Santa Cruz/Mares, Charlo/Trout Media Call

By Caryn A. Tate on May 31, 2018
Santa Cruz/Mares, Charlo/Trout Media Call
“I know he’s gonna come with his best. I like that, because it makes me train harder.”

In the main event, Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares will compete in a rematch of their excellent 2015 bout…

On Wednesday, the four former and current world champions headlining the June 9 program on Showtime took a few minutes to speak with the media. In the main event, featherweight WBA title holders Leo Santa Cruz (34-1-1, 19 KOs) and Abner Mares (31-2-1, 15 KOs) will compete in a rematch of their excellent 2015 bout. In the co-main, WBC super welterweight world champion Jermell Charlo (30-0, 15 KOs) will face former world titlist Austin Trout (31-4, 17 KOs).

Trout, the definition of a fighter who will get in the ring with anyone, has returned to training with Washington, D.C. coaching phenom Barry Hunter. He explained, “I was with Barry for like two years. Then I stayed home (New Mexico) for my last two fights which was harder than I wanted. The only reason I stopped going to Barry for the Hurd fight was because Hurd trained in the same area, so I tried to stay home for that. Which was a big mistake in my opinion.

“But things are going good. We picked up where we left off. I have to be at my best for a fighter like Jermell so I had to go to a place where I was able to get to my best.”

In October 2017, Trout came off of a nearly year and a half layoff to face enormous 154-pound IBF super welterweight champion Jarrett Hurd. Despite Trout outboxing Hurd for the first several rounds, the obvious size difference ended up getting the best of the former world champion as he tired late. Hurd did what no one had done before when he stopped Trout in the 10th round.

Trout extrapolated on the performance. “In the Hurd fight, I gassed out—it was really dehydration. I had to go to the hospital for dehydration, which I’ve never experienced. At the same time I didn’t really prepare for the heat that Hurd was gonna bring. Barry does know him, and the mistake [I made by not training with him] was he makes you give your best. Accepts nothing less than your best.”

When asked to compare Jermell Charlo to Jarrett Hurd, Trout was quick to clarify. “Jermell has a boatload more skills. In my opinion, Hurd is not very skilled. He’s a big, tough dude. Jermell, he’s tough—he’s bigger than most junior middleweights but he’s also skilled. We’ve got to worry about his skillset as opposed to just him taking punishment and making you wind up beating him up. That’s what happened with Hurd—I just beat him up until I couldn’t beat him up no more.”

Charlo discussed his training regimen ahead of this contest. “I do a pre-camp before I do a camp. So I enter training camp in a particular shape. I turned 28 in the middle of the camp so I’ve gotta look at things a little differently.”

The champion was forthright about how he anticipates this bout going. “I don’t know what’s gonna happen. We’re both two men putting our lives on the line. I don’t go in there trying to destroy. I grew up watching boxing all my life, and I know for a fact that if you go in there looking for the knockout, it don’t come. Therefore I’m going in there to box, be slick and smart, be strong at the same time, and make it 12 rounds, 36 minutes.”

When asked about the potential of signing with a promoter, Charlo said, “I’ve received two great contracts from two different promoters. They’re big, they’re large, they’re nice. I’m glad they’re looking at me as one of the faces of boxing. That’s not something that’s on my mind right now. I’ve got to take care of this fight and then I’ll reward myself with a promotional contract if necessary.

“Right now I’m not with a promoter. A lot of these guys use money to try to bring fighters in, but that’s not the route I’m going with. I’m going with who cares the most about my career. I believe we do need promoters, PR teams, and managers as boxers. Therefore we’re looking to enhance our careers.”

He concluded: “I look at Trout like a world champion himself, and I’m coming to take his title.”

The featherweights then joined the call. Santa Cruz was asked if his win over Carl Frampton last year gave him confidence. He replied, “I have confidence in my training. I train really hard—I give 100%. And now with my dad in my corner and him doing a lot better, I’ve been able to focus more on my training.

“I never underestimate anybody. I know Mares is a great fighter. He’s been training really hard, he’s at his best, and he’s with a new trainer. So I know he’s gonna come with his best. I like that, because it makes me train harder and brings out my best, too.”

Santa Cruz responded to an inquiry about his loss to Frampton. “I think it was that my dad wasn’t really in camp with me. For the rematch, my dad was there with me in the gym.”

Mares was asked if he took anything from Santa Cruz’s loss to Carl Frampton in 2016. He replied, “I don’t look at tapes—I let my coach do that. Obviously I do remember that fight because I was there live. All I can say from that fight is that he’s beatable. He’s vulnerable to certain things.

“It’s gonna be a great fight—we’re both in our primes like we were in our first fight. I’m ready to execute the perfect game plan that we have.”

