ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — At least six dates, a couple of television networks and a couple of countries have been mentioned the past six weeks in connection with a proposed match between Las Cruces boxer Austin Trout and Australian Daniel Dawson.
Finally, the actual date: Aug. 22. The network: ESPN2. The country: The United States – though, as of Friday, a location for the bout within the U.S. had not been announced.
Trout (26-2, 14 knockouts) will seek to bounce back from the only two losses of his professional career, first to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, then to Erislandy Lara. On Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nev., Alvarez beat Lara by split decision.
The Las Cruces junior middleweight will be a heavy favorite against Dawson, a 36-year-old Aussie whose impressive record (40-3-1, 26 KOs) loses some of its gloss when closely inspected.
One of Dawson’s defeats came via unanimous decision against fellow Australian Frank LoPorto, whom Trout easily defeated by sixth-round TKO in El Paso in 2011.
Dawson’s other two losses came via a lopsided, unanimous decision to Australian Daniel Geale and by a 10th-round TKO against WBO 154-pound champion Serhiy Dzinziruk.
The Trout-Dawson fight is listed on boxrec.com as the main event of an ESPN2 card. No undercard bouts are listed.
The fight has made a strange journey, even by boxing standards.
Louie Burke, Trout’s trainer, told the Journal on May 29 that the Las Cruces southpaw would face Dawson on July 19, possibly in Australia. Since then, Aug. 2, Aug. 9, Aug. 16 and Aug. 23 have been mentioned as possibilities. Showtime, a premium cable network, was considered the likely TV destination – though not as a main event.
Trout told the El Paso Times that he’s just happy to have a firm date, if not a location.
“I just want to get back in the ring, get a win and make a statement in the ring,” he said. “I feel good, I believe everything is on track for the fight.”
LARA-ALVAREZ: Trout had been of two minds regarding Saturday’s showdown between Lara and Alvarez, the two men who have defeated him.
Trout initially picked Lara, whom he considers the better boxer, to win. Recently, he began leaning toward Alvarez, expressing doubt that Lara would get a fair shake from the judges. Trout feels he was the victim of the judges when he lost to Alvarez by unanimous decision in April 2013.
INVICTA: Albuquerque’s fingerprints will be all over Invicta FC, an all-female MMA organization, when that circuit makes its return debut Sept. 6 in Kansas City, Mo.
Albuquerque’s Michelle Waterson (9-3) is scheduled to defend her Invicta 105-pound title against Yasuko Tamada (15-8-3).
Jodie Esquibel (3-1), Waterson’s Jackson-Winkeljohn MMA teammate and also a 105-pounder, is scheduled to face Jinh Yu Frey (2-0).
Longtime Albuquerque resident Julie Kedzie is Invicta’s head matchmaker. Kedzie recently moved to the Kansas City area, where Invicta is headquartered.
Kedzie will be doubly missed at Jackson-Winkeljohn, where she trained as a fighter and worked as a personal assistant to Greg Jackson. Her dog, Bailey, the gym’s unofficial mascot, has gone with her.
Invicta has not staged a card in nine months, but by no means has been idle. The UFC has agreed to air Invicta cards on Fight Pass, its digital streaming entity.
Invicta, however, remains independent.
MENDOZA LINE: Hard-punching Rio Rancho boxer Brian Mendoza (1-0, one KO) is scheduled to fight July 26 in Phoenix.
Mendoza said Friday via social media that he has no opponent yet. The fight will be contested at the welterweight limit of 147 pounds, he said.