16.06.04 – Legendary champion Felix “Tito” Trinidad is “Back with a Vengeance” when he returns to meet the exciting former WBA/WBC welterweight champion Ricardo “El Matador” Mayorga in New York’s Madison Square Garden, The World’s Most Famous Arena on Saturday, October 2, 2004. The twelve-round bout for the WBA International middleweight championship, presented by Don King Productions in association with Madison Square Garden, will be telecast live domestically by HBO Pay-Per-View and via KingVision both internationally and via closed-circuit in the United States.
“The return of Felix “Tito” Trinidad, adds a touch of class to the sport,” said promoter Don King.
“He’s a lean, mean, great fighting machine. He’s also a patriot that adds a sense of pride and dignity to the sport that’s unprecedented. To come back against a tough warrior like Mayorga in Madison Square Garden, considered the Mecca of boxing, makes his return that much more significant. Tito comes back to challenge the greats of boxing – it’s unbelievable.”
“Tito Trinidad has been involved in some of the biggest and most important fights of our generation’” said HBO Pay-Per-View Senior Vice President Mark Taffet. “It will be a great thrill to televise his highly anticipated comeback fight against the exciting Ricardo Mayorga.”
“We could think of no other place for this fight to take place than Madison Square Garden,” said Joel Fisher, SVP, Sports Properties, Madison Square Garden. “The middleweight history of this building is steeped in tradition and we think the return of Felix Trinidad, as he faces one of boxing’s brightest personalities in Ricardo Mayorga, certainly adds yet another chapter to the legacy.”
Felix Trinidad (41-1, 34 KOs) from Cupey Alto, Puerto Rico has had one of the most distinguished careers in the sport. After making his professional debut at the age of seventeen in 1990, he captured his first title just three years later, winning the IBF Welterweight championship, besting Maurice Blocker. He defended that title twelve times prior to February 20, 1999 when he faced the legendary Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker. Whitaker was floored in round two and was wobbled on numerous occasions on his way to becoming the first of three Olympic Gold Medallists to fall victim to Trinidad.
On Sept. 18, 1998, in Las Vegas, he tangled with World Boxing Council welterweight champion Oscar De La Hoya, in a bout billed as the “Fight of the Millennium.” Trinidad weathered a slow start, but dominated the last four rounds on his way to a majority decision. It was a record-setting event for a non-heavyweight title fight, generating more than 1.2 million buys. Fans worldwide watched as De La Hoya became the second Gold Medallist to fall by Felix’s hands.
Trinidad’s next bout would be against a third Olympic Gold Medallist, 154-pound champion David Reid on March 13, 2000 in Las Vegas. Trinidad, after being knocked down in the third, rebounded to floor Reid four times en route to a unanimous decision win. Next up for Tito was a unification bout against undefeated and dangerous Fernando Vargas on December 2, 2000, resulting in a flurry of knockdowns and a twelfth round TKO win.
Next Trinidad moved up to 160-pounds to participate in Don King’s Middleweight World Championship Series alongside champions Bernard Hopkins, William Joppy and Keith Holmes. On May 12, 2001, at Madison Square Garden, Tito dropped Joppy in rounds one, four and five, when the bout was ended (TKO 5). The newly crowned middleweight champion then battled Bernard Hopkins for the Undisputed Middleweight Championship on September 29, 2001. Hopkins turned out to have a tremendous game plan, stuck to it and won the MWCS (TKO 12). Trinidad returned to San Juan, Puerto Rico to battle Hacine Cherifi on May 11, 2002 at Roberto Clemente, won by TKO in round four, and announced his retirement shortly thereafter.
Ricardo “El Matador” Mayorga (27-4-1, 23 KOs) from Managua, Nicaragua, made his pro debut in 1993 and fought his first twenty-two bouts in Central America, going virtually unnoticed. He burst on the scene on March 30, 2002, in his third bout on U.S. soil by defeating WBA welterweight champion Andrew “Six Heads” Lewis (TKO 5). Then, on January 25, 2003, Mayorga stunned the boxing world, becoming unified champion by stopping Vernon Forrest in round three. Forrest, in complete denial that this crazy man Mayorga ended his championship run, demanded a rematch. Although the rematch went the distance, the result was the same.
Mayorga’s next bout would take place on Don King’s “Night of the Undisputed” fight card on December 13, 2003. Mayorga battled hard and lost a controversial decision to Cory Spinks for the Undisputed Welterweight Championship. Next up for “El Matador” would be a chance to redeem himself in a scheduled WBA welterweight championship fight on April 17, 2004 at Madison Square Garden. Mayorga however, tipped the scales over the limit, and fought at junior middleweight against a very strong and dangerous Eric Mitchell.
Mayorga had little difficulty handling the power at the higher weight, and won a unanimous decision. Upon hearing that Trinidad would be his next opponent, Ricardo’s brash nature and confidence was undeterred. “Trinidad will wish he never came out of retirement after he fights me,” said Mayorga. “I will send him back to Puerto Rico on a stretcher.”
Tickets, priced at $1,000, $700, $400, $250, $150 and $75, will go on sale today at the Garden box office and all TicketMaster locations or by calling TicketMaster at 212-307-7171, 201-507-8900, 631-888-9000, or 914-454-3388. TicketMaster purchases are subject to convenience charges.
The TRINIDAD-MAYORGA pay-per-view telecast, beginning at 9pm ET/6pm PT on October 2nd, will be produced and distributed by HBO Pay-Per-View and will be available to over 49 million pay-per-view homes. HBO Pay-Per-View is the leading supplier of event programming to the pay-per-view industry. For more event information, log on to www.HBOPPV.com.