WBA junior middleweight champ Austin Trout (26-0, 14 KOs) scored the biggest win of his career by successfully retaining his title with a twelve round unanimous decision over former three-division world champion Miguel Cotto (37-4, 30 KOs) on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
“Give me Canelo! – it’s time to unify this division” Trout told Showtime’s Jim Gray during his post-fight interview. “There are a lot of good fighters out there and I want to be the best.”
It was a closely contested fight that saw the southpaw Trout boxing effectively early on and Cotto coming on strong during the middle rounds. Trout (26-0) marked up Cotto’s face, leaving the challenger red and swollen, cranking up the pressure over the final two rounds to decisively take control of the scorecards.
When the final bell sounded, the champion had left “No Doubt”. Scores were 117-111, 117-111 and 119-109.
“Miguel Cotto is a great champion,” said Trout. “He’s a great fighter and it was an honor to be in the same ring as him. It’s even more of an honor to be the man to beat him. To have my hand raised against a kingpin like Miguel Cotto is a dream come true.
“Those shots that Cotto hit me with were strong and I knew he’d be strong, but it reconfirmed that I can take those shots. It was definitely the hardest fight of my career and when you fight someone as big as Miguel Cotto, it motivated me.”
Trout turned in the biggest and most high-profile win of his career. Until now The 2004 U.S. Olympic alternate was a relative unknown on the national scene.
“I’ve been preparing for this fight my entire life,” he said. “Fighting someone like Miguel Cotto is a dream come true for someone like me waiting for their big moment. I had to show him I was the biggest guy and push him back a couple of times. I kept pushing him back to show he had no advantage there.”
Cotto, a four-time world champion, stormed out of the ring after the 12th and tersely asked who the fans thought won the bout. Cotto, 32, wanted to time to think with his family before deciding if he will continue fighting.
“I’m not finished yet,” he said. “I still have boxing in my mind. I just want to rest with my family the rest of the year.”
“He was a really slippery boxer,’” Cotto said. “He knew how to move, how to use his elbows, how to keep me from landing my punches.’”
Now the attention turns to a probable unification showdown between Trout and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Trout has the ring savvy to give anyone trouble but will he be able to out-point one of boxing’s brightest young stars? Only time will tell; for now we know that Trout is a factor in the 154-pound division, “No Doubt” about it.