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  1. Ralph Fight Fan 08:37am, 06/06/2018

    Allow me to add that both twins were trained up from kids by the Great Ronny Shields, who for my money is the Emmanuel Steward of this era. Jermell has another trainer now, but he carries into the ring the skills Shields taught him. These guys have both the technical skills AND the knockout punching power (I’m sure either one could knock out a mule). To me, skills are something you see less and less of because there are few really good trainers out there, in my humble opinion. I see Ronny Shields in the ring with champs and real good prospects all the time. I have much admiration for Ronny, as I did for Emannuel. Too bad the Kronk, back in Detroit, Emmanuel’s gym, is no longer there-I just recently heard, during the Stevenson-Jack fight, that it had been demolished. That’s a damn shame! That was Joe Louis’ gym!!!

  2. Ralph Fight Fan 08:27am, 06/06/2018

    Hey, raxman: in answer to your question, both Charlo twins are excellent technical boxers and despite their cray cray, both are careful thinking boxers who have bazookas in both hands. I think both have the best jab in boxing. Awhile back, a friend who knew boxing said Big George Foremans’ jab was just like Larry Holmes jab which my boy said was “Like getting hit with a telephone pole!” That’s the kind of jab these these twins have. Jermell busted Hatley’s head back like the Pez dispenser! Many times. That said, this one could go 6 or 7. Jermell is very analytical and both guys take their time sizing their opponent up in the ring before opening up the cannons (Ericson Lubin excepted, po’ fella’). Jermell said in this interview he doesn’t try to destroy (Ha!ask Lubin about that!) goes in there to box and make it 12 rounds. It might go 12, but I doubt it. If he gets the right opening and hurts Trout, he’s going to knock Trout out, but it’s going to come in the later rounds, not early.

  3. raxman 10:19pm, 06/05/2018

    Ralph fight fan - so you feel as I do that, a round 6 or 7 ko is on the cards or do actually think it could be really ugly and Trout goes in the first 3or4?

  4. Ralph Fight Fan 09:03pm, 06/05/2018

    raxman and Kid Blast are both on point about what is going to happen to Austin Trout in an apparent mismatch. Trout’s a nice guy, but in the twilight of his career, here proving that “nice guys finish last . . .” . Trout has a big heart, but he’s getting to be what Tommy Hearns’ trainer Billy Miller once told me was a “grits and gravy” boxer; Billy said these are game fighters, past their prime, who, to earn a payday, get sent in to get beat up, by an up-and-coming youngster whose star is on the ascendant. Trout is nowhere game enough for an angry young ruthless killer like a Jermell Charlo who has skills and plenty of KO power. I just watched a re-run of Charlo-Hatley from back in April last year, that was on the Shawn Porter vs. Berto undercard. Hatley was ranked #2 WBC contender, a bit generous given he didn’t bring much and Charlo just walked through Hatley’s punches, methodically broke him down, successfully defending his WBC title for the first time when he knocked Hatley unconscious in round 6 after a cannonball right hook to the head. Before the end, Charlo was in control pretty much the entire fight, landing successive power shots. Hatley was also knocked down in round 3 following a combination of shots from Charlo. Pauley Malinaggi kept saying Hatley was going to pay for backing straight up to avoid Charlo’s outstanding and powerful jab. He did and it wasn’t pretty, Charlo coming over with the kill shot, a vicious right “slobber knocker” after Hatley tried to throw a big punch, missed and left his head exposed. That was a huge counter right Charlo hit him with. Lights out! In the aftermath of the fight, Charlo spoke about a potential unification fight against Jarret Hurd. Trout is just a cannon fodder tuneup for the Hurd fight, assuming it gets made. The way Hurd broke Trout down, he probably shouldn’t even be in the ring with this kid. Both twins are slightly crazy and vicious punchers. Trout lasted eight with Hurd. He won’t last that long with Jermell.

  5. raxman 02:26am, 06/02/2018

    ted - there is an indy radio station here and years ago the breakfast crew had a regular “bit” they’d do called shit siblings. Sylvester Stallone. Frank Stallone - shit sibling. Alec Baldwin. Billy Baldwin - shit sibling. JermAll Charlo. JermEll Charlo - shit sibling. The chip on Jermell’s shoulder - isn’t inexplicable at all - he just has a case of being the shit sibling.
    But he’ll destroy Trout. Stop him around 6 or 7 if I was a betting man. which I am.
    And I think Santa Cruz does Mares again. This time more definitively.  I don’t see there being a Max Deluca scoring the fight a draw this time, making it seem on paper more even then it was - the other judges 17-11 was closer to how I saw it.
    I think Mares is great; but Santa Cruz I feel is just better. And less shop worn. He hasn’t gone through punishing fights against guys like Vic D, Agebko, Yhonny Perez,  Ponce de Leon and Cuellar. But I think it’ll still go the 12

  6. Kid Blast 07:43am, 05/31/2018

    Charlo/Trout could be a mismatch at this point. Hope not as Trout is an affable and decent type. Just the opposite of Charlo who has a long mean streak and an inexplicable chip on his shoulder.

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