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Austin Trout IMPRESSES on Showtime

After three years without national television exposure, undefeated World Boxing Association (WBA) super welterweight champion Austin Trout dominated Frank LoPorto for more than five rounds before referee Rafael Ramos stopped the fight at 2:32 of the sixth in the main event of ShoBox: The New Generation. In the evening’s co-feature from minor league ballpark Cohen Stadium in El Paso, Texas, the Brazilian-born prospect Michael Oliveira won by disqualification over Xavier Toliver when referee Robert Chapa ended the bout at 1:31 of round eight when Toliver punched Oliveira on the break.

Rich in talent and amateur credentials but lacking in exposure, Trout (24-0, 14 KOs), of Las Cruces, N.M., seized the moment. From the first bell, he outclassed his Aussie opponent with hand speed and boxing acumen. The rugged LoPorto showed heart and toughness in the bout but little else.

Leading with his head in an attempt to pressure the champ, LoPorto found himself on the canvas in the first round after walking directly into Trout’s right hand. When he returned to his feet, it appeared that the fight might not see the second round. Trout upped his work rate to stop the challenger early but LoPorto pushed himself to make it through the opening three minutes.

LoPorto (15-5-2, 7 KOs), of Melbourne, Australia, remained upright for the rest of the championship tilt but failed to accomplish much else. His punches were slow and telegraphed. His legs appeared largely unstable. And his head moved less than most of the hanging curves thrown in Cohen Stadium.

As SHOWTIME boxing analyst Steve Farhood put it during the fight, “Frank LoPorto won’t win this fight with skill. His only chance will be with will.”

Trout successfully removed the will from his game opponent. In addition to the first round knockdown, Trout bloodied the bridge of LoPorto’s nose early and tagged him with shots from all angles. The 154-pound titlist fought quicker, smarter and more effectively in the one-sided scrap. As Trout began to brutalize the 33-year-old LoPorto in the clutches of the neutral corner in the sixth round, the Australian’s trainer tried to end the fight but referee Ramos made the call himself.

“He is a tough guy,” Trout said afterwards. “He just kept coming. I felt like he wasn’t going to quit so I needed to stay busy. I just kept pushing, trying to get that stoppage.”

When asked about the quality of his performance, Trout responded “I felt like I did my thing. If anybody feels like I don’t deserve this belt, please come and take it.”

The win for Trout marked his third title defense.

In the eight-round middleweight co-featured attraction, Toliver (23-8, 15 KOs) stormed out his corner in an attempt to blitz Oliveira. Startled by the ambush, the 21-year-old youngster showed poise and recovered before the end of the round.

As the fight pushed on, it became clear that Toliver – who took the match on very short notice – started so quickly because his conditioning was lacking. Oliveira (16-0, 13 KOs), of Miami, Fla. served up plenty of combinations and the Atlanta-based Toliver ate most of them throughout the night. Early on, Toliver took punches in an attempt to counter his opponent. But by the middle and later rounds, he absorbed punishment while languishing against the ropes without retaliating.

At the end of the seventh, Oliveira bloodied Toliver’s bottom lip and the listless journeyman headed back to his corner exhausted. Toliver’s trainer Eric Williams threatened to stop the bout before the eighth but Toliver insisted that he fight on.

In the final round, the tired combatants were holding one another when referee Chapa broke the action to separate them. As Chapa pried them apart, Toliver caught Oliveira with a right hand to the face. The illegal action caused Chapa to end the fight via disqualification.

Referee Chapa also intervened earlier in the bout when he deducted a point from Toliver for a clash of heads in the fifth, after several warnings.

“This was definitely the hardest fight I’ve ever fought,” said Oliveira. “My conditioning was superior. I’ll be even better next time.”

The event was promoted by Gary Shaw Productions.

The telecast will replay on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME and be available on SHOWTIME On Demand from Nov. 14 through Nov. 27.

Al Bernstein called the action alongside ringside analyst Farhood. The executive producer is Gordon Hall, with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.

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