Fight of the day: Felix Trinidad vs Ricardo Mayorga – October 2, 2004
Puerto Rico’s Felix Trinidad is in many boxing heads top 100 best boxers of all time and for good reason. With 43 wins and just 3 losses, Felix accomplished the IBF Welterweight title in 1993. He held the title for 6 years, 8 months and 14 days and went on to defeat legendary Oscar Dela Hoya to win the WBC and Lineal welterweight titles in 1999.
He decided to then move up to Junior Middleweight were he attained the WBA belt from David Reid. However, having had a long career break and a humbling defeat to Bernard Hopkins, talk of retirement had stirred before his 43rd fight with the vicious “el matador” Ricardo Mayorga.
Mayorga was the fresher and younger, former unified champion and many analysts presumed that with his youth he could out last the pound for pound great, Trinidad.
The lead up to the bout was typical of any Ricardo Mayorga fight- laden with controversy and hyper-aggression (although he featured a new, bright red hairstyle, highlighting perhaps his bloodlust for Trinidad).
The first round began and Mayorga made sure to let the Puerto Rican know he thought he was the real man, allowing Trinidad to land three left hooks. The left hook of Trinidad is known as one of the best Left hooks in all of boxing, yet Mayorga persisted with a mocking dance. The Nicaraguan unleashed a piping jab which caught the older ex-champion off guard, unsteadying his feet and sending him to the ropes. Mayorga landed rangy overhand rights to steal the round.
Round two conveyed a higher trading pattern, the two men really digging in their punches, with clear intent to hurt. Trinidad seemed to get the more evident head swivels from his punches. Whilst Mayorga landed with more volume.
Mayorga struck in round three with an awkward overhand right to the chin, that caused Trinidad to reel back and touch his glove to the mat. Trinidad buoyed by the knockdown, came back with screw punches to the inside and feints to set up his concussive left hooks. Mayorga, with a scowl plastered on his face, dug to Trinidad’s body and head but many shots had been slipped or taken well. It was now Mayorga who looked unsteady as Trinidad circled him forebodingly.
Round four was utter action due to a cut opening on Mayorga which spurred both men on. A seriously superb round which saw both men land. Mayorga’s rangy right hands were missing and landing leading to chaotic flashes of energy from him. Trinidad elects to fight more concervatively, landing with a very high accuracy rate. He sets up and lands the first meaningful body punch at the close of the round. Mayorga winces and covers up, clearly hurt.
Round five displayed a cagey beginning with both men shooting the jab, but it is Trinidad who starts to chase and is landing on the retreating Mayorga. With 30 seconds left on the clock, Trinidad amps the pressure and shoehorns Mayorga against the ropes where he pounds him with short hooks and uppercuts, flicking Mayorga’s head back like a pin ball.
The beginning of round six is more of the same with Trinidad raining punches on Mayorga before a low blow puts a halt to the action. During this time Mayorga strategises and recuperates. At the resumption he spiritually ravages Trinidad in a surprise attack to close the round, leaving spectators wonder if a comeback may be on the way.
The seventh round displayed even more toe to toe action with a blistering come back by Mayorga. Trinidad was now controlling the centre of the ring but the violence of Mayorga ensured his survival. Trinidad weathered these assaults by picking off Mayorga’s punches with his elbows and arms but took some cuffing overhand lefts and rights.
Round 8 opened up with another flood of violence from Mayorga, flapping wide punches at Trinidad he was able to push him back. The uppercut started to land with intensity and the work rate had intensified. Mayorga threw four right hooks, some landing to the body of Trinidad wickedly centre ring.
Trinidad responded with flush straight punches through the looping wide-angled punches of Mayorga. Stunned, Mayorga dropped his hands leading to a further assault by Trinidad surmised by a vanquishing left hook to the body which crushed Mayorga, sinking him to the canvas. Bravely, Mayorga dragged himself twice more of the canvas before finally being stamped out by another trademark quake-initiating left hook from Puerto Rico’s Felix “Tito” Trinidad.