Nuthin’ like being a world champion in the sport’s hottest division.
Unless you’re unable to land a big fight, that is.
That’s where WBA Super Welterweight Champ Austin “No Doubt” Trout is at – fishing for a bout while the big names at 154 are upstream splashing away at one another.
“I only want to fight the best,” says Trout, undefeated at 25-0, 14 KOs. “I want the big names – or I want another belt. One way or the other, I’ll force someone to fight me.”
So far, Trout has been less “No Doubt,” and more like “No Bout.” Neither Trout nor his promoter, Greg Cohen, have been able to net a topnotch showdown or a fight against one of the other champs at 154.
Of the four major alphabets in the champ-naming business, Trout shares top honors with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (WBC), Cornelius “K-9” Bundrage (IBF) and Zaurbek Baysangurov (WBO). Further diluting the championship waters, the very organization that names Trout their “regular” champ, the WBA, continues to keep a “super” champion ranked over him – Floyd Mayweather.
“I’d love to fight Floyd,” says Trout. “He’s the biggest name out there, but I’ll take any of the names – Miguel Cotto, Canelo . . . even Vanes Martirosyan or Erislandy Lara.
“If I can’t get the big names, I just want a credible opponent.”
After Victor Ortiz lost to Josesito Lopez, Trout was considered a candidate to face Alvarez on Sept. 15, but that didn’t happen. Instead, Alvarez settled for Lopez rather than face the man who not only beat up his brother, Rigoberto, back in 2011, but took home his belt.
A big money fight against Anthony Mundine in Australia also failed to materialize for Trout. More recent, a fight against IBF champ Bundrage fell apart, as well, “K-9” telling the press that fighting Trout does little for him.
Is it politics? Trout’s slick southpaw style? Or a championship’s declining value that has Trout without a super bout?
Trout throws his hands up.
“I just don’t want to wait another six months to fight,” he says. “There’s no reason why I shouldn’t be fighting.”
In his last bout, Trout outclassed Delvin Rodriguez in what was his third title defense. Though the fight landed on a Showtime tripleheader, the fight did little to increase Trout’s value – it wasn’t exactly fight of the year.
After Golden Boy snubbed Trout, opting for Alvarez-Lopez on Sept. 15, a Trout-Bundrage unification bout was talked about for the Sept. 8 Randall Bailey vs. Devon Alexander card. When that fell through, another name entered the picture for Trout.
“We’re now talking Roberto Garcia,” says Trout, who continues to remain in the gym at half speed, until he can get something in writing.
“They’re saying late September or early October, but we’ll see.”
Garcia, 31-3, on a three-bout win streak since losing to Antonio Margarito, is No. 4 by the WBA. He is unranked in the other top ABCs.
“I’m trying to push forward,” says Trout. “It’s not the leap I want, but I’d rather fight somebody than nobody. Everyone we want to fight is busy so if Garcia gets the call, God bless ‘em.”