LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - Former World Champion boxer Austin Trout has been training at the Police Athletic League Gym in Las Cruces since he was a kid. And as he prepares for his next fight on February 1st, it's the perfect place for him to train.
"This is my home man. This is the first gym I walked into when I was 10 years old to start boxing," says Trout, who notes that the gym still resembles what it looked like more than 20 years ago.
"It's very similar to that day. A little more light, a little less dirty. But it's still got that same feel....that same soul."
Trout has been on top of the boxing world, from National Amateur Welterweight Champion to WBA light middleweight champion. He's fought the likes of Canelo Alvarez and Migeul Cotto.
But now 34, he is seeking to revitalize his career in his home region.
There's no better time to do it than this Saturday on the main card at the Inn of the Mountain Gods in Mescalero, NM, when Trout (31-5-1, 17 knockouts) will square off against veteran Rusbel Montoya (17-9-1, 13 KO).
Trout has been out of the ring for almost 9 months, but his 6-day training schedule has him feeling primed for a big performance.
"Oh, it's going to be fireworks until the homie can't get up no more," predicts Trout for Saturday's bout. "I'm coming with a KO. No more leaving nothing to judges anymore."
Saturday night's fight will draw a national audience, broadcast on the Impact Network to over 86 million homes across the United States and Caribbean.
The location of the fight so close to home is significant for Trout, who has always tried to bring more exposure to the local region.
"I could really do something to help not only local fighters, take them to the national scene, but bring the national scene to the local stage."
And it starts with Saturday's card.
"I'm trying to bring a lot of boxing here and my feelings will be hurt if that sucker is not sold out," says Trout in reference to Saturday's venue.
One thing is for sure. Trout's future starts with the present, a big-ticket fight for all the Borderland to come enjoy.
Tickets can be purchased here.