to sign with Al Haymon?
Trout: “He called me and asked if I was interested. I thought that was kind of a dumb question. Of course I’m interested. It was kind of out of the blue. He said he’s been a fan from afar since I won the title and he’d like to do some major things.”
BoxingScene.com: What do you think that will bring to your career?
Trou: “Well if nothing else, the exposure level. A lot of his fighters, they stay on TV. And if he didn’t bring anything else, if he just brought more exposure to my career, I’d be happy, because I feel that’s 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 aren’t considered the best.”
BoxingScene.com: But you’re thinking it’s not just exposure he’ll bring you.
Trout: “No, no. I’m sure he’ll 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.”
BoxingScene.com: You said you want to be back in the ring in June. Who are you aiming for?
Trout: “I would love to fight Delvin Rodriguez [See note above]. I believe he’s 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 can’t do that if I got a mandatory hanging over my head that I got to take care of.”
BoxingScene.com: Your mandatory’s the winner of Miguel Cotto vs. Floyd Mayweather. Clearly you’re aiming for the big names.
Trout: “That’d be great. In a perfect world, that’d 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, that’s fine. I still want to go make that buzz, make that noise, saying I’m the mandatory. Then if not, there must be something about me that makes them not want to fight me. That’ll have people start looking more into that.”
BoxingScene.com: I’d seen the rumors that you’d be coming back in August on an HBO doubleheader. What’s going on with that?
Trout: “I’m still very interested in fighting [Sergiy] Dzinziruk on HBO in August. My problem was I don’t want to wait until August. If they have me sign now, part of the contract is I can’t fight until then. I’m not waiting until August. My last fight was November. I don’t see any reason to wait almost a year to fight. So if the fight’s still there after I get a fight between now and August, I’d still take it.”
BoxingScene.com: Your preference, though, is to do Delvin Rodriguez in June, and then let whatever chips fall wherever they may.
BoxingScene.com: It’s been in a while since you’ve been in the ring and you’re trying not to have it be any longer. What are you doing to keep yourself in shape and from being rusty?
Trout: “I stay in the gym. I was in Matthew Macklin’s camp when he was fighting Sergio [Martinez]. While I was there, I didn’t just spar Macklin. I sparred with everybody. … I was trying to get work with everybody. Now I’m just back home. I’m just starting camp. I don’t have a date quite yet. But I feel like if I’m not in camp, if I don’t have a fight coming up, I feel like such a bum. I’m with the kids and go to the gym for a few hours a day, but when I’m in camp I feel like I’m at my most productive.”
BoxingScene.com: What are you walking around at right now?
Trout: “Right now I’m in the high ‘60s.”
BoxingScene.com: You’re definitely not in the James Toney blowup phase. That’s a good thing.
Trout: “No, I hate losing weight, so I try not to get too high up.”
BoxingScene.com: I know you pay close attention to the junior middleweight division. What do you see with the other names out there?
Trout: “The more I see these guys fight, the more hungry I get, the more I want to get in there and show ‘em 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 what’s supposed to happen, Canelo is supposed to beat that old lion Mosley. I would love to get that fight as well. I hear that they’re promising the Mayweather-Cotto winner to Canelo.
“Then I think we got K9 [Bundrage] going with Cory Spinks. Is that what’s going to happen? I don’t 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 I’ve always thought Kirkland was limited; he’s just very strong. I would love to fight Kirkland, especially after that. I wanted to fight him when he beat Angulo.”
BoxingScene.com: These guys are pairing up, and I know you’ve wanted these guys. I know that’s got to be frustrating, but at the same time it’s also got to be looking better because you’ve signed with such a powerbroker.
Trout: “That’s right. Like you said, I’ve been wanting to fight these guys, but now that I’ve got some influence on my side, the fights can definitely happen.”
BoxingScene.com: What else do you want people to know?
Trout: “I 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 I’ve been, you guys have been awesome. Look forward to seeing me soon. I’m about to be on your TV screens a lot. They can’t deny me too much longer. Your patience will pay off.”
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]