Austin Trout Overcomes Cotto bias at the "Garden"

Jim Spence
Commentary by Jim Spence - Do you ever wonder why athletic teams from NMSU and UNM often get snubbed by NCAA selection “committees” that are stacked with large market representatives? The pronounced bias against teams from small population fly over states like New Mexico is not limited to collegiate athletics. The same sort of bias was in full bloom last night at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Austin Trout
Despite being champion, former Olympian and Las Crucen Austin Trout, was treated like he was in the way in New York. Trout just happened to be fighting legendary four-time champion Miguel Cotto. Cotto, a Puerto Rican who has made New York his second home was treated like the champion by virtually everyone in attendance. It was like a home game for Cotto who was previously undefeated in New York having won all seven fights at the Garden and one at Yankee Stadium. Most of the 13,096 fans in the crowd began to root loudly for Cotto before the fight even got underway. And each time Cotto so much as touched Trout the crowd roared as if the kid from New Mexico had been staggered. The boxing announcers on Showtime also had an obvious bias for Cotto. The commentary of the first eight rounds was practically all transmitted to the viewing audience from the Cotto point of view. It was only as Trout pounded Cotto relentlessly that two of the three announcers began to grudgingly give the still undefeated Trout some credit for what he was doing.
Madison Square Garden
Sitting at ringside was undefeated Mexican champion Canelo Alvarez. In February of 2011 Trout had beaten his brother, also a champion on his home turf in Jalisco, Mexico. Like the huge crowd, Alvarez was hoping for a Cotto victory. A Cotto win would have set the stage for both fighters to split a huge payday in a pay-per-view fight next year.
There was only one problem for Cotto, the crowd, Alvarez, the commentators on Showtime, and the promoters dreaming of the Cotto vs. Alvarez matchup. The problem was Austin Trout. The twenty-seven year old graduate of Mayfield High School in Las Cruces dominated Cotto. Trout won easily on all three judge’s scorecards despite the efforts of the Showtime announcers to convince its viewers the fight was actually close.
Austin Trout is clearly on the rise. A disappointed Alvarez, left the arena long before the judge’s decision, apparently knowing there would be media questions as to whether he would be willing to fight against an allegedly “less marketable” Trout.
Boxing is a strange sport. Trout was the champion before the fight and after the fight. However, who knows whether the young New Mexican will have to continue to travel to hostile environments against big name fighters in search of a multi-million dollar payday with someone like Canelo Alvarez.
Two things seem certain. The bias against New Mexico-based Trout is still painfully obvious and the bias doesn’t seem to do his opponents much good once the bell rings. Austin Trout made every New Mexico sports fan proud last night when he absolutely shined on the world stage.