Austin Trout, right, lands a punch to the face of Delvin Rodriguez in the… (Jae C. Hong / Associated…)
Austin Trout doesn't mind being the bad guy who spoils outcomes the fans want.
He did it in December, ruining a planned comeback victory by Puerto Rico's Miguel Cotto in front of Cotto's den of supporters at Madison Square Garden.
Trout also came to the Home Depot Center in Carson last year, paying no mind to a crowd jeering during his victory over Delvin Rodriguez. And Trout has gone to Mexico to beat up the older brother of unbeaten world super-welterweight champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez.
Saturday night in San Antonio on Showtime, Trout (26-0, 14 knockouts) will again be viewed as the bad guy by the expected gathering of close to 40,000 at the Alamodome. The crowd, in the midst of a city fiesta event, wants to mark World Boxing Council champion Canelo Alvarez's addition of Trout's World Boxing Assn. belt.
Alvarez is about a 5-2 betting favorite in Las Vegas.
"The crowd can't do anything but cheer for him. They can't even give him water. They can't breathe for him. They can't punch for him. So I'm not worried about the crowd," Trout said. "If they're going against me, my goal is to set them up, not give them anything to cheer for and that's the same mind-set we're going into this fight."
A New Mexico native, Trout, 27, prides himself on defense, landing scoring blows and remaining out of harm's way: He's making his fifth title defense and has never been knocked down in his career.
Alvarez weighed in at 153 1/2 pounds Friday before an adoring crowd of thousands of fans. Trout weighed 153 1/4 and said, "All the work is over. I feel ready and had a good camp. Now it's time for the fun part."
Trout praised the power and overall skill of 22-year-old Alvarez (41-0-1, 30 KOs).
"He's fast, he's strong, he has good reflexes, he's explosive," Trout said. "As far as the style goes, we've been fighting his style our whole life. We don't think his style's necessarily going to give us problems, but the skills that he brings within that style are going to be a bit of a problem."
That could heighten Trout's desire to emphasize defense.
"We've been in with stronger guys for 12 rounds, and we banged out stronger guys for 12 rounds," Trout said. "That's why we're training and we're having such a hard camp to make sure that we're prepared for that."
Trout is emboldened by the fact Alvarez was given a clause in their fight contract that demands a rematch if Trout wins, as he did over Canelo's older brother, Rigoberto, two years ago.
"It shows to me a lack of confidence in their fighter. … To be 2-0 against the Alvarezes will be great, but more importantly, to beat somebody who's considered the best and to take that WBC belt, those are my motivations and I think those are imperative for my legacy," Trout said.
"I feel like the fighter that just fights at home and claims to be a world champion is not representing the world correctly. The greats did it. Ali did it. He fought all over the place. Plus, I like to travel and I like to see other people in their cultures. It's not a problem for me at all."