Miguel Cotto (37-4, 30 KO) is one of the best ever to get in the ring, particularly in his era of boxers. Cotto’s accomplishments, alongside many others, include a 28 fight winning streak to begin his career. That streak only ended because his foe, Antonio Margarito, was likely cheating, a loss which he avenged one year ago on December 3, 2011. During that opening run, Cotto made Madison Square Garden his home, taking out the likes of Zab Judah and Shane Mosley in front of packed Puerto Rican crowds. He began Saturday 8-0 in the Garden and undefeated in New York. Then he fought Austin Trout.
Trout (25-0, 14 KO) is lesser-known than his fellow twenty something boxers, including Victor Ortiz, Andre Berto, Adrien Broner, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Canelo Alvarez, but became the first one to truly announce his presence on the big stage, beating Cotto in front of his de facto home. Each of the other boxers has fought on HBO, including a couple on pay-per-view, and have fought a big name in their weight classes while Trout has been in the shade at Showtime. None have a legitimate scalp like Trout (unless you count Canelo’s victory over 40-year old Sugar Shane coming off two L’s and a draw), who dominated the future hall of famer, winning by wide margins on the scorecards, 119-109 on one card and 117-111 on the others.
Trout, from Las Cruces, NM, has been a bit of a road warrior throughout his young career, so he wasn’t fazed by the 13,096 mostly pro-Cotto crowd in attendance. One such victory came against Canelo’s older brother, Rigoberto, in Mexico for Trout’s first belt. He called out younger bro after the fight once he spoiled the salacious matchup between Canelo and Cotto many were anticipating – the fight in which Canelo may have announced intentions of his own.
“Hey, Canelo! Tu quiero, Canelo!” Trout said on the mic after his epic 12th round ensured the only people watching who gave Cotto the win were Puerto Rican.
While many will be disappointed Canelo and Cotto is now unlikely, boxing can finally look forward to a new era of boxers. Cotto is still entitled to a rematch, though after watching the tape he may choose not to exercise that option, but Canelo vs. Trout matches two of the young guns in the game with belts and names on their resume for the first time.
The problem with that potential matchup is Trout’s lack of crowd support or name recognition: he doesn’t bring a lot of upside to the other side of the fight. Still, Canelo could carry the card, as his support in the Mexican community is enormous, but fighters and promoters don’t like to lose zeroes on records without at least six zeros coming back.
For now, Trout is enjoying his performance in the fight he says he’s been preparing for his life. And, unlike the other boxers his age, he can move on to the next stage.