Live By The Sword, Die By The Sword

01.10.04 – Neil Goodman: Mayorga Vs Trinidad; the final count down is underway for the eagerly anticipated clash between two of the rings most exciting practitioners, in recent times.

This fight should offer the fans of boxing a stark contrast to the chess match which was Hopkins Vs De La Hoya. These two guys love to fight and are not backwards in coming forwards to get their shots on. Mayorga and Trinidad have both taken their licks along the way, but, this said more often than not each man comes out the winner.

The old adage, ‘Styles Make Fights’ has never been more apt. Whilst both boxers are accustomed to having their arms raised, when the smoke has cleared it is Trinidad who has a higher winning percentage and also a higher KO ratio. Trinidads cool puncher/boxer style has often made winning look easy, whilst ploughing his way through 3 weight divisions.

For Mayorga the road to the top has been more turbulent. But that seems to be the way Mayorga likes it, hard and fast, rough and ready, that’s Mayorgas’ style. This is a man who swung his fist away, wildly at times, in order to get to the top. The cigar smoking man Nicaraguan is not adverse to upsetting people along the way, but just as he started to gather momentum Corey Spinks derailed his plans.

The Trinidad steam train came to a similarly unexpected halt at the hands of Bernard Hopkins. Both these inglorious ends to their respective reigns I believe still deeply hurt each warriors pride, both want to be back in the BIG TIME and by virtue of the fact this fight has been made seem prepared to do anything to get there.

Before we move onto the fight and the potential outcomes, assessing each fighter’s state of mind coming into the fight is an interesting diversion to the physical assets each brings to the table. For example, why is Trinidad coming back after a two year absence from the ring, when it looked to all the world like he had turned his back of boxing for good? Why is Mayorga jumping in with, what can only be described as a great fighter, after two uninspiring performances?

My own belief is that both fighters desire a lasting entry in the boxing history book. For Trinidad a win is instant credibility after two years out, by beating one of boxings hard men, whilst for Mayorga a ‘W’ against Trinidad will go along way to relieving the pain of the Spinks defeat (and he can look forward again to big nights and big paydays).

Trying to unravel the intangibles in fight is virtually impossible. How will Trinidads stamina hold up to the high octane start Mayorga is destined to make? Can Mayorga carry his power up to light-middle and make an impression on Trinidad? Whilst it is more than likely Trinidad will take at least one trip to the canvas, going down is very, very different to staying down.

We know Mayorga wants this fight, he will thrown the kitchen sink and anything else he can get his hands on at Trinidad. Trinidad has been here before, maybe not after a two year lay off, but he fought at a consistently higher level. Tito has been under pressure, both physical and mental, before and come out the other side.

I think Trinidad will have learnt a lot from his defeat to Hopkins, he will let Mayorga come to him and use his height, reach and experience to get through the early rounds. Mayorga only knows one way to fight and that’s to rampage forward, rough the other guy up and try to get in his power shots. Trinidad is fully aware he is not meeting Willy Pep in this fight and whilst he can match fire with fire, he will first want to be sure he has got the measure of his man.

This a pick-em fight, but I am never one to sit on fence. Trinidad’s greater variety and light-middleweight power will start to wear down Mayoral in the middle rounds. Mayorga will be to brave or foolish to take his foot off the gas and as his desperation grows, Trinidad’s precision will increase.

The final leg of Titos journey to greatness will be well underway within 10 rounds on Saturday night, but not before Mayorga has shown us again he is on his way to becoming the new Gatti.