Boxing star Austin Trout is combating UFC legend Diego Sanchez in a bare-knuckle boxing match next month — among several BKFC battles the previous champ strategies to take — while still pursuing another title in the squared circle.
TMZ Sports spoke to 37-year-old Trout, the previous WBA light middleweight victor, ahead of his February 17 bare-knuckle battle with 41-year-old Sanchez … and asked him if this was something he prepared to do more than when.
“Don’t get me wrong, I’m still very much trying to pursue a world title in the boxing world. But, there’s no reason I can’t be a champion in both. I hope it can be a lasting relationship because I like what they’re doing in the BKFC,” Austin informed us.
Trout has an expert boxing record of 36-5-1 … while combating a few of the very best fighters worldwide, consisting of Canelo Alvarez, who Austin handled the complete 12 rounds with back in 2013.
Of course, Diego is a UFC Hall of Famer who beat everybody from Nick Diazto Clay Guida … over his renowned profession.
Naturally, you’d believe Trout, a first-rate fighter, would have the benefit over a person whose finest weapon was battling — which might hold true — however it’s not how Trout is approaching the battle.
“I’m not gonna think that way. I have to make sure I prepare for the best Diego can give me, and if he makes it an ugly fight, real rough and tough, it’s gonna be a long night for me,” Austin stated.
“So, not only do I have to be able to neutralize that, but I also need to be able to whoop his ass if he decides to come inside and square up with me. We gotta make him pay in every aspect.”
We likewise spoke to Diego and asked him how he prepared to hang with an elite fighter.
“BKFC is not boxing. For all those people out there hating on me saying, ‘Oh, what’s BKFC thinking? Diego in there with Austin Trout?'”
“C’mon guys, boxing is different. MMA is different. BKFC is definitely different. Austin has been picking his own opponents for the past couple of years. I was fighting nothing but beasts at the end of my UFC career.”
Despite the strong words, it’s clear Diego and Austin, who have actually understood each other for many years, have definitely no bad blood in between them.
“It’s all business, man. He got a family. I got a family. We’re warriors. I take my hat off to him. You don’t see many boxers brave enough to get in that circle of BKFC, to take the gloves off, and he’s willing to do it, and he’s willing to put his name, his reputation on the line, and get in there and go to war, no, it’s all respect, it’s all honor.”