MIAMI (AP) - Macho posturing between Felix Trinidad and Ricardo Mayorga began when their fight was announced two months ago and it didn't let up at a
joint news conference Monday afternoon.
Mayorga, wearing a business suit and ready with a glove, dared Trinidad to hit him. Trinidad wouldn't bite but responded with fiery talk of inflicting
punishment when they fight.
"This is not the place to fight you, besides it is not legal," Trinidad said. "But the advice I'm going to give your corner is to make sure they step
inside the ring as soon as possible when we do fight. You are going to get one bad beating and they should help you from avoiding additional harm."
Their fight Oct. 2 in New York will be the first fight after a two-year retirement for the 31-year-old Trinidad, a former welterweight,
junior-middleweight and middleweight champion.
Despite a successfully managed career by his father and trainer, Felix Sr., resulting in 40 consecutive victories until a 12th-round knockout loss to
Bernard Hopkins in Sept. 2001, Trinidad defied the plans of most top fighters who return after a lengthy absence. Instead of a string of tuneup bouts,
Trinidad (41-1, 34 KOs) opted for the bombastic yet dangerous Mayorga (27-4-1, 23 KOs) for his return fight.
"We wanted a big fight right away," Trinidad said. "I've always taken care of myself and I've been used to the tough fights. There was no reason to
start with a softer fight.
"I hope he goes through with his promise of sticking out his chin in the first round of our fight. He has not been hit by someone with my power."
Mayorga, a former welterweight champion with consecutive victories over Vernon Forrest last year, is seeking to recapture his form at a higher weight
class after losing a close decision to Cory Spinks in a welterweight title unification fight last December. As a result, Mayorga has followed Trinidad
to the 160-pound middleweight class.
"I'm going to make this not only the strongest fight of my life but the best fight of my career," Mayorga said. "They think I am the piece of trash
they can handle. I'm going to prove Tito wrong. I'm going to retire him a second time."
The winner of the bout at Madison Square Garden could be in line for attractive possibilities. The most appealing match would be against the winner of
the Hopkins-Oscar De La Hoya middleweight title fight Sept. 18 in Las Vegas.
"My promoter, Don King, knows the only reason I came back was for the big fights," said Trinidad, who couldn't secure a rematch with Hopkins before
leaving the sport in July 2002.