WBA Light Middleweight champion Austin "No Doubt" Trout (22-0, 13 KOs) is primed and ready for his latest mission to Mexico.
Trout will make his first title defense against Sonora, Mexico's David "The Destroyer" Lopez (40-12, 23 KOs) on June 11 at the Auditorio Miguel Barragan in San Luis Potosi, Mexico.
It will be business as usual for Trout - most of his career highlights, thus far, have occurred south of the border. The Las Cruces, New Mexico, native won the WBA Continental Americas championship in Coahuila de Zaragoza, Mexico, in 2009 and then won the world title in Jalisco, Mexico, last February.
"For some reason, I think they like me down there," he laughs. "I don't know why. I keep going to Mexico and beating up Mexican fighters. I like it down there because they are still so passionate about boxing. Boxing is alive and well in Mexico. They flock to the weigh-ins and press conferences. During the fight they will boo and throw stuff, but it's all good. I really enjoy that part. You don't get that in the States anymore."
Trout says winning the championship has given him a boost in training.
"When I won the title, I felt like my job had just started. I felt like I had just entered the big leagues, so I worked even harder in the gym for this fight. Winning the championship, for me, was like graduating from high school. I feel great. I brought in some good fighters to spar with from the Baltimore and Washington area, Cecil McCalla, Maxell Taylor and Siju Shabazz. They're all quick and they got me sharp and strong."
The personable 25-year-old southpaw claims it took him a while to realize he was a champion. "For the first three weeks, it didn't even sink in. Then one night, I was looking at the belt and I said 'holy smoke. I'm world champion!!! I ran out onto my street and yelled 'The champ is here!' It was amazing; something I dreamed about since I was a kid."
Trout says he looks at fighting Lopez as another step toward his ultimate goal.
"He's a very tough guy. He's much avoided and for good reason. His losses were early in his career. He's strong. But, I'm not impressed. He's had some impressive wins, but I'm not impressed. I take nothing away from him, but I'm smarter and a better fighter. I can figure him out, but if he does something to upset my game plan, I have three hundred more I can go to. He has no answers for me. I'm the best and I'm ready to prove it against the best. Until they give me that chance, I'll beat up guys like this and wait."