Trout happy to take title fight to Australia for Mundine's shot at belt
WORLD Boxing Association light-middleweight world champion Austin Trout has declared he would be willing to travel to Australia to defend his belt against Anthony Mundine after ''The Man'' secured a mandatory title shot with Wednesday night's defeat of Rigoberto Alvarez.
Mundine's unanimous points decision over Alvarez sets up a chance for him to become the first boxer to win world titles in three weight divisions in descending order. Negotiations with Trout will begin after the American's next bout on November 11.
US broadcaster HBO has already expressed an interest in a Trout-Mundine fight and, if the cable network is keen enough, the bout is expected to take place in America.
However, it may be more lucrative to stage the fight in Australia, possibly in Sydney, and Trout told the Herald he would be prepared to travel here to fight Mundine.
''Most definitely. I'd love to go to Australia,'' he said.
Trout said the pair had previously negotiated to fight in Melbourne on August 24, and they blame each other for the deal falling through.
But Trout, who won the belt from Alvarez in Mexico this year, said travelling to Australia to defend his title had never been an issue.
''As a world champion, I feel like I must represent the world,'' he said. ''What better way to gain fans around the world than to fight around the world? I've never met an Australian I didn't like, and have always wanted to visit the country.''
Mundine previously accused Trout of ducking him but it appears the only thing that could stop the fight now is if the 26-year-old loses his bout with Australian light-middleweight Frank LoPorto in El Paso on November 11.
''They are talking a good game,'' Mundine said of the Trout camp. ''If he ducks me, I am the champion. I have won an interim title so, if he ducks me, I get his belt and then bring on the winner of Miguel Angel Cotto and Antonio Margarito.
''But Trout is next, and he is a different style of fighter to Alvarez. He's a boxer, he's a mover and he's got speed - just like me.''
Had he lost to Alvarez, Mundine conceded his career would have been all but finished.
However, he is now better placed to secure the big fights than virtually any time in the 11 years since he quit rugby league to take up boxing, having showcased his talents to a large television audience in Mexico, which has a population of 114 million.
''That was one of my best performances, especially because of the type of pressure I was under,'' he said. ''It was a must-win fight. If I lose that fight, my career is done - or pretty much.''
While confident the bout with Trout would go ahead, Mundine claimed US fighters had ''blacklisted'' him for more than a decade because of controversial comments he made about America bringing the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 upon itself.
''I have been down all avenues,'' he said. ''I went to get Shane Mosley. He is coming to the end of his career, I offered him $5.5 million and world TV rights and he still don't want to fight me … I'm telling you they're blacklisting me because of September 11 … I know it.
''I can feel it in my heart.''
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