Austin Trout makes his maiden voyage tonight at Auditorio Miguel Barragan in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, putting the WBA 154 pound belt on the line against David Lopez in an-all southpaw battle.
Trout gets the unusual experience of a reigning champion heading into an arena full the challenger's faithful fans but the American came through a similar circumstances in February when he swept the cards to decision Rigoberto Alvarez for the vacant WBA trophy in Guadalajara.
The 25 year old from Las Cruces, New Mexico sprung into the spotlight from seemingly nowhere with that win but Trout had been quietly going up the ladder, annexing the WBC Continental Americas and WBA Fedelatin strap in 2009.
Trout, 22-0 (13), will be going against lanky 33 year old Lopez, 40-12 (23), who has overcome an early career riddled with losses to post 16 consecutive victories since 2005.
Lopez, hailing from Nogales, Mexico, is on a roll of late, winning the vacant WBC Latino middleweight title against Samuel Miller in 2008 before dropping down to light middle and outpointing Ossie Duran in 2009, going back up to 160 in 2010 to cage the vacant WBC Cabofe bauble against Saul Roman and most recently winning a SD over Michael Rosales in March to capture the NABA light middle crown in a contest that also served as a WBA title eliminator.
But can Lopez extend his resurrection to the next level?
It will be difficult as Trout is far more skilled than his resume would suggest and will likely be the quickest opponent that Lopez has faced.
Lopez will have a clear height and reach advantage and he has fought the better opposition but he's also been stopped in nine of his twelve losses and that could come back to haunt him again.
Boxing News Tags: Austin Trout, Champ, Continental Americas, David Lopez, Las Cruces, Light Middle, Mexico, Michael Rosales, NABA, Ossie Duran, Rigoberto Alvarez, Samuel Miller, San Luis Potosi, Saul Roman, SD, WBA, WBC