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Whenever elite boxers like Austin “No Doubt” Trout and Daniel Dawson venture into Temecula, expect something magical.

Trout (26-2, 14 Kos), a former WBA junior middleweight titlist, meets Australia’s Dawson (40-3-1, 26 Kos) on Friday, Aug. 22, at Pechanga Resort and Casino. The Goossen-Tutor Promotion will also be televised on ESPN2.

Battles between elite boxers seldom occur at the Temecula casino, but when the stars are aligned in the boxing ring with talent like these two, anything can happen.

Remember when Sergio Martinez made his reappearance in the U.S. and fought Alex Bunema?

Martinez had fought one time on American shores when he met Antonio Margarito in 2000 and was promptly knocked out. The Argentine southpaw was brought back eight years later by Sampson Lewkowicz and Lou DiBella with a lot of fans and media expecting a Bunema victory, especially after the African had defeated four consecutive opponents, including Roman Karmazin and Walter Matthysse.

Martinez showed up against Bunema and easily out-boxed the favorite by stoppage and suddenly was the darling of the junior middleweight division and then the middleweight division. That was in 2008.

And what about Ricardo Mayorga’s upset victories over the late great Vernon Forrest? It started at the Pechanga casino with Forrest marching in the arena as a very heavy favorite over the unknown boxer from Nicaragua. Forrest’s long arms, speed and extraordinary defense proved too much for any conventional boxer. Even Shane Mosley could never figure out how to crack Forrest’s. But in 2003, Mayorga’s madcap attack style and devil-may-care defense confused and befuddled the welterweight world champion Forrest, who was knocked out in the third round by the Nicaraguan’s flailing windmill assault. They met again months later and a cocky Mayorga showed up at the weigh in with an entire pizza in his hand and still made weight. Again Mayorga defeated Forrest, but this time by decision.

Trout has lost back-to-back decisions and despite those losses, no one feels he’s lost a step. Dawson has more than 40 pro wins and arrives with an unknown factor. The Aussie definitely has no intentions of crossing the Pacific Ocean to add a loss to his resume.

“I know he’s coming in with a winning streak,” said Trout from his training camp in Houston.

If critics doubted Trout’s abilities after losing to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Erislandy Lara, they regained interest after Miguel Cotto moved up a division and beat up Argentina’s Martinez to take the WBC middleweight crown.

“Cotto’s win proved I’m a force to be reckoned with,” said Trout, who is the last fighter to defeat Puerto Rico’s Cotto. “I want to fight the best.”

This fight has crossroads written all over it. The winner moves on, the loser goes home, maybe forever.

“I’ll be there.” Trout said.


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