Austin Trout and Erislandy Lara talk December 7th

Kelly Swanson          

Thanks, everybody for joining us today. We have four fantastic fighters that are going to be available to talk to you and answer your questions about their fight on the December 7th, Zab Judah and Paulie Malignaggi Undercard at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

This call is with Devon Alexander, Shawn Porter, Erislandy Lara and Austin Trout and we're going to start the call with Austin Trout and Erislandy Lara and then we'll switch over to Devon Alexander and Shawn Porter. So, I'm going to turn it over to Richard Schaefer, Chief Executive Officer of Golden Boy Promotions to make the introductions. Richard?

 

Richard Schaefer        

Thank you, Kelly. Hello, everybody. Good morning, good afternoon. You're right, four great fighters on the phone here, but we're going to have four great fights on that card. It's going to be a quadruple header with three world title fighters, Sakio Bika against Anthony Dirrell opening up the night and then Lara against Trout and Alexander against Shawn Porter and then although no world title at stake, it's going to be the fight of Brooklyn, Malignaggi against Zab Judah.

 

Tickets are going extremely well. I do anticipate the largest yet crowd at the Barclays Center on December the 7th. Tickets are priced very attractively, starting at $25, $50, $75, $125 and $250. I'd like to thank our sponsors as well, Corona, AT&T and Grudge Match. Yes, the movie, Grudge Match is a sponsor of this event and I'd like to welcome as well a new sponsor, Casamigos Tequila, which is one of the fastest growing tequilas here in the United States and, of course, in Mexico. It's owned, among others, by George Clooney and Cindy Crawford, so I really want to welcome Casamigos to the boxing family.

 

The Showtime telecast is going to start at 9:00 p.m. Eastern and I'd like to introduce now the two fighters, which are going to be fighting for the WBA Interim Super Welterweight World Title in a 12-round fight. First up I'd like to introduce to you Austin Trout with a record of 26 and 1, from Las Cruces, New Mexico, fighting out of El Paso, Texas. We all know he's the former WBA Super Welterweight World Champion belt he won over Rigoberto Alvarez in February 2011.

 

He defended the belt successfully four times and then lost, including against Miguel Cotto, which was a great performance there at Madison Square Garden. So, for him it's a coming home to New York to the place where he had the biggest victory of his career.

 

He is going to be fighting Erislandy Lara, one of the greatest amateur boxers to emerge from Cuba. In 2011 he lost a highly controversial decision over former World Champion Paul Williams, but then followed up with impressive knockouts over Ronald Hearns and outpointed Freddy Hernandez. Then in one hell of an exciting fight his 10-round technical knockout victory over Alfredo Angulo earlier this year and so now he on December the 7th, Lara will face Austin Trout for the WBA 104 pound crown. Lara and Austin Trout are without any question two of the top five pound-for-pound 154 pound fighters. Most experts have them ranked right there, number three and four.

 

So, this is a very meaningful match-up in this division, in a division I might add, which is loaded with a lot of good names out there. So, I'd like to introduce to you now, with a record of 18 one and two with 12 knockouts, from Cuba now fighting out of Houston, Texas, Erislandy Lara.

 

Erislandy Lara

Hi everyone. I'm working very hard in the gym. Thank God that everything is going great. Just waiting for the date of the fight, but everything is going very, very good moving forward.

 

Austin Trout

Well, I want to thank God for the opportunity to get right back to the position where I left, where I felt I belonged. A fighter like Lara is right there in my resume to be fighting the best and being the best.

 

Q

Hi, guys. Thanks for taking the time to do the call. First question is for Mr. Trout. Austin, I'd like your assessment of Erislandy Lara. What does he bring to the table? What do you think of him technically and how do you plan to beat him?

 

A. Trout         

Well, you know, I'm not going to give how I'm going to beat him, but he brings a very strong technical amateur base to it. He's very strong, having a lot fights in amateurs. I feel like he lacks real heart and will and we're going to go out and expose out that because I'm a technical fighter as well, but as I said I've got the high determination to win in all different types of scenarios.

 

Q    

All right. That's a good assessment. A question for Erislandy. What do you think of Trout technically? What does he bring to the table? And I'd like you to comment on him saying that you maybe lack the heart and the will to win?

 

E. Lara     

Austin Trout is an okay fighter. There's nothing special about him. I feel that he's on his way out. He had his time and I'm going to prove that. And as far as having a heart, you know, let's see in the ring. I'll show him in the ring who has a heart or not and we'll decide then.

 

Q      

Richard, you're talking about these being two of the best here at 154, don't know who's going to win; it's kind of a coin flip fight, but I am curious, do you have any ideas what will happen with the winner? Who might the winner face?

 

R. Schaefer    

Well, you know, you have Carlos Molina, you have Canelo Alvarez, you know, there's obviously Floyd, but I don't see Floyd fighting at 154 unless it's a really big undisputed truly middleweight fight, that kind of thing. You have Angulo still there, you have a bunch of guys so we'll just have to see on how that will match up with the calendars of some of those names I just mentioned now. But I can definitely see a potential fight down the road with Canelo Alvarez.

