By Francisco Salazar
According to Terrell Gausha, tonight’s clash against Austin Trout is not a crossroads bout.
Gausha believes the winner is right back in the mix of the talented junior middleweight division and could be in line for a world title fight.
A lot is on the line as Trout and Gausha will square off at the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. The 10-round bout will headline a three-bout telecast on FS1 (8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT).
At Friday’s weigh-in, Gausha weighed in at 154.8 pounds. Trout weighed 155 pounds.
Gausha (21-1, 10 knockouts) knocked out former fringe contender Joey Hernandez in his last bout on Dec. 22 in Brooklyn, New York. The fight came 14 months after Gausha suffered his only loss as a pro at the hands of Erislandy Lara by unanimous decision.
The southpaw Gausha, who is originally from Cleveland and now resides in the Los Angeles suburb of Encino, is ranked No. 13 by the WBA.
Trout (31-5, 17 KOs), a former world titleholder at 154, is the favorite to win, but Gausha believes a victory Saturday night could lead to bigger fights later this year or in 2020.
“This is the type of fight I need to move forward,” Gausha told BoxingScene Friday afternoon. “Austin has fought some of the best fighters in the world. He’s solid. A victory over him could propel me to fight against the best in the division.”
Tonight’s fight between Trout and Gausha could well be labeled as a crossroads fight. Both have come off a loss within their last two fights and a loss could jeopardize their status as a legit contender at 154 pounds.
Gausha does not believe that tonight is a crossroads bout against Trout. Instead, he thinks a victory could propel him to a possible title fight.
“I don’t think this is anywhere near a crossroads bout. Trout is still a big name in the division. I only have one loss on my record. There is a lot on the line, but these are the fights I need that could put me in a place to fight for a world title.”
With Julian Williams’ victory over Jarrett Hurd on May 11, Gausha believes any top fighter at 154 pounds is susceptible to a loss, including Trout.
The 31-year-old Gausha, a 2012 U.S. Olympian, would like the opportunity to fight Williams, and a victory over Trout tonight could put him in a good position for that to become a reality.
“I would love that opportunity. I believe I can take advantage of that if I’m able to fight Williams. That’s the goal.”
Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing