Five Years Too Late?

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[Black Star Sports]

I arrived at the Wa-Mu Theatre yesterday at Madison Square Garden, January 15, 2008, to enjoy a "great" Press Conference between Tito Trinidad and Roy Jones, Jr., for the "Bring on the Titans", "Catch-Weight" mega fight

It's a strange match because these great boxing warriors and former world champs are finally meeting in the ring, and maybe five years too late. Why too late? Simply because as I remember, Tito Trinidad was a mere Jr. welterweight, welterweight, light-middleweight, and middleweight, and Roy Jones, Jr. was a middleweight, super-middleweight, light heavyweight, and heavyweight.

The amazing thing about this match is that both Roy and Tito were champions in those weight categories for a long time and there was no way that Tito could "beef" up to light or heavyweight any more than Roy would go down to middleweight to fight each other.

This fight could never have been made years ago at any weight, so why now? Simply because it makes sense to the promoters to bring in two "bankable" fighters with a legacy, and at a catch-weight-170 pounds  to fight each other for the "entertainment" of the boxing public in an effort to maintain the mystique that they still have championship years left in them to gain another world title.

Surprisingly, the "target" title is none other than Joe Calzaghe's super-middleweight crown providing that Bernard Hopkins "steps" aside and stays retired.

Roy Jones was comically frank when he stated that, "I can't see a guy who was a welterweight, super-middleweight and not too good of a middleweight beating me. If that happens, then it is time for me to hang up the gloves."

Jones then further stated that Tito was in for a big surprise because he kept saying that Jones was going to be his 4th Olympic Gold Medal victim since he already beat Oscar De La Hoya, Pernell Whitaker, and David Reid.  Jones further predicted, “I'll knock him out in four, because if he talks some 'Mo', I'll knock him out in "Fo!" 

Roy Jones believes that Tito Trinidad will come after him because that is the only way Tito knows how to fight due to his tenacious style. But it would be of no avail since he will then box him because at his training camp, which was far away in the "hills," and not Pensacola as usual, Roy trained and rediscovered the "old" Roy Jones, Jr.

Roy concluded his interview by stating, "I am a gym rat but, because of my age, 39, I can never be as good as I was. But, this Saturday, for just one night only, I will be as good as I  once was. So everyone will see the old Roy Jones, Jr. in action again." 

Tito Trinidad, who turned 35 last week, gave me the impression that he was fighting again just to keep "busy" because he was actually bored in his retirement, despite his family and his retained wealth. He tried managing musical acts and being a "Reggae tone" singer himself but that apparently was not enough. He actually misses the ring "wars" but the question is--is he ready for Roy Jones, Jr.?

In the interview, Trinidad told me that he had been training for over six months and although retired, he also was a gym rat.  He says he has run a few marathons in Puerto Rico, so feels he is still in good condition and only needs to keep working out and working on his boxing basics.

"I will knock out Roy Jones and he knows it,” claimed Trinidad.  “I told Roy he is going to be my 4th Olympian victim. I know he has been saying that I will go down in four, but lately he has been changing that prediction from four to six to eight, so he is getting the picture that he is going to lose," stated Trinidad with bravado.

I am troubled by the fact that Tito was actually brought out of retirement by the "adoring public" who kept urging him to fight again.  The fans "missed" him and of course Don King kept calling.  Papa Trinidad, who would only approve of a comeback if the opponent was Roy Jones, Jr., agreed on the match.  Guess what, Jones wanting to stay active since his devastating loses to Antonio Tarver and Glenn Johnson accepted the challenge. But remember it is not Tito's adoring public, nor Don King, nor Papa Trinidad who will face Roy Jones, Jr.; it is Tito by himself. Is he ready?

These ring warriors have posted an enviable ring record of 99 fights combined with 73 knockouts, with only 6 losses, and amazingly, won 13 world titles, 5 for Trinidad, and 8 for Jones, Hall of Fame stats for sure, but is this fight worthy?

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