28-year-old former WBA junior middleweight champion Austin Trout (26-2, 14 KOs) will be fighting on ESPN this Friday night against #15 WBC fringe contender Daniel Dawson (40-3-1, 26 KOs) in a 12 round fight at Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, California.
Trout says he’s figured out why he lost his last two fights against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Erislandy Lara, because he wasn’t fighting his fight and was trying to force the action against those guys.
Trout is more of a counter puncher and he doesn’t have the offensive fire power to lead when his opponents hang back the way that Lara and Canelo did. Trout says he’s more comfortable now, and is once again using his jab the way he’d done before those fights. He feels that his jab will set up a lot of opportunities for him on Friday night to hit Dawson with combinations to make it an easy fight for him.
“We’re expecting him to be a come forward brawling type of guy,” Trout said to ESPN. “It doesn’t matter what he’s going to try to do. We’re going to fight our fight and make him adapt to us. No one can beat me when I’m at my best and I still feel that way. I feel like I’m my old undefeated self. The guy that beat Miguel Cotto is back, and will be in the ring come Friday.
Trout will likely look like his old self on Friday against Dawson, but that’s only because he’s fighting a guy that is clearly below him in the talent and youth department. But once Trout gets back up there against a solid fighter like Lara or Canelo again, he’s likely to run into the same problems he had before.
Trout doesn’t have the power to compete with either of those guys, and just throwing jabs isn’t going to work against them. Trout was jabbing Canelo like made in the first 4 rounds of their fight last year, but the judges all saw Canelo winning despite the fact he was getting out-landed by Trout.
The judges’ focus was on the power shots that Canelo landed rather than the jabs that Trout was throwing. The same for Trout’s fight against Lara. Trout wasn’t connecting with enough power shots, and he ended up losing by a wide point’s decision.
If Trout loses to Dawson on Saturday then it might be a good idea for him to retire. Dawson is a fringe level fighter, and if he too can beat Trout then there’s probably no where for Trout to go.