 

Q

Hey, guys. Obviously, Richard just said you both have, well, you've already fought Canelo, Austin, and Erislandy has wanted Canelo for a long time. How much incentive does having his name out there as an immediate fight, how much incentive does that add to this fight for you guys, for each of you?

 

A. Trout         

I'm not worried about Canelo. My focus is on Lara. You know, whether Canelo picks the fight with the winner, that's great. I don't know or believe that he will, but regardless of that or not my whole focus is beating Lara on his way out.

 

Q        

Erislandy, same question.

 

E. Lara

I'm not even thinking about that. I'm even thinking beyond this fight. My job is to first beat Austin Trout and then after that all the other doors are going to open up and I'll take on all comers. Right now I'm just focused on the fight and I'm focused on busting up Austin Trout's mouth.

 

Q

Okay. One more question for each of you. Austin, the last time you fought a southpaw was David Lopez and we all know how Erislandy did against Paul Williams, who is a southpaw. Can each of you address what the difference is for each of you in facing a southpaw of the caliber that you're going to face on December 7th?

 

A. Trout         

Well, Lara is not David Lopez and I'm not Paul Williams, so the comparison is not really there. David was a bigger slugger, in my opinion, but he was also slower. So, to try to look at that fight towards this fight, it's apples and oranges. He's a different caliber of fighter and a different breed and I'm going to make him look like the amateur he is.

 

E. Lara

Well, the big difference between Paul Williams and Austin Trout is that Paul Williams has balls. He was a fighter that would attack you and he was aggressive and he would come at you and he knew how to box as well. With Austin Trout, he's just a guy that runs; he's a fighter that runs.

 

Q        

My question for you, Austin, is it's been since April where you had the fight with Canelo. A lot of people thought you did enough maybe to get the decision in that fight. And I'm wondering, you're coming back now end of the year, how much excitement is there for you to get back in the ring? I know that fight didn't go the way you wanted, just your general enthusiasm for the combat once again?

 

A. Trout         

I'm absolutely excited to get in the fight. I really wanted to fight as soon as I could. I wasn't injured, I wasn't necessarily beat up, but I had to wait for December. So, all that in value then builds up and I'm ready to take it out on Lara. Somebody has got to get rid of this guy and I'm happy to be the one to do it. I feel like I'm the only one that can do it, so it's really honorable to be able to get in there and get my belt back at the same time.

 

Q        

Now, when you lost to Canelo in what by all accounts was a very close fight and then you watch Canelo go in his next fight in the humongous event that he had with Floyd and lose in the estimation of most a completely one-sided decision, did you sit and watch that and think to yourself, boy, man, I would have done a lot better against Mayweather than this guy just did?

 

A. Trout         

Most definitely. Like I said, Canelo had his best fight in his life when he fought against me. And in my opinion I'd give myself maybe a seven or eight; it was definitely not my best and then an off night for him, by his standards. And that was the number one thing I thought, like, come on, Canelo, you're making us both look bad, one. And two, you should have just let me go ahead and get that fight because I sure would have put up a better fight than that.

 

Q       

And now, the other big name opponent that you fought, which is Miguel Cotto, who you beat in a fight that there was no controversy about. He's come back and got a victory last month and now he is now in contention, a fight, a big fight with Canelo Alvarez, another huge fight, for the guy that you beat. Do you feel like, I mean, he's the bigger name, I guess, he's the bigger, but does the competitive unfairness maybe gnaw at you a little bit and make you motivated to go out and kick some butt against Lara?

 

A. Trout         

Well, I use that as motivation. It's not necessarily the best fighting the best and, again, except the fight with me and Lara fighting each other, but it's more; I think really that we're fighting each other because nobody else wants to fight us. But you know me, I'll take all comers and for him to say I don't have any balls, he's never watched me fight, which is fine. He can sleepwalk if he wants to.

 

It's the golden rule; you punch, that makes the rule. I can't be bitter about it because that's something I don't have control over. I've just got to do what I can do with opportunities that come my way and that's really why I'm going to make the most of this opportunity that's presented itself.

 

Q        

So, when you saw Erislandy's last fight, which was a much more action packed fight than we've seen him in typically when he fought, what did you think about that? It seemed like he took advantage of the shortcomings that Alfredo Angulo has, but he also fought in a much more crowd pleasing way than he has in the past. Did you think he changed his style a little bit in that fight and what did you make of it?

 

A. Trout         

I think he had to. He had to fight; Angulo was coming for him and Angulo was catching him. You're either going to fight or flight and he fought some, but he did run a lot so he chose both.

 

Q

I think maybe, you tell me if I'm wrong here, I think part of the reason why you have not fought since April was you were going through the legal situation and your separation from your previous promoter. Can you talk a little about just the whole aspect of going through the separation and dealing with the legalities and not sure when you'd be allow to fight again?

 

A. Trout         

Gladly. It was hard to not know when you're going to be able to work again. I fell out of work, I felt like I was waiting for my unemployment check which was not coming any time soon. I'm very happy and proud to say that I'm not with Greg Cohen Promotions. It was the best thing that could happen to my career as this year goes and I'm just happy to put that all behind me and move forward.

