Who's Next For Felix "Tito" Trinidad?

By G. Leon


Who's Next For Felix "Tito" Trinidad?

B-Talk Breaks It Down

Following his stellar comeback performance against Ricardo Mayorga, former three division champion, Felix "Tito" Trinidad (now Boxingtalk's #2 middleweight behind only Bernard Hopkins) has a ton of options. Boxingtalk.com takes an indepth look at the possibilities and potential blueprint on Trinidad's next move. 

The November 20 rematch between junior middleweight king Winky Wright and former three division champ Shane Mosley will play a major role in Trinidad's next move.

If Shane Mosley were to pull the upset against Wright, there's no doubt he becomes the primary option for Trinidad.

Remember, the Wright rematch is Mosley's last fight under contract with Gary Shaw Promotions. With Mosley as a free agent and his business advisor Judd Burstein now working for Don King, Trinidad-Mosley makes the most sense. (Boxingtalk.com believes Mosley will probably be promoted by DKP regardless of how his rematch with Wright goes. A victory over Wright would lead to Trinidad. Another loss to Winky would probably lead to Ricardo Mayorga's retirement being short lived.)

If Winky Wright has a repeat performance, I don't expect a Trinidad-Wright fight to come off. Stylistically, Wright is all wrong for "Tito" and the Trinidad brain trust know this.

If Mosley wins, chances are he gets Trinidad.

If Wright wins, neither Wright nor Mosley will fight Trinidad.

The other mega-fight options out there for Trinidad are; Oscar De La Hoya, Bernard Hopkins, and Fernando Vargas.

Oscar De La Hoya: The Golden Boy has been out of town on a belated honeymoon, but Boxingtalk.com understands De La Hoya WILL fight again. However, unless some drastic changes take place, he won't be fighting Trinidad.

Trinidad-De La Hoya II is the BIGGEST MONEY fight on the market right now. Unfortunately, ego will prevent it from coming to fruition. 

Papa Trinidad verbally bashed De La Hoya in a recent interview, calling Oscar "a coward that went down from a fake liver shot against a guy who isn't a big puncher."  Papa Trinidad said, "We are not going to defraud the public and our fans by entertaining the option of fighting somebody who has lost three fights in a row as far as I'm concerned." 

Although this is probably the biggest money fight in boxing, the big problem is De La Hoya and Trinidad will both want the bulk of the money. Before he ever decided to go the Bernard Hopkins route, De La Hoya refused to accept the Trinidad rematch under Trinidad's terms. 

Now that Hopkins stopped De La Hoya with a "fake" liver shot and Trinidad has beaten Mayorga into retirement, don't expect the Trinidad's offer to get any better.

Fernando Vargas: "Ferocious" Fernando Vargas is the superfight nobody would turn down. Who wouldn't want to fight a star boxer that hasn't won a big fight in years? Unfortunately the lucrative Vargas rematches for both Trinidad and De La Hoya will have to wait. Vargas will be returning in 2005, but he's going to have to take at least one or two comeback fights before mixing it up on the elite level. He's definitely an option for Trinidad, but definitely not for his next fight.

Bernard Hopkins: Hopkins-Trinidad II is the fight fans fight. There's nobody more boxing people would rather see Trinidad fight. Did 9/11 have a negative impact on Trinidad's performance? Was it the personal issues outside of the ring that distracted Trinidad the first time around? A rematch would answer all of these questions and more.

Following their recent big wins, Hopkins-Trinidad II would be HUGE right now. Unfortunately Hopkins and King are currently in the middle of an UGLY litagation.  (A settlement would certainly increase the chances of this rematch taking place, but from the looks of thing it's highly unlikely.)

Besides, Hopkins already slaughtered the Trinidad cash cow once, no need to risk having it happen again so soon. As long as both Hopkins and Trinidad continue to win, their rematch won't get any smaller, though Hopkins says he's done by his birthday in 2006. Chances of Hopkins-Trinidad II happening in the near future are, as Don King would say, 'slim and none and slim's out of town.' 

This brings us to the sleepers of the group: Cory Spinks, Ike Quartey and Maselino Masoe.

Cory Spinks: About two months ago, undisputed welterweight champ Cory Spinks first told Boxingtalk.com he was dead serious about wanting to test his skills against "the great Felix Trinidad." Since then Spinks has made easy work of Miguel Angel Gonzalez, Trinidad has stopped Mayorga and both sides have shown interest in making the fight during recent interviews with Boxingtalk.com.

Although both sides appear to like the fight and both fighters are currently promoted by Don King Productions, BT understands that King is interested in staging Spinks-Judah II at Madison Square Garden on January 22. 

Spinks won a unanimous decision over Judah on April 10, but Team Spinks, (Kevin Cunningham and company)  may not want to fight in New York City, Judah's hometown.

Ike Quartey: Like Trinidad, the former welterweight champ, who will fight in Accra, Ghana on January 14, is back after a long hiatus. Quartey recently inked a promotional deal with Lou DiBella's, DiBella Entertainment, and Boxingtalk.com can't help but notice all of the business DiBella and King have been doing as of late. 

The crown jewel of DiBella's stable, Jermain Taylor, will take on DKP promoted former middleweight champ, William Joppy on HBO December 4.

Lou DiBella also recently brought King in as a partner/co-promoter with regards to heavyweight contender Monte Barrett, who is expected to fight  DKP promoted Owen Beck for the WBC's #1 ranking.

If all goes well, as expected, for Quartey on January 14, Trinidad-Quartey is possible. In fact, if Mosley is unable to turn the tables on Wright, Trinidad-Quartey will probably come to the forefront.

Trinidad-Quartey is a marketable fight because of the name recognition Quartey brings to the table.  Ike suffered a controversial loss to Oscar De La Hoya, and lost another close one to the pre-Trinidad, undefeated version of Fernando Vargas.

Don King made it perfectly clear that Trinidad has one more fight left with HBO, and King probably knows HBO will not turn down Ike Quartey as an opponent. The fact that HBO suit Kerry Davis was hired by Quartey's promoter, Lou DiBella, certainly won't hurt the chances of this fight coming to fruition either.

Trinidad will not be appearing on DKP's January 22 show at Madison Square Garden, Tito's next fight will take place in February, March or April...MSG would have to be the odds on the favorite to host this fight as well. 

As it stands today, Boxingtalk.com would say that barring a miraculous turn of events in the ongoing litigation between Don King and Bernard Hopkins, Shane Mosley CLEARLY has the inside track for the Trinidad fight. As was the case seven months ago, all Mosley needs to do is win to set up a fight between the first two men to defeat Oscar De La Hoya.

If Mosley can't pull the upset, don't be surprised when Ike Quartey, unless he loses his Jan. 14 comeback bout,  gets the shot at Tito. 

Spinks will remain in the mix, but like everyone else, he has to play the waiting game for now.

If it ever came down to Spinks or Wright, Spinks would get Trinidad seven days a week and twice on Sunday because he's already promoted by Don King Productions and doesn't have the multi-million dollar minimum Wright would demand.

The Trinidads met with Don King last Friday afternoon to discuss Tito's immediate future. King was unavailable for immediate comment, but Boxingtalk.com will be in touch with the Trinidad's shortly to see what Don Felix and Tito have to say.


Send questions and comments to: gleon@Boxingtalk.net