Boxing's Round of Match Making an Intriguing One, At That

10.10.04 - By Mike Samuels: All we hear about is how negative of a sport is, how it doesn't get national recognition because judges are corrupt, fighters are corrupt, commisions are corrupt, blah, blah, blah. Then, quicker than you realize, a great few weeks of boxing come out of the shadows and we are left salivating at the mouth of the possibilities of numerous great fights that could be on the horizon in the future.

Felix Trinidad proved he was back with his technical stoppage over wild man Ricardo Mayorga on October 2nd. It was quite a fans fight and probably lured a few non-boxing fans into the sport.

Trinidad showed that after a two year layoff he hadn't lost a step by thrashing Mayorga in New York in front of thousands of wild Puerto Rican loyals. It was good to see Trinidad back on track, but even for the sport of boxing. With Mike Tyson, Oscar De la Hoya and Roy Jones Jr. all falling one-by-one within the last few months, Don King only has one stablemate left to make lucrative bouts with and that's none other than Felix Trinidad.

Had Trinidad lost .. well, we'd be in trouble, but that's for another column.

Most of the public has now been throwing out Jermain Taylor, Kassim Ouma, Oscar De la Hoya, and middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins as possible opponents for Trinidad since his impressive performance over Mayorga.

Let us take a look at some of those fights.

Felix Trinidad vs. Oscar De la Hoya II - The first fight was 5 years ago, and while most had Oscar De la Hoya handing Tito Trinidad the first loss of his career, the judges saw it for Trinidad in a close fight. A rematch was never able to come to terms between the two fighters, but now more than ever people want to see these two men settle their differences in the ring a second time.

It may be cliche', but you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. Trinidad looked great against a made to order Mayorga and De la Hoya proved that he doesn't belong in the middleweight division against Bernard Hopkins. This has people thinking Trinidad will easily knock out De la Hoya if a second fight happens. I seem to remember people thinking about Trinidad after he went through William Joppy like a bullet goes through flesh.

PROBLEMS WITH THE FIGHT - Trinidad, or Papa Trinidad, has made it clear that Felix will not be fighting under the middlweight limit and lets be honest, De la Hoya doesn't belong at that weight and it would not serve him well to face a middleweight version of Trinidad. Also, Papa Trinidad believes that De la Hoya has lost his last three fights (Mosely, Sturm, Hopkins) and there is no benefit to having Tito face him seeing as he already beat him a few years back.

THIS WRITERS OUTCOME - I believe the fight would sell big time. More buys than Hopkins and De la Hoya by far. Everyone, including Papa Trinidad, has a price. Why else do you think Trinidad is back - to cash in. If the fight happens it will have to be at 154lbs and despite De la Hoya's poor showing in his last couple of outing, I would take Oscar by decision. Trinidad hasn't proved that he can beat a boxer who isn't going to stand toe-to-toe with him. No, Pernell Whitaker on coke doesn't count.

Shane Mosely vs. Felix Trinidad - The two men who defeated The Golden Boy would be an intriging matchup, but not one that I would favor Mosely simply because he isn't a natural jr. middlweight, let alone welterweight, and Trinidad carries his power very well. Mosely also hasn't boxed well since beating De la Hoya in the summer of 2000.

Trinidad's legacy would grow if he were to beat Mosely and there prospect of making a good amount of money would be there, too. Remember that the fight was supposed to happen had Mosely beat Winky Wright last year. When he lost Mayorga become the guy.

PROBLEMS WITH THE FIGHT - Winky Wright. Shane Mosely didn't prove he could hang with the jr. middleweight champion last year and most believe that the result will be no difference in November when he gets another crack. Be it Wright's talent or the added weight on Mosely's frame, the chances don't look good for Mosely and another loss to Wright will slam the door on making a fight with Trinidad.

THIS WRITERS OUTCOME - Assuming Mosely gets revenge in November (and I don't think he will), I would see Trinidad pressuring Mosely before Goosen jumps in and stops it. Shane has an underrated chin - look at the bombs he took from Vernon Forrest. But Trinidad is a freak of nature when it comes to pressuring fighters and landing the left hook. Mosely is no master boxer at 154lbs, so him at 160 would be nightmarish, if anything else. Trinidad would stop him late.

