No Doubt Trout’s an Elite Jr. Middleweight

By John G. Thompson: Austin "No Doubt" Trout (24-0, 14 KO's) administered a one sided beating to his opponent Frank “The Italian Stallion” LoPorto (15-5-2, 7 KO's) at the Cohen Stadium in El Paso, Texas, stopping him in the sixth round on ShoBox: The New Generation. Trout looked tremendous and a fantastic matchup against any of today’s premier junior middleweights. In the undercard, Michael Oliveira also administered a one sided beating to his opponent who lost due to disqualification.

From Las Cruces, New Mexico, Trout started boxing at the age of ten and went on to become the 2004 United States Amateur Welterweight Champion. The southpaw has four first round knockouts with another seven bouts that did not go past three rounds. Trout won the vacant WBA World Light Middleweight Title against Rigoberto Alvarez by unanimous decision in February and has fought once since then, defending his title in June against David Lopez earning a twelve round unanimous decision. From Glenroy, Australia, all of LoPorto's previous fights took place in Australia or New Zealand. He won three straight since his last loss back in 2009, his most recent bout a fourth round TKO in April. Despite the four losses and incorrect assertion by ringside commentator Al Bernstein that LoPorto had been stopped several times (apparently Bernstein was reading Xavier Toliver’s record), LoPorto had not previously been stopped in the ring.

Trout, who drew heavy applause from the crowd in El Paso, controlled the bout from the start, though LoPorto kept coming at him looking for the straight right. Trout moved well making LoPorto miss time after time, almost always making him pay with counters. At one point in the first, Trout caught LoPorto flush with a left as LoPorto came with a right, and a moment later LoPorto went down. It looked like LoPorto slipped, but Referee Rafael Ramos ruled it a knockdown. Trout caught LoPorto again just moments later with the same punch, and LoPorto looked hurt as Trout backed him to the ropes and pounded away.

Ringside commentator Al Bernstein said of LoPorto, “He came a long way and I know he doesn’t want to end this in one round. He’s still coming forward though.” LoPorto did press forward off the ropes, but right into more of Trout’s punches. Eerily reminiscent of the recent bout between Alfredo Angulo and James Kirkland, one had to wonder if Trout would punch himself out, though Trout landed a couple solid right hooks at the bell.

Trout continued to make LoPorto miss in the second round, countering with punches you could hear. Al Bernstein commented, “Trout not known as a right hook artist, but he’s landing a lot of them.” Trout really applied the punishment making LoPorto look amateurish at times. As Trout backed his outclassed opponent into a corner in the third and wailed away on a man who would not go down, Bernstein commented, “Trout’s going to town and Frank LoPorto’s showing he’s a rugged guy!” Trout landed another great right and then a big uppercut and the crowd cheered at the bell.

Between rounds LoPorto’s corner man Mick Hargraves yelled at him, “Do you want me to stop it?! Do you want me to fucking stop it?!" The action continued with Trout firmly in control, hitting LoPorto from various angles as LoPorto’s face reddened and swelled around the eyes. As Trout threw every punch known to boxing in the sixth round, one had to wonder when Trout would get tired. The crowd chanted, “No doubt, Trout! No doubt, Trout!” to cheer him on.

Trout chased LoPorto across the ring to the ropes as LoPorto stopped throwing back. Trout landed a straight left and then a big right hook which clearly dazed LoPorto. At this point ringside commentator Steve Farhood declared, “That’s enough for me. Right now I’d stop this fight.” The referee stepped in, but only to break the fighters as LoPorto held Trout’s glove, though Trout continued to throw with his free hand. Trout backed LoPorto into a corner again landing clean haymakers to LoPorto’s head and finally Referee Ramos stepped in to stop the bout before the end of the sixth.

Michael "The Brazilian Rocky" Oliveira (16-0, 13 KO's) born in Sao Paulo, Brazil and now living in Miami, Florida also outclassed his opponent Xavier "The X-Man" Toliver (23-8, 15 KO's) from Atlanta, Georgia. Ten years younger than his thirty-one year old opponent, Oliveira won his last bout via sixth round knockout against Jose Soto. And though he had just two amateur bouts, Oliveira boasts six first round knockouts on his record. Toliver lost his last bout in June, having been stopped in the seventh round against Anthony Mundine in New Zealand. Five of Toliver's seven losses came by way of stoppage. He took this bout on just ten day’s notice.

Surprisingly, Toliver came out in the first round blasting away, throwing hooks with both hands, upstairs and down. He backed Oliveira up and though Oliveira blocked many of the headshots, Toliver got through with shots to the body. After a headbutt, which Oliveira seemed to get the worse of (he kept touching the bridge of his nose with his glove), Toliver started to slow down.

Oliveira took control of the fight in the second round and would not give it up for the remainder of the bout, coming forward, throwing a variety of punches, but mainly landing with the straight right. Toliver looked exhausted, possibly due to his efforts in the first round. Oliveira’s corner man Orlando Cuillar said to him after the second round, “Okay, this guy is fading. But I don’t want you to get desperate.”

Oliveira picked up the pace in the next few rounds, backing Toliver to the ropes. Toliver landed a good punch here and there as well as the occasional headbutt; however, Oliveira took everything (except the headbutts) well and kept coming. In the fifth round Oliveira looked like he was slowing down too, though still in control, when Toliver came in with his head and another headbutt occurred. This time Referee Robert Chapa deducted a point from Toliver, calling the butt intentional.

Oliveira went on the attack in the sixth round ripping hooks to the body and solid straight rights to Toliver’s chin, though Toliver did land a good counter right and later a couple shots to the body. There was another headbutt in the seventh round, but otherwise Oliveira landed over and over, especially with that straight right to the jaw. Farhood said bluntly of Toliver, “He’s taking a beating.” Between rounds Toliver’s corner man Eric Williams debated stopping the bout, telling Toliver, “If this kid hits you with two solid shots, I’m stopping it.”

Toliver showed good movement in the eighth and final round, moving away and slipping most of Oliveira’s shots, except for one big right. They clenched after the right and Toliver hit Oliveira as the referee separated them. Unexpectedly, Referee Chapa stopped the fight, disqualifying Toliver. Presumably, Chapa decided in combination with the repeated headbutts, Toliver had done enough to merit the DQ. Steve Farhood commented about the light punch during the break, “It seemed like a minor offense.” Toliver’s corner man complained repeatedly to the referee to no avail, “I didn’t see a warning!”

Article posted on 12.11.2011

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