 

Q        

What actually happened in that? What was the disagreement?

 

A. Trout         

He was trying to sue for some bogus basis. The word forgery can be used very heavily so without going into too many details, I'm just happy that it's over with and now Showtime and Golden Boy, they know that it was all bullshit. So, to get that bullshit aside I'm ready to fight and that's awesome motivation to whip Lara's ass.

 

Q        

Did you sign with Golden Boy now?

 

A. Trout         

I am not signed with Golden Boy technically, but they have promoted my last four or five fights.

 

R. Schaefer

We have a great relationship, as you know. Austin's with Al Haymon and Al and me work very closely together so even though it's not signed, you know, Floyd Mayweather is not signed with us either, but sometimes those contracts where you don't have a contract may be the best one.

 

Q        

I understand that. I know you guys have a good relationship. I just wanted to know the technical fact of whether he was under your promotional contract. I know that he's with you guys. Thank you, Austin. Good luck in the fight and appreciate your time. Thanks, Richard.

 

Q  

Austin, as you mentioned before, you're getting right back in there and you're going right for a world title just after you lost one. How do you feel about having the opportunity to win back immediately what you lost?

 

A. Trout         

I feel that God doesn't make mistakes. In my loss I learned a lot of things, I learned a lot of things and it helped me tighten up my game, tighten up my business. And, in a sense, the lessons learned kind of evened it up for me and to be able to come right back and get back to my world title, it's kind of predestined in my opinion.

 

I believe God does everything for a reason and He put me right back in this spot to put me back to where I need to be. Had I won I probably would have never learned these lessons that unfolded themselves.

Q  

Erislandy said that he believes that you're going to run in the fight, that you won't stand toe-to-toe with him. It comes down to a situation where you basically have to do that. Will you stand in the trenches with him?

 

A. Trout         

Have you ever seen me run in a fight as opposed to Erislandy Lara? That's all he does in the ring, so I mean, he's just talking. I'm not a runner; I box, but I don't run. And I like to fight, which you can't say about him. If you watch my fight you'll see, I don't run.

 

Q  

All right, when you look at his last fight do you think the type of war that he had with Angulo could actually take something out of him?

 

A. Trout         

Yeah, and that war was brought by Angulo. Lara didn't want any part of that war. He was in a war because he had to survive. I think it's hilarious that he says I'm a runner. That's his MO. He ran from Cuba, he runs in the fight; he's the runner of boxing. So, the title fight will be in my favor.

 

Q

All right, now having heard Lara does it give you extra motivation to beat him because he's talking so much before this fight?

 

A. Trout          

He talked before the fight was even made and once the fight was made he's gotten real quiet. Whether I like him or don't like him, which I don't, it's not going to change the fact that I'm going to try to take his head off.

 

Q

And my questions now for Erislandy. You've heard Austin speak and he's saying he's not going to run from you. Why do you think he's going to run?

 

E. Lara            

That's what he's always done in all the fights. It's not the same as stand and fight right in front of you at a fighting distance than to be standing far away and trying to fight far away.

 

Q

Erislandy, you were dropped twice in your last fight with Angulo. What did you learn from that whole experience?

 

E. Lara

Yeah, you're right, yeah, he did drop me twice, but we're talking about Angulo, who is a very good fighter. He's a big puncher. He came to win. He was well prepared and he caught me with perfect punches that could pretty much drop anybody. But the fact is that I did get up and I finished the fight and I won.

 

Q  

All right, my final question here is you've had a few decisions that, obviously, didn't go your way the way you wanted to. If this fight builds a scorecard do you feel confident that you will get the decision?

 

E. Lara

You have to remember that there are technicalities in those two fights that I didn't get the decision and part of it was that I fought on other promoters' fight cards. When I fought Vanes it was a top ranked show and when I fought Paul Williams it was Paul Williams promoter, Goossen, so I fought with them. This time I'm fighting under my promoter's banner and that's the difference.

  

Q       

Austin, when Lara's name was brought to your attention to be a possible opponent in the future, what was the first thing that was going through your head? Was it then beating Lara at the elite level or was that beating Lara would legitimize your name in the sport?

 

A. Trout         

It was both. Beating him was definitely put my stake as the best in 154 pound division. I had a little setback in April and I think Lara's the type of name and opponent that put me right back into the running for the best. After taking out the 154 pound division I want to be ready to go, so first things first. You pass this cat, get my belt back, unify the belt and then go after the top pound big headers.

 

Q        

All right, thanks a lot. And then my next question is for Erislandy. On this call we've mentioned a few times the loss with Paul Williams. Is there anything that you're going to be doing different in this fight, maybe looking for a knockout or more aggressive to kind of prevent the judges from even needing to score the fight?

 

E. Lara            

No, no I'm going to calm. I'm going to be calm in this fight. I'm going to do my job and I'm very confident that doing my job is going to have the results and I'll be fine and I should win.

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