|Felix Trinidad; “I’m Back”
INTERVIEW By Gabriel Montoya (Oct 2, 2007) DoghouseBoxing
In the sport of boxing there are prospects, contenders, titlists, and champions. Above that, at the upper echelon of fighters are superstars. It is an important distinction and one that is never clearer than when in their presence. This past Friday in Sacramento, CA, I had the opportunity to speak with one of this sports true legends, three division world champion Felix ‘Tito’ Trinidad.
From the moment he arrived at the autograph signing to promote his upcoming bout with legendary fighter Roy Jones, Jr. January 19th at Madison Square Garden, it was easy to see the difference between a top fighter and a super star. There
is a charisma that normal fighters simply lack. Tito’s easy charm and way with his fans was apparent with every posed photograph, raised fist, and shaken hand.
Some 500 fans came out to see Tito and Roy Jones, Jr. from all over the state. “ I heard Tito was going to be out here and I packed up the family at about 12:48 in the morning and we made the trip” said Carlos from L.A.
Watching his interaction with the fans up close (we spoke as he signed posters, gloves and whatever the fans would bring to him) it was easy to see that he truly loves them as much they him. Looking trim and refreshed, “I weigh 184 pounds,” he would declare, Tito appeared to be the fighter with ”a lot left to show “ that he claimed to be.
“It’s great for the people,” Don King would tell me as he proclaimed that Tito was indeed back for more than one fight. “Tito never retired. After the Winky Wright fight, his father was more embarrassed by the loss than Tito. They talked long and hard on the plane and by the time they reached Florida, Papa Trinidad decided to retire. Tito and his father had a pact that when one retired the other one would as well so Tito announced his own retirement to save his father
embarrassment. They really have a beautiful relationship. They truly care about one another. So Tito waited until the time was right to change his father’s mind. When they were ready, Papa Trinidad gave me a task. They said they were not interested in any old fight. They said,” bring me an extraordinary man.” They wanted Roy. Papa Trinidad didn’t think I could do it but now they are traveling the country talking about what they are going to do to each other. “
King would go on to confirm that Tito was not back for simply money fights but that he truly loves the sport, wants it to grow and above all loves to fight. “Boxing in the US lacks a hero. That’s what I love about Roy Jones, Jr. and Felix Trinidad. They put glory before money. They wanted to fight each other and they signed the deal. There wasn’t any arguing over money. If you put money before glory you put out the light.”
That light King spoke was clearly evident in Tito’s eyes as we spoke about his future in this, his final comeback. For the first time ever, Doghouseboxing.com welcomes Felix ‘Tito’ Trinidad.
Gabriel Montoya: Why come out of retirement after such a long layoff?
Felix Trinidad: I’m here because I love my sport. I have passion for it. I’m came back to show the people that there is still a lot to show from Tito Trinidad.
GM: Why not take a tune-up?
FT: We don’t believe in tune up fights. There is no sparring partner or fighter that can prepare you for a fighter like Roy Jones or any big fight. So we are going straight to the fights, show respect to the people and do a great shows fighting top competition.
GM: You’ve had trouble with mobile, defensive fighters in the past. Why will it be different with Roy Jones?
FT: It’s true against defensive fighters but also I beat a lot of them. I beat Camacho who was a very tough fighter. Pernell Whitaker and Oscar De La Hoya came not to fight but to run and I beat him. So I will be prepared for Roy Jones and whatever he brings to the ring.
GM: Is this retirement a one-fight deal or are you looking to avenge your losses?
FT: This is not a one-fight deal. I’m back. First of all I have to keep all my focus on Roy Jones. And then after that of course I would love the opportunity to avenge my defeats.
GM: How did you convince your father it was time to fight again?
FT: It was very easy. My whole career I have always been with my Dad. We support each other. He’s been my manager, my trainer. At this moment of my life, when I came to him and expressed my desire to come out of retirement and return to the ring, it’s the same thing. We always support each other. He’s my father. As my father he is now supporting me like I supported him when we were together as fighter and manager. So it was pretty easy. We’ve always been a family together.
GM: When you came out of retirement the last time, you made offers to both Hopkins and De La Hoya. Why did they say no?
FT: (smiles) Very simple. They are afraid. Very simple.
GM: Why do you feel De La Hoya ran from you in the last four rounds?
FT: He knew that the only way he had any opportunity was running away from me. He did it from the very first round. It wasn’t just the last four. He did it for twelve rounds. Just running away from me. He knows that fighting any other way would only bring defeat as well. That’s why he will never have the courage to come back into the ring and fight me again.
GM: If you could describe your come back in one word, what would it be?
GM: If you could rematch only one fighter who would it be?
FT: Whichever one is available to me. I cannot obligate them to fight me. They’ve shown they don’t want to rematch me.
GM: What is your prediction for the fight?
FT: No matter what I am going to win.
GM: Thank you, Tito.
FT: Thank you. Anytime.
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