RUIDOSO, N.M. — Las Cruces native and undefeated Light Middleweight Champion Austin "No Doubt" Trout is training in Ruidoso in preparation for his fight against Miguel Cotto December 1st at Madison Square Garden.
Even with his superb record (25-0, 14 KO) and all his accomplishments in the ring, Trout found it hard to believe he would be fighting Cotto.
"I was like yeah right," Trout said. "It be nice, but so is winning a million bucks off the lottery."
When the fight was finalized, Trout was overwhelmed with emotion.
"There's just no words that could describe how I felt," Trout said.
Austin Trout, 27, has split his training between his hometown of Las Cruces and Ruidoso where he has spent most of November training.
"I'm really common in Las Cruces," Trout said. "You're going to catch me at the grocery store, I pick up and drop off my kids on the regular but getting ready for a fight you have to get rid of all distractions."
Even though he really enjoys interacting with the community and has been dealing with being away from family, Trout understands the benefits of training at elevation out of the Ruidoso Athletic Club.
"Getting used to this air, I know I'll be breathing like a champ down at sea level," he said.
Camp has been intense because of the magnitude of his opponent, yet not a lot has changed.
"We actually try to keep it to the same recipe that we've done," Trout said. "If it ain't broke don't fix it."
Trout said fighting at Madison Square Garden on one of the biggest stages in boxing was always a dream, he knew would someday become a reality.
"I feel like this is something short of destiny," Trout said. "This is the path god put me on and this is where it's leading."
Longtime friend and trainer Shukree Shabazz said he knew Trout was special when he saw him take a fall when he hit his leg on the rope and immediately got back up.
"He just walked across the ring and knocked him down instantaneously and that's when I knew there was no doubt, that's why he is No Doubt," Shabazz said.
Trout and Shabazz first met more than a decade ago when Trout and his younger brother were climbing the amateur ranks.
Their friendship evolved over the years and Shabazz was brought on as a strength and conditioning coach.
"I brought back knowledge from my days as a professional football player and translated that into what we do in the gym," Shabazz said.
Trout said training with Shabazz has made him a better athlete all around.
Shabazz has been impressed by Trout's work ethic.
"You just tell him to go and he's there," Shabazz said. "I tell him this many reps and he does them and if he's tired he'll dig deep that's what I love about Austin."
Trout said his friend is more than just a trainer, Shabazz and the rest of his team helps keep him focused.
"They help push me to greatness," Trout said. "You surround yourself with great people and you'll come out even greater than you are."
Shabazz said he's grateful to Trout, who he affectionately calls his little brother, for bringing him on the team and letting him be a part of history.
There's no doubt Trout is motivated.
"I want to be the number one undisputed undefeated pound for pound champion and there's a few people that are in my way for that, Cotto being one of them," Trout said.
But with all his success, Trout has remained humble.
"I don't want god to humble me down," Trout said. "When he has to humble you down that comes in the form of a fall."
But as humbly as possible, Trout jokingly said a parade would be nice when he comes back to Las Cruces.
Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima said he's confident Trout will come back home victorious and they'll figure something out.
"I hope Cruces is ready to get very excited because i'm coming back with my belt and undefeated record," Trout said.
When: December 1st - 7pm MST
Where: Madison Square Garden
Showtime All Access:
Miguel Cotto Austin Trout
Caguas, Puerto Rico Las Cruces, NM
Age: 32 Age: 27
Height: 67 in. Height: 70 in.
Reach: 67 in. Reach: 72 in.
Record: 37-3, 3 KOs Record: 25-0, 14 KOs