11.06.04 – By Frank Lotierzo – GlovedFist@Juno.com – I just got the e-mail for the press conference to announce the up coming Felix Trinidad-Ricardo Mayorga Middleweight fight, “Back With A Vengeance.” The press conference is Monday June 14th at Madison Square Garden. The fight itself will take place on October 2nd of this year, and will be shown on HBO-PPV. I don’t know what the price will be for this one, but this is surely one time that the main event alone is worth the price.
I must admit that I can hardly wait for this fight to happen. Talk about style match ups, does it get any better than Trinidad vs. Mayorga? I’ll answer that, no it doesn’t! When it comes to forecasting what has the most influence over determining how good a fight will be, it usually if not always comes down to the style match up of the two fighters. Sure contrasting styles make for interesting fights, like Boxer vs. Slugger, or Swarmer vs. Counter puncher. However, nothing has the potential to be a great fight like Swarmer versus Swarmer or Slugger versus Slugger.
One of my favorite things to write about and discuss regarding Boxing, is hypothetical fights between past greats with contrasting styles. If I had access to some sort of time machine where I could match two great fighters or sports teams from different era’s versus each other, I have a short list as to what would be my first choice. Without a doubt it would either be Sonny Liston-1959-62 versus George Foreman-1972-74, or Rocky Marciano-1952-55 versus Joe Frazier-1969-71. I haven’t a doubt about that, it would be either one of these two fights as to what would be my choice. The style correlation between Liston and Foreman and Marciano and Frazier boggles the mind when trying to handicap who would’ve come out on top.
Another thing that makes those two match ups so compelling for me is, I don’t have a strong feeling favoring one fighter over the other. I could envision either fighter winning. If forced to pick one, I guess I would want to see Prime Marciano versus Prime Frazier. I guess that’s because I can make a stronger case for either Liston over Foreman, or Foreman over Liston, easier than I could make a significant case for either Marciano over Frazier or Frazier over Marciano. Too me Rocky versus Joe is one of the hardest hypothetical fights I can think of as far as making a case for one over the other.
Both fighters had to push the fight and move forward to be effective. They both had incredible stamina. Marciano had a great chin and Frazier had an outstanding chin. Frazier had better head movement and cut off the ring better. However, Marciano made fighters miss more than he is given credit for with his low crouching style. Marciano was also the better two handed puncher. Rocky had the Suzy-Q right hand and Joe had the devastating left-hook. The difference was that Marciano’s left hook was better than Frazier’s right hand. Although Frazier had a terrific right hand to the body, something most overlook when evaluating him. And Frazier did have the faster hands and had the tougher skin.
Picking a winner in this hypothetical match up is something I’ve thought about for many years and haven’t really formed a sound opinion on who I’d pick if they actually were to fight. All I know is that I wouldn’t have missed it for the World, and would’ve paid anything to see it!
Well, I may not be able to see Marciano-Frazier, but I will be able to see Trinidad-Mayorga. In my opinion, Trinidad-Mayorga has the potential to be a classic. These two guys will meet at center ring and try to impose their physical being on the other. Both guys can punch with either hand, and both guys have to be moving forward to be effective. Also, both Trinidad and Mayorga have demonstrated a solid chin. They are both mean with the killer instinct who believe in themselves and don’t know what the word fear means.
How will this fight break down, and how much will Trinidad’s layoff effect the outcome? Will it be the guy with the bigger punch, or will it be the guy with the better chin and stamina? All we know going into this fight is that it probably won’t last too long. Neither Trinidad or Mayorga are thinking about a decision. This fight can only end one way, one of them is going to get stopped, and probably in a big way. Remember, both guys are not too difficult to hit, so each guy is most likely going to get nailed with their opponents best. So who gets their first, or most often? I can’t wait to find out. I know one thing, you better get there early.