‘I Knew That He Was Afraid of My Punch’: 5 Most Memorable Felix Trinidad Fights
Felix Trinidad (42-3, 35 KOs) enjoyed a glittering career – with a formidable reputation that saw him only taste defeat on three ocassions, inluding against Ronald “Winky” Wright. The Puerto Rican fighter won world championship titles in three different weight classes and is undoutedley one of the most fondly remembered fighters of his generation.
“Tito” was box office to watch, with his lions heart and will to win shining through on countless ocassions. He was a brilliant pressure fighter – who possesed impressive KO power, where he could end a fight at any moment. His accuracy and hand speed were two of his best weapons, which ensured he was one of the most entertaining fighters. Big Fight Weekend decided to pay homage to the legendary Puerto Rican fighter and bring you 5 of the most memorable Felix Trinidad fights.
5 Memorable Felix Trinidad Fights
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Felix Trinidad vs. William Joppy
On May 12, 2001, at the iconic Madison Square Garden, Trinidad stepped up to 160 lbs and faced off against William Joppy, who only had one defeat on his record when he faced the Puerto Rican – but Trinidad was at his destructive best.
The quick hands of Joppy were no match for “Tito” as he knocked down the Maryland native in the first and fourth before knocking his opponent down again in the fifth, which won him the fight and saw Trinidad become a three-weight world champion.
Felix Trinidad vs. Fernando Vargas
The Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas was the venue for a mouth-watering clash between Trinidad and Fernando Vargas for the IBF and WBA super welterweight titles. The fight happened on Dec. 2, 2000, when both fighters showed they had massive hearts, but “Tito” was a bridge too far for Vargas.
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Trinidad started fast, knocking down his opponent with a beautifully timed left hook. Despite beating the count, “Tito” knocked down his opponent again. Vargas recovered well, marking up Trinidad with eye-catching combinations, which led to him knocking the Puerto Rican fighter down in round four. Both had moments in the fight after the fourth round, until the twelfth and final round, where Trinidad hurt Vargas badly, knocking him down three times, earning a final-round TKO victory.
On June 19, 1993, “Tito clashed with Maurice Blocker for the IBF welterweight title in San Diego. This was the first world title shot for Trinidad, who was 19-0 going into the fight. Blocker was a tough welterweight – who had mixed it with the best, including Lloyd Honeyghan.
The American fighter was no match for Trinidad, who stalked his opponent for the first two minutes – before hurting him at the end of the first round. The Puerto Rican legend pounced in round two – landing a massive right hand, knocking Blocker out cold.
Trinidad took on his most decorated opponent when he faced off against Pernell Whitaker at Madison Square Garden, New York, on February 20, 1999, for the IBF welterweight title. Yes, Whitaker had been out of the ring for 15 months, but “Sweet Pea” looked in great shape and more than ready for “Tito.”
Trinidad showcased his power in round two, breaking Whitaker’s jaw. As the fight progressed, Trinidad’s engine and punching power were the difference. “Tito” always looked prepared and comfortable when “Sweet Pea” tried to fight on the inside. As the fight wore on – Whitaker seemed to be surviving on his experience, with Trinidad winning on points: 118-109, 118-109, and 117-110.
Oscar De La Hoya
On September 18, 1999, “Tito” went up against Oscar De la Hoya for the Lineal, WBC and IBF welterweight championships at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas. When asked about the fight, Trinidad said: “I knew that he was afraid of my punch.”
Early on, De la Hoya boxed smartly, avoiding the power punches from Trinidad. “The Golden Boy” was landing and moving on occasions – with the aggression and pressure coming from “Tito,” who gained control in the final two rounds when De la Hoya appeared to gas out, which gave the final rounds to Trinidad, awarding him the majority decision: 115–113, 115–114 and 114–114.