Austin Trout started the night about as unknown as any champ in the sport.
But with his signature victory over crowd favorite Miguel Cotto, Trout without a doubt made a name for himself.
Trout roughed up Cotto late to win a 12-round unanimous decision and retain his share of the 154-pound title Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. Trout remained unbeaten and used lopsided scorecards to end Cotto’s run as the undisputed champion of the New York fight scene.
“All I wanted was a chance,” Trout said. “That’s all I asked for.”
He made the most of it at the Garden.
Trout (26-0) grated skin off Cotto’s battered face, leaving the challenger red and swollen, after cranking up the pressure over the final two rounds to truly take control on the scorecards. Cotto (37-4) lost his second straight fight after dropping a piece of the 154-pound title to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in May.
Billed as “No Doubt” Trout, he never wavered even as a raucous pro-Cotto crowd was against him from the start. Two judges scored the bout 117-111 and the third had it 119-109.
“I hope they bring me back to New York,” he said. “I loved fighting in the Garden.”
Cotto used to feel the same way. He long ruled in New York, turning the city into his own home-ring advantage, winning all seven of his fights at the Garden, plus one at Yankee Stadium.
Trout delivered in easily the biggest and most high-profile fight of his career. The 2004 U.S. Olympic alternate grinded out a championship reign in Texas and New Mexico and was a relative unknown on the national scene.
No doubt, that has changed.
“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.”
Trout truly swung the scorecards his way with stiff punches to the head and relentless jabs that shook Cotto.
Cotto, a four-time world champion, stormed out of the ring after the 12th and tersely asked who the fans thought won the bout. But this bout was no popularity contest. The 32-year-old Cotto wanted to time to think with his family before deciding to fight again.
“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.”
Trout got second billing in the pre-fight introduction, walking out first, a member of his team holding the title belt high over his head — the intro traditionally reserved for the challenger. But Cotto’s company, Miguel Cotto Promotions, helped promote the fight, and he was the main reason why 13,096 fans came to the Garden. They serenaded him with “Cotto! Cotto!” chants as he walked to the ring and they never let up until the end of the 12th round.
Trout’s trunks read “Keep Up.” Did he ever.
Not even getting called for a pair of low blows did much to shake Trout in what was essentially a road game for the champ. Trout was nailed in the sixth with a big left to the head. Cotto briefly put Trout against the ropes to end the 10th. Cotto put the fans on their feet when he connected with a series of body blows that left Trout reeling. Trout needed some extra time to start the 11th to adjust his gloves.
Trout did enough in his fourth title defense over the final two rounds to keep his WBA super welterweight belt.
“They shouldn’t have a question who Austin Trout is now,” he said.
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.Via Fox News Latino