During his 15-year professional career, former WBA junior middleweight Austin Trout has established himself as one of the top 154-pounders of this era. But as 2020 approaches, he has set his sights on moving down to conquer the welterweight division. “There are a lot of guys out there for me,” Trout said during a recent phone interview. “Hell, [IBF World Welterweight Champion] Errol Spence Jr. is as big as me, if not bigger. I saw him, I sized him up.”
Trout, who has never come in below 152.5-pounds, weighed 155 last May when he battled Terrell Gausha to a 10-round split draw. It was his first fight since June 2018 and only his fifth since 2015. “That was a trash performance,” said Trout. “My speed was off, timing, my footwork was trash. It wasn’t until the second half of the fight that I shook off some of the rust and started coming back a little. I can’t take off as much time as I did and expect to come back and beat a killer like Gausha.”
The Gausha bout forced Trout (31-5-1, 17 KOs) to assess his career trajectory. What was left to accomplish at 154? Most fighters would ponder a move up but with the 147-pound division bubbling with big fights, the 33-year-old New Mexico native sees an opportunity to place himself in the mix and perhaps upset the apple cart.
Other fighters have moved down before. After defeating John Ruiz for a portion of a heavyweight title back in 2003, Roy Jones Jr. returned to light heavyweight, where he was once king. The weight cut – which may have included a loss in muscle – proved to be his downfall. He lost two of his next three, resembling a shell of the boxer who was once considered the world’s best.
Similarly, former heavyweight champion Chris Byrd dropped down to 175 only to suffer a TKO loss in his first bout there. Trout says he’s aware of the risks and done everything to ensure he avoids those mistakes.
“I’ve taken the body scan and I can healthily lose enough fat and water to make 147,” said the affable southpaw. “I’m going to continuously take these body scans and unless something changes, like I have to cut muscle or it’s dangerous, then this is the move I want to make.”
Trout would like a bout at 150-pounds first. Then he wants a crack at the winner of the September 28th PBC on FOX Sports PPV between the undefeated Spence and WBC counterpart Shawn Porter—a unification bout he believes is a toss-up.
“I see a hard-fought 12 rounds where someone ekes out a decision,” Trout predicted. “I don’t think it’s going to be easy by any means. A lot of people are really sleeping on Shawn. I hope Errol isn’t sleeping on him in camp because I know Shawn’s coming.”
If he’s unable to secure a bout versus the winner, Trout will pivot to former two-division world champion, “Swift” Danny Garcia. It’s a fight he first discussed on Boxingscene.com last month. Garcia responded on The PBC Podcast, telling listeners, “He ain’t gotta move down, I’ll go up in weight to fight him. He ain’t nothing to me.”
Trout laughed upon hearing Garcia’s comments. “[Garcia] moving up would be wonderful, if he’s really about that life,” said Trout. “But I’ll still come down to fight Danny. He’s the name, he’s the star. If he wants to come up that would be a bad move for him.”
For now, Trout is keeping busy handling spot duty as an analyst on Fox boxing shows and working with Rock Steady Boxing Gym to teach the Sweet Science to those inflicted with Parkinson’s disease. Trout became inspired to help as far back as 2007, during the build-up to the Floyd Mayweather-Oscar De La Hoya super-bout.
“In 2007, when Floyd Mayweather Jr. fought Oscar De La Hoya, trainer Freddie Roach was saying he does his own boxing workout and that’s what kept him going, as far as dealing with his disease and being able to work and train his fighters. Since then I’ve been telling my coach, ‘Man, we should offer a boxing class for Parkinson’s.’”
The opportunity arose earlier this year and the results have been nothing short of inspirational.
“The hand-eye coordination, hand-eye-feet coordination in boxing helps victims of Parkinson’s to lower the symptoms and sometimes improve it,” Trout explained. “The shakes, the freezing, the balance, things like that. All my fighters have been making all kinds of improvement.”
Trout hopes to make his own improvements when he returns to the ring, possibly in November. He then hopes to fight three times in 2020. If all goes according to plan, he would have cemented his legacy in that period.
“I want another world title,” Trout said. “I want to be remembered as the journeyman that became champion, stayed champion and became champion once again. I didn’t really have an easy way to come up and stay up. So, when it’s all said and done, hopefully they recognize me for that."
PBC Press Release written by Kenneth Bouhairie