Tito-DLH II, Nothing More Than A Dead Issue!
GL: Can you give us your thoughts on Tito's fight?
Don Felix: "First of all, we had studied a lot of tapes on Mayorga. We prepared Tito really well for this fight and we knew what to expect from him. When the fight took place, it turned out what we were expecting was exactly what he did."GL: Were you suprised Mayogra stuck his chin out in the first round like he said he would, and do you think the punches he allowed Tito to hit him with took a lot out of him, allowing Tito to take control of the bout towards the end of the first round?
Don Felix: "We weren't surprised he did it. It's true that he's valiant, but as valiant as he is, he's also ignorant. He might be able to do that with other fighters, but when you do something like that with a kid like Tito who has tremdous punching power, it's a big mistake. I do feel that those punches had an effect on him, and I think Mayorga did that because he's an ignorant person."GL: Tito looked more cut up for this fight than any other fight myself and others I've spoken with had ever seen him. Was anything done differently in preparation?
Don Felix: "Tito has had many fights where he came well prepapred. The time we had to prepare for it helped, but this fight was no different than many other fighs we've had. He's always going to be well prepared and we always take the same course to prepare Tito."GL: Can you put Tito's options in some sort of priority, in terms of the fights that you want the most and the fights that mean the most to his legacy?
Don Felix: "I never want to be in a position where we negotiate through the media. Over the years I've learned that many times people put a lot of roadblocks and stones on the road. When those things happen, things you want to do never happen because there's just too much competition going on behind the scenes. My position is this, we're going to sit down with Don King to talk about our future plans. Once we know what are plans are, we're going to allow Don King to do his work to tie all the loose ends before anything is announced to the press. We're going to tell him what are interests are, financially and otherwise. Once he has those loose ends tied, we're going to make our announcement.GL: The two fights that most people are bringing up are the two obvious options, Bernard Hopkins and Oscar De La Hoya. This is a two part question. Which of those two fights means more to Trinidad at this point? And secondly, it's obvious there's more money in a De La Hoya rematch, but has your position of the names needing to be switched on the contract changed?
Don Felix: "As far as I'm concerned Oscar De La Hoya has lost his last three fights. What good could a fight with Oscar De La Hoya do for Tito's legacy? What I would like to see is De La Hoya fight with somebody whose not Felix Trinidad and not Bernard Hopkins to see how much revenue he's going to generate. De La Hoya can say whatever he wants but the only fights for him that are big money fights are Bernard Hopkins and Felix Trinidad. What do we want with a guy that lost his last three fights? Nothing!GL: It sounds to me that you feel Hopkins is the more significant fight for Tito's career at this point. But let's say De La Hoya goes out and wins an interim fight, would your terms for the De La Hoya rematch ever change?
Don Felix: "When Tito Trinidad fought Mayorga, Mayorga took a REAL shot to the liver. And the kid got up! As far as we're concerned, Mayorga may be ignorant but we have a lot of respect for him because he took some shot to the liver and he got up. On the other hand, De La Hoya didn't even take a shot to the liver but he stayed down because he's a coward.
"With everybody saying Trinidad-De La Hoya, forget it. It makes no sense to fight him because we're talking about a fighter whose lost his last three fights. We're not coming to back to fight the dead here. There are other fighters who are much more worthy of a fight with Tito Trinidad. Even though they may not have De La Hoya's so called stature, they're much more worthy because they come to fight. We shouldn't even mention De La Hoya's name with Tito because it's almost insulting. To talk about a guy who lost his last three fights just because of money, it's a total insult. This guy is a coward, he didn't even take a real shot to the liver and he stayed down, and that's against Hopkins whose not even a big puncher!
"Tito, when he was champion, he never fought a ten round fight. He fought against the best fighters that were available at the time. The only time Tito ever fought a ten round fight was after he lost, he fought Cherifi. As a champion, Tito never took any ten rounds fight like De La Hoya did."
"There are fighters out there who merit an opportunity to fight with a Tito Trinidad, but they're fighters who don't come to quit like De La Hoya. People in boxing should be looking at fighters that have earned the respect of the boxing fans to fight Tito."GL: Cory Spinks, the undisputed welterweight champion of the world, told me that he's willing to come all the way up to middleweight to fight Trinidad. He said 'if they fought Mayorga why not fight the man who beat him?' Is Cory Spinks one of those other worthy fighters you were talking about?
Don Felix: "Cory Spinks is one of those kid deserving of the opportunity and it would be a very big fight. What he needs to do is go Don King, who is also his promoter, and if the conditions and everything are favorable for Tito and for Don King, that's a potential fight that could be made.
"And I want to make this clear, when we look at the menu to see what's available for us, we don't even want to see the name De La Hoya on the menu. We're so tired of seeing that name on the menu every time we go to the restaurant that we might stop eating at that restaurant because this guy doesn't deserve to be on that menu. We don't like that food, we don't want that food. You people who think we're going to fight this guy because of money are out of your mind. De La Hoya is not even in consideration. Tito doesn't fight cowards.GL: I have another two part question Don Felix. Was last Saturday night the best you've ever seen Tito look? And do you feel he's ready to beat Bernard Hopkins right now?
Don Felix: "To answer the first part, during the time that Tito's been champion, there have been times where I felt Tito fought a very good technical fight. In this fight Tito did do a trementdous job of breaking this guy down technically and there are other fights before Tito was even champion that he look very well in also. I just think he did a tremendous job and did what he had to do techinically to win the fight.
"To answer the second part of your question, when Tito fought Bernard Hopkins he was the favorite going into that fight. That's all you need to know."GL: With all due respect Don Felix it seems that you don't want to talk about Bernard Hopkins much. Does this have anything to do with Don King and Bernard Hopkins currently in the middle of an ugly legal battle?
Don Felix: (laughs) "With all the respect to you Greg, as someone who knows what's going on, if you don't know what's going on in the background, it's not my place to tell you."
"When we go sit with Don King. If the name Bernard Hopkins is on the menu, we have no problem and we'll deal with that. When we sit down with him and that name is not on the menu, you know what? We're not going to make a big fuss of it. If it's not there it's not there. We are not at the mercy of Bernard Hopkins. Tito Trinidad is the star in boxing, not Bernard Hopkins. All you need to do is look at Madison Square Garden to know that."GL: At the post fight press conference, before Tito came to the conference Don King spoke about his anger towards HBO and them treating him like a slave. King said there's a double standard, but we have one fight left with HBO and we're going to honor that fight, but after that I might find me a new home. How do you feel about what Don King said?
Don Felix: "The bottom line is, Don King is our promoter. Is it what it is. We're going to work with him. Way before, it's been many, many years that Don King has had problems with that network. I don't know exactly what everything is always about because that's his business and he knows what he's doing. At the end of the day we respect the fact that he's our promoter. Whatever decision we're going to make we're going to make them together. Whatever's happening between him and HBO that's something they need to resolve that amongst themselves, but at the end of the day, we are with Don King.
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