By Francisco Salazar
LOS ANGELES - Jermell Charlo won a 12 round majority decision over former world titleholder Austin Trout. With the win, Charlo successfully made the third defense of his WBC junior middleweight title.
Charlo, who is the twin brother of interim middleweight titleholder Jermall Charlo, successfully defended his WBC title for the third time with the win over Trout.
The southpaw Trout snapped a two-bout losing streak with a one-sided eight round decision over journeyman Juan De Angel in February of last year.
After a feeling-out opening two rounds, which drew a cascade of boos from the Staples Center crowd, Charlo scored a knockdown with about a minute left in the third round. A barrage of punches, culminating with a left hook to the head, dropped Trout near the ropes.
By the middle rounds, Trout looked like he was in survival mode, flicking jabs to the face of Charlo. Trout finally mustered consistent offense in round seven, throwing and connecting with counter left hands to the head of Charlo.
Trout had his best round in the seventh. The southpaw Trout was able to land a series of counter left hands to the head of Charlo. The rally was short-lived as Charlo closed the distance and connected with several combinations to the head of Trout.
Charlo (31-0, 15 knockouts) dropped Trout a second time in the fight at the start of the ninth round. A counter left hook dropped Trout to the canvas, but the Las Cruces, New Mexico resident was not visibly hurt.
Trout did very little to engage with Charlo, choosing to counter with a left cross or right hook behind a short jab. In some instances during the final two rounds, Charlos initiated exchanges, but did little to follow up and was content to box from the outside until the final bell sounded.
One judge scored inexplicably scored the bout 113-113 for Trout, but the other two judges scored the bout 118-108 and 115-111 for Charlo.
According to ShoStats, Charlo connected on 106 out of 421 total punches to Trout's 82 of 407 connected punches.
"I went to fish," said Charlo after the fight. "I tried to get some trout, but I couldn't catch him on the hook. I know they're used to seeing me knock boys out, but at least they saw me take care of business."
Asked about a potential unification fight with WBA/ IBF titleholder Jarret Hurd, Charlo was optimistic he would come out victorious.
"Trout will tell you who will win that fight. Trout moved, that's why he survived 12 (rounds). If Hurd sat in front of me and took those shots, he's done."
Trout falls to 31-5, 17 KOs.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. 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