Interview w/ Tito & Papa Trinidad
FELIX “TITO” TRINIDAD – NOW AT 165 lbs. –
PREPARES FOR HISTORIC OCTOBER 2 RETURN
Rio Piedra, Puerto Rico – August 27, 2004 – Legendary champion Felix “Tito” Trinidad is “Back with a Vengeance” when he returns to meet the exciting former WBA/WBC welterweight champion Ricardo “El Matador” Mayorga in New York’s Madison Square Garden, The World’s Most Famous Arena on Saturday, October 2, 2004. This WBA International middleweight championship bout is presented by Don King Productions in association with Madison Square Garden and will be produced and distributed domestically by HBO Pay-Per-View and broadcast internationally and on closed circuit by KingVision.
THE GYM — Tito trains at the “Tito” Trinidad Gym in Rio Piedra, which is a village in San Juan. The gym is housed on the second floor of a building that Tito owns and he is the only person that uses it. On the first floor of the building are three shops: a pizza shop, a motorcycle shop and a water store – where people refill their five-gallon jugs.
DAILY ROUTINE — Tito rises daily at 4:30 a.m. and runs for 2 hours. He then returns home for a nap followed by breakfast and rest. Monday thru Friday at 4:00 p.m. Tito arrives at his Rio Piedra gym for three hours of boxing work. His heaviest boxing days are Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday whereas Thursday and Friday deal with movement and technique. Sparring takes place on an as-needed basis. On Saturday, training is limited to running and Sunday is his day of rest.
On Thursday, September 26, Felix “Tito” Trinidad (41-1, 34 KOs), looking trim and ready, delighted the local media at his gym for four and a half hours. Tito, alongside his father and trainer Felix Trinidad, Sr., showcased a huge grin and splendid physique as he uncovered his journey back to the ring. By all outward accounts, it would appear that Tito and Papa are as comfortable as they have ever been hosting the media.
TITO: I am happy to be back in the gym and back talking to the media, I am glad to be training one more time for a big fight knowing that half of the battle will be won at this gym through my hard work and discipline.
I will be successful in this combat and I want to remind the world who Tito Trinidad is, just in case some people may have forgotten. I am motivated, strong and feel hungry for a triumph. I’m going back to my roots and boxing fundamentals, which give me enough confidence coming into this event.
Mayorga has said so many little things, but that’s his gimmick and has been since I can remember. He said he will knock me out, that he is strong and that he will retire me for good. I know he throws a lot of punches from all angles, but I’m going to step in the ring ready for whatever he’s got. I don’t mean any disrespect, but I think Mayorga will get knocked out.
I loved to knock my opponents out. I have baffled many when they thought they had me down and out but I always came back to knock them out. It is simple to figure that out as I have fought the best throughout my career. Nobody gave me any cookies – I fought the best caliber fighters and I was successful doing it. The fight against Mayorga will not be different, I know he’s dangerous, but who wasn’t in my career.
Mayorga is rugged and strong. But I’m not fighting superman, I’m fighting a mere human that has two hands just like me. Two strong hands, but he will not be victorious and I know it. Even if he looks like a middleweight and will fight like one. Even if his chin might be made out of granite – I will chisel it. Who knows, maybe it won’t take long. I might dispatch Mayorga in the first half of the fight.
PAPA TRINIDAD: In our first press conference promoting this fight in Las Vegas, Mayorga approached me to tell me that I had made a bad choice in picking him as an opponent for my son and I answered by telling him that before we decided to fight him, we had studied him thoroughly and that he was wrong.
TITO: I want to hear the crowd roaring and chanting my name, “Tito, Tito, Tito.” I am preparing as I always have, maybe the time off has refreshed my mind and I am confident with everything that is happening in this camp, but I still get butterflies when I think of the crowd and their reaction at the Garden. That’s who I fight for – my Puerto Rican fans and my Latino fans. But above all, those who recognize me as a great champion.
PAPA TRINIDAD: There was mildew in this ring (pointing at the ring behind him), that’s how Tito was when we started the preparation in March. By now we have cleared up all those spots, we are like new.
TITO: I am not cocky and I don’t act like a star. I want to look good inside the ring, even better than before and that’s not putting pressure on myself. I want to savor that moment again when the crowd will chant my name in New York and I will give my heart to the fans, because they deserve the best performance possible.
PAPA: Mayorga’s message to young people today is not appropriate. Nobody can be a serious athlete and compete in the level we compete and smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol. His lifestyle is not the lifestyle of a role model. On the other hand, Tito has been always a clean and respectful boxer, and a great athlete. Since he was a boy he has been clean. I don’t want to stir anything up, but I am glad the New York Athletic Commission will do urine testing to oversee the cleanliness of this huge fight. Unfortunately Mayorgas’ lifestyle is negative and it goes against the work ethic of any real athlete.
TITO: I know there were intentions to bring Mayorga to Puerto Rico to promote the fight, but I can’t force him to come. Moreover, I understand him for not showing up. He might get sick or something, but more importantly, we have only a few weeks of preparation left and hopefully he is not here because he is totally committed to his training regimen in Nicaragua. I know Don King wanted Mayorga to come to Puerto Rico and he finally decided not to bring him. And that’s fine because he is the greatest promoter in the world and he knows what he’s doing. I am a fighter and my job is in the ring. Regardless, I would have welcomed him just like the Puerto Rican people would have.
PAPA TRINIDAD: We have all the time in the world to prepare for this fight. Tito is sparring consistently and we are happy to report that he is within five pounds from the middleweight limit. Tito is so enthusiastic about the return and he feels renewed. It seems he is as excited as when he was turning pro. We are working on things to make it seem that he never took a break. We are taking advantage of all the time we had and there will be no excuses come October 2nd.
TITO: I am happy to be back. I realized I missed all this action and I will give it my all as always. I will win and unfortunately Mayorga will have to pay for talking too much.
Tickets, priced at $1,000, $700, $400, $250, $150 and $75, are on sale at the Garden box office and all TicketMaster locations or by calling TicketMaster at 212-307-7171, 201-507-8900, 631-888-9000, or 914-454-3388. TicketMaster purchases are subject to convenience charges.
The TRINIDAD-MAYORGA pay-per-view telecast, beginning at 9pm ET/6pm PT on October 2nd, will be produced and distributed by HBO Pay-Per-View and will be available to over 49 million pay-per-view homes. HBO Pay-Per-View is the leading supplier of event programming to the pay-per-view industry. For more event information, log on to www.HBOPPV.com.