As fans know, when Felix Trinidad and Oscar De La Hoya met in 1999, it was a huge welterweight showdown – one that ended up shrouded in controversy. To this day, fans, experts and fellow fighters argue over who really won: Trinidad or De La Hoya.
As we know, officially “Tito” won a majority decision, yet many people feel “The Golden Boy” was robbed. Why, in light of all the fuss, did these two not meet again? They almost did.
In the record books, it will forever read – Trinidad W 12 De La Hoya. And this first pro loss, not to mention the mauling he received from most in the press afterwards, for “running” in those final three rounds, hurt De La Hoya’s reputation. Yet with the controversial nature of the fight’s decision ( Mike Tyson, for example, said after the fight how, “The decision stunk!”) made a return a natural. And again, it almost happened.
Back in July of 2008, ahead of what was planned to be De La Hoya’s final fight, his farewell fight, Trinidad was very much in the frame as the opponent (the fight even went up on ultra-reliable site BoxRec). And wouldn’t this fight have been a perfect final bout for Oscar? Certainly far better than what wound up being his final ring appearance; the awful-to-watch hammering he suffered at the hands of Manny Pacquiao.
It’s perhaps hard to recall now how massive, how enormous a star De La Hoya really was during the 1990s and early 2000s. A sequel between he and Trinidad would have been big, for sure.
If he had gone up against Trinidad for a second time, De La Hoya would have been going in with a fellow star (almost as big as himself) and it would have been a big occasion. There would have been intrigue in a rematch, with plenty of questions being asked: would De La Hoya have managed to avenge the loss? Would Trinidad have scored a KO this time round? Would De La Hoya have gone for the KO? Would we have seen a war?
It wouldn’t have been anywhere near as big or as meaningful as their first fight, but Oscar and Felix, the not at all odd couple of the welterweight division, would have given us quite a party all the same.
Throughout its history, the sport of Boxing has seen quite a few sequels that should have taken place fail to do so, but in modern day terms, Trinidad-De La Hoya II is one of the most tantalizing ‘what ifs?’ With all the money that would have been generated, and with both fighters apparently wanting the rematch in 2008, it really is a wonder this return never came off.
Who do you guys think would have won had the two met again, some nine years on from their one and only fight?
Some interesting facts about De La Hoya and Trinidad: De La Hoya was never once able to avenge a pro loss that he suffered, while Trinidad never boxed a single rematch in his entire pro career. De La Hoya was stopped just twice, by common opponent Bernard Hopkins and, in his final fight, by Manny Pacquiao. Trinidad was halted just once, by the superb Hopkins.