Roy Jones – Trinidad Set For January

felix trinidad04.10.07 - By Matthew Hurley: According to a report released by boxing writer Gabriel Montoya, Don King has “officially” announced the date and venue for the, depending upon your opinion, long awaited or now much maligned showdown between former greats Roy Jones and Felix Trinidad. The bout will take place on January 19th at Madison Square Garden and be broadcast on HBO pay per view. In an interview with Montoya, King commented that “This is what the people want. They want warriors. This fight will be the fight of the century."

That bluster aside, King always spouts such rhetoric and this fight, without question is coming years too late. Both fighters, first ballot Hall of Famers, will always deserve the respect that they have garnered over years of swapping leather in the ring, but neither is anywhere near close to their respective primes.

Jones has never been the same quick, athletic boxer he had been after he beat John Ruiz for a heavyweight strap in 2003. Sweating off in excess of 25 pounds to return to the light heavyweight division to face off against nemesis Antonio Tarver seemed to forever deplete that speed and agility. As Bernard Hopkins recently opined, “Once he lost that quickness he was done because he never learned the fundamentals of the game.” That lack of proper boxing technique led to his downfall in three matches with Tarver and a knockout loss to Glen Johnson. It also, in many an opinion, vaulted Bernard Hopkins, who learned the basics and honed his craft, above Jones in the estimation of who was the best fighter of his era. It says here that Hopkins was that fighter, but there are dissenters and those opinions are as valid as any other.

Trinidad never seemed quite the same after the aforementioned Hopkins knocked him out in a masterful performance in 2001. He’s fought rarely ever since (just three times) and it’s become apparent that a stiff jab and movement, employed first by Oscar De La Hoya in their 1999 welterweight showdown (won on a disputed decision by Trinidad), can befuddle one of the best knockout artists of his generation. Never was this more apparent then in 2005 when Winky Wright won every single round against him in a decision victory. But if a fighter comes at him, like knockout victim Ricardo Mayorga, or slows down, like David Reid and “Tito” can get his punches off Trinidad will always remain a one punch knockout threat. And that’s exactly what Jones has to worry about and what Trinidad is hoping will happen when Roy’s legs begin to tire and he backs into the ropes.

Whatever you think of the fight the price tag that King will slap on this card will be upwards of fifty dollars. Pay per view, for bouts like this and so many others, has been getting ridiculous for years now. Still, both fighters maintain ardent fans that would pay to just see them spar. Maybe not for fifty bucks, but then again maybe they would. With so many terrific bouts coming up, several of which will be on pay per view, you may want to pick and choose which one you truly want to see, or start stock piling your doe now because it won’t come cheap in the end.

Article posted on 04.10.2007

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