NEW YORK - Both beaten in their last significant fights, Felix Trinidad and Ricardo Mayorga have lost none of their boldness.
The two meet in an Oct. 2 bout at Madison Square Garden, with each fighter clear on the outcome. "I will knock him out in eight rounds," Mayorga said
by speaker phone from Nicaragua as Trinidad grinned mischievously. "You know I am better than you and I will knock you out."
Trinidad talked trash right back.
"If you look at my eyes, face to face, you know that I will knock you out," he said. "I'll be waiting in the ring for you. I don't want any
As the long-distance threats and counterthreats were delivered in Spanish and translated into English, promoter Don King roared his approval.
There is some intrigue in this 12-round fight for what is billed as the WBA international middleweight title because both boxers are in comeback
situations. Trinidad has been out of the ring for over two years, and Mayorga is still recovering from the loss of his welterweight title to Cory
Spinks last December.
At stake is a peripheral championship, not to be confused with the world middleweight title owned by Bernard Hopkins. Hopkins stopped Trinidad for
that crown in the finale of the King-promoted middleweight unification series at the Garden on Sept. 29, 2001.
Trinidad fought once more and then announced his retirement. King has since been pressuring him to come back.
"The public was always asking if I was coming back," Trinidad said. "Don King was working hard on me to try and get me back. He pressured me. His
desire has much to do with me coming back."
Then the old Trinidad bravado surfaced.
"I'm back with the public's support and I'm going to continue making history," he said.
Mayorga beat Vernon Forrest twice in 2003 and tweaked Trinidad about that.
"He said I can't compete with Forrest," Trinidad said. "He's right. Tito is much stronger and has more power than Forrest."
After the two fights with Forrest, Mayorga lost the WBA and WBC welterweight championships to Spinks last December. He was unable to attend the news
conference in New York because of passport restrictions following legal problems. Trinidad's father used that fact to tease the ex-welterweight
"Keep out of trouble," the elder Trinidad advised Mayorga. "Be on your best behavior in and out of the ring."
The Garden fight is scheduled for two weeks after Hopkins fights Oscar De La Hoya in Las Vegas. The timing could lend itself to a match between the
winners of the two fights.
Trinidad seemed interested in that. Hopkins is the only man who has beaten him, and he outpointed De La Hoya in 1999.
"It depends on them," he said. "We'll see. I only came back for big fights."
Notes:@ Mayorga's manager is Carl King, the adopted son of Don King. ... The Oct. 2 card most likely will include the beginning of a cruiserweight
unification series. ... King is in a wait-and-see mode about the WBC's bankruptcy filing. "It is one of the strongest, most powerful organizations in
boxing," he said. "I'd like to see it all work out. That would be best for boxing."
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