Winky Wright vs. Felix Trinidad - Trinidad never moves away from big fights and Winky Wright proved with his win over Shane Mosely this past year that perhaps he has been ducked by the cream of the crop of his division. Trinidad has a resume as thick as a collection of encyclopedias and a fight would Wright could add even more to his magnificent career. Wright is only looking for big fights and has made mention of Trinidad for quite a while. The fight could turn out to be one you would not want to miss.

PROBLEMS WITH THE FIGHT - Shane Mosely could turn out to be a problem should he get by Wright in their second contest. Add to that the fact that I wouldn't count on Don King wanting to put all his stock in Trinidad against Wright, who fights an ugly and tactical style much like that of Trinidad's conquerer, Bernard Hopkins. Wright is also not a huge draw to most, but I wouldn't see that as a problem because we all know that Trinidad has major market appeal and could sell out a fight against Travis Simms.

THIS WRITERS OUTCOME - I don't see Wright having difficulty making 160lbs and with that not being much of a factor, I like Wright to outbox Trinidad over 12 rounds. Wright knows how to deal with pressure and he wants nothing more than to put a cementing on his legacy - proving that he isn't just "the guy who beat Mosely." A win over Trinidad would help him out tremendously and if the fight is ever made I look to see Wright's hand raised at the end of the night.

Kassim Ouma vs. Felix Trinidad - Ouma is a superstar on the rise and looking for big fights and only big fights. He has proved himself against par competition and a fight with Felix Trinidad could put him over the hump of being a contender with talent to a mega superstar ready to make some noise. Trinidad has always taken on all comers and Ouma would be no different from anyone else.

PROBLEMS WITH THE FIGHT - Ouma would have to come up in weight. It would be smart for him to fight a tune up at 160lbs if he was to step into the ring with Trinidad and time is something Tito probably doesn't want to wait around for. He has said over and over that he is looking to make mega fights and retire once again. Ouma vs. Trinidad isn't exactly a mega fight, but it could be very exciting.

THIS WRITERS OUTCOME - Ouma is a pressure fighter who wouldn't be able to turn slick boxer over night. I would take Trinidad by mid round knock out, probably from a left hook, straight right combination. Ouma has great heart, but Trinidad's punching power and experience would look to be the difference.

Jermain Taylor vs. Felix Trinidad - After watching 2000 Olympian Jeff Lacy win the first recognized title of his class, Jermain Taylor has got to be looking to step up his competition. He's a big, strong and lanky middleweight with a rapid fire jab. Trinidad has been called the "Olympic Killer" with his brutal knock out wins over David Reid and Fernando Vargas. The fight would have a good billing and lots of support from boxing fans all around the world.

PROBLEMS WITH THE FIGHT - Jermain Taylor and his managment. The kid still hasn't faced a real 160lber since turning pro. The question surrounding this fight is would Taylor step up to the plate and sign on the dotted line? He has been calling out Bernard Hopkins for what seems like years now, and if he's honestly looking to face 'Nard (I doubt it) then I don't think his managment would take a chance of him getting knocked out by Felix Trinidad.

THIS WRITERS OUTCOME - Trinidad has worlds of experience over Taylor, not to mention that Taylor has been feasting on jr. middleweights since turning pro. Taylor is big and strong and young, but we still know nothing of his chin. I'd take my chances with Trinidad by late round knockout if this fight went down. But I wouldn't hold my breath.

Bernard Hopkins vs. Felix Trinidad II - Most fanatics have been calling for this fight after watching Trinidad's return bout with Ricardo Mayorga. Hopkins has said many times that he would love to grant Trinidad a rematch to prove that the first fight was no fluke. The fight has a lot of appeal and there's nothing more that Puerto Rico wants more than revenge for the guy who knocked out their pride and joy.

PROBLEMS WITH THE FIGHT - Bernard Hopkins and Don King. Both men don't get along after a lawsuit sent out against each other, and Hopkins has stated that if a rematch were to happen it would have to be on the champions terms. We all know that negotiating with X is about as easy as staying a float in a whirlpool. Hopkins has also said he will not fight much passed the age of 40, so time is on neither ones side.

THIS WRITERS OUTCOME - Despite Trinidad looking like a monster against Mayorga, only a fool would take the Puerto Rican to beat 'Nard in a rematch. Don't count on Hopkins "getting old over night" - as people have been doing since he stopped Tito in 2001. Hopkins doesn't look it, but he's bigger and stronger than Trinidad and would out box him a second time out, probably stopping him earlier than the 11th round in a rematch

Article posted on 10.10.2004

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