- Last Updated: 4:16 AM, November 30, 2012
- Posted: 12:42 AM, November 30, 2012
Austin Trout discusses his bout tomorrow at The Garden vs. Miguel Cotto. As told to George Willis.
I was asked by a reporter recently what I thought my career exemplified. I thought my answer was appropriate. I told him, “It says no matter where you’re from, if you work hard and you believe in what you can do, you can do it.”
I was born in El Paso, Texas, and raised in Las Cruces, N.M., population 98,000. Tomorrow night I will be defending my junior middleweight title against Miguel Cotto, the four-time world champion from Puerto Rico and one of the most popular boxers in the sport. Good for me.
I plan on taking over this city and any city I choose to come over and conquer. That may sound brash, but that’s what I believe.
This is the kind of fight I desperately have wanted, the kind of fight that could put me among the boxing elite. These last two months have gone so slow. People around me say it went by fast, but they didn’t have to put in the work every day.
Fighting in Madison Square Garden for the first time is a dream come true. My mother was born in Brooklyn and my grandparents still live there. I’ve visited the area numerous times since I was a kid. I’ve been a Knicks fan since I can remember. I’ve stood in front of the Garden and looked at the marquee, visualizing my name on it. I’m comfortable here. This is the first time getting the first-class treatment, though. I can definitely get used to that.
The first time I actually got to go to the Garden was for the Cotto-(Antonio) Margarito fight last December. I kept saying, I can’t wait until that’s me out there in the center of attention. Lo and behold, a year later it is going to be me in there. This will be a new page in the Madison Square Garden history books. Dreams come true. You’ve just got to believe.
Cotto carries himself as a family man. I respect that. I respect him as a man and as a fighter. I read somewhere he doesn’t think there’s anything special about me. That could be an indication that he is underestimating me even though I’m 25-0 with 14 knockouts. I hope he is. I’d love to show him what’s special about me. I’ve got skills and I’m tough and I’m smart and I’ve got heart. Put all that together and I think he’ll have a special fighter in front of him.
I’m the fourth world champion from New Mexico. New Mexicans are 3-0 in the Garden. Bob Foster, the former light heavyweight champion, won twice. The late great Johnny Tapia won the IBF Featherweight title there in 2002. Being I’m the fourth world champion from New Mexico and this would be the fourth win in the Garden, I don’t think it’s a coincidence. New Mexicans will be 4-0 after Saturday.
I expect the Garden to be filled with Cotto fans. But that’s fine. For a while, all I fought in were hostile environments: Mexico, Panama and Canada. It’s something that motivates me. I look for the little cheers I do get, which means I’m doing something right, and when they can’t cheer for anything, I know I’m doing something right. The goal is to get the Garden quiet.
It’s finally here. It’s about time.Follow @NYPostsports