Monday, 14 December 2009
Felix Trinidad Boxing
A phrase I read more often when fighting pundits discuss the career of Oscar de la Hoya is that'he hasn't defeated a great champ in his prime.' it's a debatable statement to direct at a six division champ who is also the most financially successful non-heavyweight of modern times, having been involved many of the finest fights of the last twenty years. I always find such statements at least a little dubious, not the least as it is sometimes the job of a columnist to stir the pot by making a debatable statement. Also, it always appears the higher a person rises, the more some folk will attempt to deny what he has accomplished. Instead, I'll examine the career of one of de la Hoya's previous rivals : Felix'Tito' Trinidad. No one denigrates'Tito' by exclaiming he never faced and defeated a great fighter in his prime, so let's take some instruction from his career.
Felix Trinidad caught his first welterweight international title in 1993, by knocking out Maurice Blocker in 2 rounds. He was only 20 years old. However , Blocker himself could hardly be called a'great champion;' he fought only twice more after Trinidad against non-descript opposition and then retired.
Trinidad was signed with Don King, who has a habit of only paying attention to fighters like Trinidad when he's not dominating his bread and butter, the heavyweight division. Campas wouldn't win a world title until he moved up to 154lbs, at that point a feeble division.
by that time, Whittaker was extraordinarily far past his game. His close loss to de le Hoya had been almost 2 years before, and it had been more than a year since his tune-up fight with Andrei Pastraev. He fought only once more, losing by knockout to an unknown in 2001.
The Mega-Fight : Oscar de la Hoya
The big Sep 1999 showdown with Oscar de la Hoya remains questionable to this day, with many commentators who are definitely not de la Hoya partisans saying that'the Golden Boy' was robbedAs for de la Hoya'running,' it was'Tito' who came out of the fight with a busted up face and blood-stained trunks.
He moved up to 154lbs, and took away the WBA title from former Olympian David Reid. However , was either Reid or Vargas really great champions? Reid definitely wasn't. Prior to Trinidad, his two opponents of note were fringe contenders Laurent Bouduani and Keith Mullings. After Trinidad, he never got his career back on course and retired in obscurity.
Don King then set up the unification series for the middleweight title, including Felix Trinidad. In May 2001, he challenged two-time WBA middleweight champ William Joppy in his first fight at 160lbs, knocking out Joppy at Madison Square Garden in five rounds. Out boxed and roughed up,'Tito' lost by twelve th round knockout.
When Felix Trinidad left the 154lbs division, the pieces were picked up by Ronald'Winky' Wright, who went on to become the unchallenged world champ at that weight. The result was Trinidad's second defeat, a humiliating call loss.
Felix Trinidad has enjoyed an illustrious career, and merits his reputation and legion of Puerto Rican fans. Nobody disagrees that when the day comes,'Tito' will merit his place in the Hall-Of-Fame. it is beyond question that the sole great fighter in his prime that Trinidad ever scored a win over was Oscar de la Hoya, and that win remains controversial and contested to this very day.
So what does this mean for Oscar de la Hoya, and all the critics who say Oscar'never beat a great fighter in his prime?' Simply this : the more you achieve, the more the critics try to tear you down.
For more information on the greates living boxer Felix Trinidad check out felixtrinidad.com
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