Tito Trinidad: The Return of the King
20.08.07 - By Jack Presscot: It was back, September 18th 1998, that I sat in a sportsbar in the Western United States, livid, and disgusted at the fact that Oscar de la Hoya was sticking his tongue out in victory, being carried on his brother's shoulders after the great and ancient Julio Cesar Chavez's corner had thrown in the towel.
Article posted on 21.08.2007
Chavez to his credit had fought valiantly, and given hope to the Mexican fans sitting with me, but like Joe Louis before him (against Marciano) Chavez could fight Oscar, but couldn't beat both a prime Oscar and Father Time. Two ignorant "non boxing fan" female Oscar fans sat laughing at me, and rubbing it in that "Oscar was the Greatest of All Time"....I told them, "Oscar is god damned lucky this wasn't 1989, at Jr. welterweight" but they had no idea what I was talking about.
As I sat there stewing, my mind was reeling with possible opponents in their prime, with equal height and reach to beat the Golden Primadonna of Boxing, Oscar de la overhyped. I reflected back on both victories over an ancient Chavez, a win over an old Hector Camacho, and wins over guys like Jorge Paez and Troy Dorsey, who both average nearly 5 feet tall with boots on. I was stumped.
That is until some months later, a fighter from Puerto Rico was fighting someone named Hugo Pineda on HBO, from San Juan.
Oh my God, I, after viewing nearly endless oceans of Oscar fans carrying signs stating that Oscar was Number One, was watching the Great Puerto Rican people holding ANTI-OSCAR signs!!!HBO="He'll Beat Oscar" and "Oscar's Next" and I said to myself, "These are my People"....I watched Tito Trinidad make quick work of the heavier and stronger Pineda, and nearly decapitate him, and then call out Oscar during his interview with Larry Merchant, with fire, and pride.
We had found our champion. Thst single moment, reminded me of that title song by Queen from the "Flash Gordon" film of 1980. Tito Trinidad was sent by God, and Don King to Save us all from Oscar de la Hoya, it was, in the immortal words of Apollo Creed
"Like a Damned Monster Movie"...
September 16th, 1999. The Weigh in for Trinidad-De La Hoya, live at the Mandalay Bay. The Creme de la creme of the Boxing World was there. The Puerto Ricans were legion that night, one side of the Event's Center was filled with Puerto Rican flags, the other with Mexican flags, for the American, OScar de la Hoya. I, of course, was sitting with the Puerto Ricans, and being semi fluent in Spanish, we were able to communicate well, that there was no doubt that the Pride of PR was going to be victorious. We chanted towards the Oscar fans TI-TO! TI-TO! against the annoying OS-CAR!!! OS-CAR!!! and yelled and hurled verbal insults towards each other's fighters. It was like a massive pep rally for an hour until both fighters hit the scales and the place's roof was raised. When Tito made his way to the scales, the Puerto Ricans were singing some type of salsa like soccer song, about his greatness. The Nationality was incredible that afternoon.
The day of the Fight, we hung out at the Bay, meeting the stars like Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Leon Spinks, Thomas Hearns, Richard "Cheech" Marin, and of course, Mark Callous AKA "The Undertaker, and his 44dd wife Sara, being followed by about 36 autograph seeking kids and adults. The end of the Fight was incredible, and I made it a point to seek out two female Oscar De La Hoya fans, and make life hard for them, in revenge for the two that had laughed at me when Chavez lost, and revenge is a dish best served cold. It got very cold in September of 1999 for the fans of Oscar De La Hoya.
But enough about Oscar. Boxing's Savior had arrived, and immediatley, at the press conference, challenged Oscar to a rematch. With certain financial stipulations that ensured that Bob Arum and Team De la Hoya would back out. And they did, like trained seals. Tito turned his sights to bigger and better things than the Golden Boy. Tito went on to capture WBA gold from the third gold medalist he defeated, David Reid, and then, unified against the Warrior, Fernando Vargas in a Fight for All Times, an absolute war, that ruined the career of Fernando Vargas.
From there, Tito went on to capture a middleweight Championship, and enter the unification tourney against Hopkins, and was soundly thrashed. Unable to secure a rematch, he retired after destroying Hasine Cheriffi. Then, he un-retired and took on Mayorga in a fight fans dream match up that lived up to all expectations. It is said that Oscar still sends Tito thank you cards for softening up El Matador for all time. El Matador proved he had balls of steel, by offering Tito Trinidad three free left hooks early in the fight, which can be likened to playing chicken on a motorcycle with a semi truck going 120mph. Then, Trinidad was again thrashed by Winky Wright, and boxing went into a shell. Wright, on his own, would have a hard time selling out a boy scout picnic. Trinidad brought fire and excitement to the sport, and now, all we had was memories.
Enter Don King. King knew all along that Trinidad had too much pride and fire left, to leave the sport like that. And leave it to Don, and DKP to offer the Earth a SUPERFIGHT like Trinidad-Roy Jones Jr. Superman vs. Flash Gordon. Wow. Now all boxing fans have a chance to watch two all time greats fight for honor and pride. At 170, which will be Roy's undoing. Jones has problems when he has to make weight. He had a hard time making 175 against Tarver, and Trinidad hits a lot harder than Tarver. Jones Jr. was knocked silly by Glencoffe Johnson. If Johnson hurt Roy Jones Jr., with Trinidad, Jones had better prepare for the worst. And like OScar, Roy Jones Jr. has lost some reflexes and speed, that in 1994 made him unstoppable. RJJ may be able to fight Tito Trinidad, but he cannot beat both Trinidad and Father Time. Trinidad is back, and this time, he's out for blood.
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