By Elisa Harrison
Updated: October 1, 2004

Felix 'Tito' Trinidad

Felix 'Tito' Trinidad

MIAMI, FLA.—I consider myself a lucky boxing fan because I never thought I would see Felix ‘Tito’ Trinidad in action again. As I write this piece, we are less than 48 hours away from making the title of the show, ‘Back With A Vengeance,’ which Trinidad headlines, a reality. My question is this though, is Trinidad back with a vengeance or with a specific agenda? Why is Tito Trinidad really fighting again? Boxing at this level is purely business -emotions don’t enter into the mix- and come Saturday night, Trinidad will walk away -theoretically- $10 million dollars richer. Mayorga won’t do as well, but still, he will eke out a reported $2 million dollars payday. With that being said, I ask myself, why is Tito Trinidad really making this return to the ring? Is it about money? Is it a longing for the crowd’s adulation -which so many retired boxers seem unable to do without? Is it that perhaps Don King has a plan laid out for him? Why, I ask, is Tito Trinidad really coming back?

I posed the question to Trinidad a few weeks ago and Tito was adamant about the answer. He is making this comeback, he told me, because HE wants to, not because of Don King or his father, not because of the money, or even the fans. He told me then, in no uncertain terms, that he left the game because he couldn’t get the big fights he wanted. He assured me that his retirement had nothing to do with a much rumored health issue, a lack of desire to keep fighting or anything else other than the inability to realize the big fights he so desired.

Time and again Trinidad told me he wouldn’t be coming back if it wasn’t what HE wanted to do. Do I believe him? Well, I believed him when he said he would stay retired, so what do I know? Granted, it must be very hard to walk away from multi-million dollar purses, but is this about the Benjamins?

Many possible scenarios come to mind… Should Tito beat Mayorga, could Mayorga and Oscar de la Hoya fox trot while Tito and Hopkins get reacquainted? What it Mayorga beats Trinidad? Well, Tito Trinidad vs Oscar de la Hoya remains one of the biggest PPV sellers ever, with fans still arguing whether Tito really did beat the Golden Child, that one would definitely be of interest. Mayorga could look to Hopkins, who may or may not be interested in fighting Mayorga, (and it would be a big mistake for the Nicaraguan), but with an impressive win over Tito, a case could be made for the people wanting to see those two go at it. Mayorga could just as easily slide back down to 154 lbs. and create some havoc there; would Mayorga – De la Hoya be of interest? Maybe, it certainly would be a publicist’s dream and a money making proposition either way.

‘Back With A Vengeance’ is an ambitious undertaking for Ricardo Mayorga, who will debut in this weight class fighting a former champion and a vicious puncher. It is even more ambitious for Felix Trinidad, who has been away from the sport for 2 years. In typical Trinidad fashion, Tito didn’t even consider a tune up fight, taking a big gamble instead against a former champion (albeit at a lesser weight), who is heavy handed and loves to brawl. Talk about walking a tight rope over Niagara Falls on a windy day …

Will Tito be able to keep Mayorga at bay -particularly in the early rounds- those rounds where he usually walks into punches that land him on his butt, however briefly? Will Mayorga pressure Trinidad from the opening bell, hoping to land a punch from which Tito won’t recover? How much of a factor will ring rust be for Tito? How much power will Mayorga bring to the table at this weight class? After all, he did look ordinary against a not so good opponent at 154 lbs. Questions abound; there are so many possibilities but no clear cut answers, at least not at this point in time…

I certainly will be glad when the opening bell sounds for the championship fight between Felix ‘Tito’ Trinidad and Ricardo ‘El Matador’ Mayorga, as it will only mean answers to many of my questions, closure of sorts, before either man moves on to the next level.

I see this fight going down as a collision of two fierce rams, explosive and brutal. It is inconceivable to me that the event will go the distance, considering the nature of the participants. While I have predicted a Trinidad KO in the 7th round, I take nothing away from Ricardo Mayorga because I know that he is coming to fight, to pressure Tito, to give it his best effort, and on any given night in the sport of boxing, that may be enough to upset the proverbial apple cart.

God bless both fighters and may the best man win. In the words of Mills Lane, let’s get it on!


“Mayorga has said so many little things, but that’s his gimmick and has been since I can remember. He said he will knock me out, that he is strong and that he will retire me for good. I know he throws a lot of punches from all angles, but I’m going to step in the ring ready for whatever he’s got. I don’t mean any disrespect, but I think Mayorga will get knocked out.

I loved to knock my opponents out. I have baffled many when they thought they had me down and out but I always came back to knock them out.

It is simple to figure that out as I have fought the best throughout my career. Nobody gave me any cookies – I fought the best I fought the best caliber fighters and I was successful doing it.

The fight against Mayorga will not be different, I know he’s dangerous, but who wasn’t in my career.”

– Felix ‘Tito’ Trinidad