EXCERPTS FROM TRINIDAD–DON KING CONFERENCE CALL
Tito Trinidad: “I always want to fight great fighters and I am coming back to fight Roy Jones Jr. because he is one of the greatest in the sport.”
Don King: “The fight will take place at 170 pounds. We are leaning toward Madison Square Garden but nothing is set at this time.”
Tito: “I am going to feel very good at that weight and I feel that I will feel great at that fight.”
Don King: “Tito Trinidad and Roy Jones will be doing color [on the pay-per-view telecast] for Vargas vs. Mayorga on September 8 and Chad Dawson on September 29 and Maskaev vs. Sam Peter on Oct. 6. Roy Jones will be his inimitable self as only he knows how to do it. And Tito will do the Spanish version. And they will be on Juan Diaz vs. Julio Diaz, the double D. Roy Jones will be doing rap music and Tito will be doing Reggaetón. Then they will go in the ring and fight. It is taking my breath away. This is a fight made in heaven… quality and competitiveness.”
Tito Trinidad: “One month ago, I was not clear whether I would come back to boxing. But right now I have made up my mind. I have conversations with my manager and Don and finally everything has come together. Everything has been agreed… that I am ready to fight Roy Jones and Roy Jones is ready to fight me.”
Don King: “Papa Trinidad didn’t want his son coming back into boxing if he was going to fight anybody less than a Roy Jones Jr. So he raised the bar real high in honor of Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rican people. He told me Roy Jones. So my job was to go get Roy Jones. Roy Jones agreed to do business and be involved in history in the making.”
Tito Trinidad: “It is true that I said in the past that I would not come out of retirement. But I have been a great fighter throughout my career and I am still healthy and I know that I have too much boxing inside of me and I want to show the world that I am still one of the best boxers. This is a great challenge to fight Roy Jones who is one of the greatest of the era and I never turned down a great fight and I am coming out of retirement for a great fight, with a great fighter like Roy Jones.
It is a huge purse, but at this time that is confidential.”
Don King [injects]: “Mucho Grande, muchas gracias.”
Tito Trinidad: “There is no next fight. Right now I am focused on fighting Roy Jones, one of the greatest fighters I will ever face. He is a great fighter. After I fight Jones, then I may think of another fight.”
What do you think about Mayweather?
Tito Trinidad: “There was talk about fighting Mayweather but because of the difference in weight that fight really could not happen. It will never happen. This fight is at 170 and I will feel great at that weight and it will be a great fight.
I had always said that I will be in boxing as long as my father is. It is 100-percent true that I would only come back if my father did. The only reason I came back is because my trainer, my manager and my friend is back. He is supporting me and we are back together.”
Don King: “It is a great day. Papa gave me a hard task to get Roy Jones. Papa said, ‘Don’t bring me a mortal man, bring me Roy Jones.'”
Tito Trinidad: “It is just my comeback. I am going to fight Roy Jones.”
What about Bernard Hopkins?
Tito Trinidad: “I fought Bernard Hopkins the first time and we won the jackpot. He has been running around ever since. I have been trying to get a rematch with him but it never happened. So right now I am focused on Roy.”
What TV will this be on?
Don King: “This fight just came about. So we haven’t gotten that far yet. Papa knows, Roy Jones knows, I know and Tito knows, so it is not an original deal. This is creative, this is history. We have to discuss where the fight will be shown. We have to talk to HBO and we have to talk to SHOWTIME and we have to talk to ESPN and Rupert Murdoch, who is taking over everything. This is the first time since Rumble in the Jungle, where you make the fight, and we didn’t even have television. But right now we have both combatants just sitting here looking at each other and it is just remarkable. Shades of yesterday, fights like that were made 35 years ago.”
Roy Jones Jr: “Tito is a great champion and I know that and he has left behind a great legacy. If someone like that comes to challenge you, how can you turn that down? I’d be stupid to turn that down, I fight for a living, that’s what I do. Great fights are made just like what we did here. You make a big fight to give the fans something to come watch. It’s not like the Floyd Mayweather-De La Hoya fight where they gave the fans a dance.”
What about fighting at 170?
Roy Jones Jr: “I don’t like it, but for a big fight you have to do those things. It is a wonderful fight and I’m not going to let a few pounds ruin it. Of course it is going to be very difficult. Of course I’m not going to like it. But this is a big fight and the people want it. So we have to make it happen.”
Are you too big or fast for Trinidad?
Roy Jones Jr: “Too fast, I may agree with. Too big? He is bigger than me right now. But [me being] too fast [for him], I am going to agree with. We are both powerful punchers, and when you have two powerful punchers it all depends on who is going to get there first. But there is one thing I will guarantee, it will not be like Winky Wright and Bernard Hopkins, two guys that are superior boxer but have no bombs in their tank. We both have bombs in our tank. Plus, we are phenomenal boxers on top of that. So you have everything it takes to make a great fight here. You’ve got two beautiful punchers. You’ve got two beautiful boxers. I am probably the quicker of the two, but pound-for-pound, he is probably the more powerful of the two. So it makes for a great fight.”
How much convincing from Don did it take for you to do this?
Roy Jones Jr. “It takes a lot of convincing for me to do anything. It’s how you convince me to do it. He [Don King] just called me and said, ‘Hey, Trinidad wants you.’ If he wants me then do what you’ve got to do and make it happen. So I came in and we made it happen.”
Have you looked at the contract?
Roy Jones Jr.: “I just got here for the press conference and I will look at it now. And I will sign it shortly.
I take my hat off to him for respecting me that much. And now we have two guys who stood up and said they want to fight each other. It didn’t take much to make the fight happen. I don’t change for pretty much anybody. Don King is going to treat me right so I am along for the ride.”
Are you going to be OK doing all of that TV stuff?
Roy Jones Jr: “It is OK if I am working for myself. It’s another thing when you’ve got to work for somebody. I’m not going to do what they want me to do all the time, because that’s not how it works. But I’ll do what you want me to do if we do it right. But if you go crazy and do things that I don’t want to do, I am not going to do that.”
How hard will it be to get to 170?
Roy Jones Jr: “God works in mysterious ways. After my last fight, I stayed slim because I thought something crazy may come my way. So I am slim. And this fight is worth getting there for.”
Roy, you told Don not to put Trinidad in with Hopkins.
Roy Jones Jr: “What I told Don was that Hopkins had everything to gain and nothing to lose. Hopkins is really nothing without a guy like Tito. Now Tito have everything to lose and nothing to gain. Hopkins was going for broke, he was going to do everything he had to do to win the fight. I knew he was a hungry fighter, but I could have been able to deal with him a little better.”
Don King: “I want to work with Jim Dolan and Madison Square Garden. Jim Dolan is trying to bring boxing back to America when everyone else is running away from it.”