Boxing


Tito Trinidad vs. Roy Jones Jr: The Breakdown

Trinidad vs JonesBy Ted Sares, photo by David M. Warr/DKP: Well, forget about what they were like ten years ago. They are both a bit long in the tooth now, particularly in ring age, but they still bring palpable excitement to the frey. In fact, given Roy Jones Junior’s susceptibility to being knocked senseless and given Felix “Tito” Trinidad’s documented ability to knock someone senseless, this fight offers intriguing possibilities.

Trinidad, a former three-division champion, will be coming out of retirement for the fight against Roy Jones, a former four-division champion on January 19, 2008, at a catch weight of 170lbs--which in my view favors Jones who is 51-4 coming in. Tito is 42-2. Roy is 38 while Tito is four years younger..

The fight will be at Madison Square Garden and will be broadcast live on HBO PPV.

Last outings

After a shaky first round, Jones looked very good against Prince Badi Ajamu in July 2006, using a great body attack to beat The Prince going away for something called the WBO NABO light heavyweight title. Interestingly, the Prince, who until then has never really been in a bad fight, stopped Craig Cummings, 53-6-1, a few months later.

Then, in July 2007, Jones beat undefeated Anthony “The Tyger” Hanshaw for the vacant International Boxing Council light heavyweight title. While not looking as sharp as when he dismantled Ajamu, he scored a decisive UD over 12 rounds. Showing late round snap, he decked Hanshaw in the eleventh stanza with two right hand leads to punctuate his victory.

Trinidad has not done as well losing two of his last four bouts including a beat down to Bernard Hopkins in early 2001 and a UD defeat at the hands of Ronald “Winky” Wright in 2005 after which he announced his “retirement.” In between, he stopped a limited Hacine Cherifi and dismantled Ricardo Mayorga in a great display of power punching at the Garden.

Based on their last respective fights, the edge here must go to Roy Jones, Jr.

Power

Trinidad has an impressive KO percentage of 80% vs, Jones’s 69%. Both have iced opponents with one punch, but the edge in power goes to Trinidad, particularly when you consider that one of the last things to go is a slugger’s power.

Past records and level of opposition

Not as relevant here. Too much time has passed for these factors to be decisive. The greatness of both fighters has been well documented and does not need to be affirmed here.

Style

This is where I see the difference. Jones can still move around the ring, though he has a propensity to hang on the ropes which could prove fatal if Trinidad unloads and lands flush. However, Jones is still capable of fighting in the middle of the ring and if he does his trademark hit and run stuff, it should prove the difference.

Intangibles

Has Tito grown old overnight (as was evident against Wright) or has his body sufficiently recovered for him to be competitive? Will the 170 pound weight give Jones the wherewithal to have his way with Tito, or will he succumb to one of Trinidad’s hooks or straight rights.

The weight facto clearly favors Jones who has fought at 175 and near 170 many times in his great career. This will be Trinidad’s first outing at 170.

Recent photos of both fighters show Jones to be somewhat gaunt (but hopefully not from a yo yo type of diet) and Trinidad a tad bloated, but that admittedly is stretching the intangibles a bit.

Outcome

Some say Tito is typically a slow starter and Roy may be able to clock him with a nice counter sooner rather than later, but I don‘t see that happening.

I see the fight going into the mid to late rounds in a cat and mouse fashion until Jones senses Trinidad is tiring. I see him then press the action, albeit cautiously, and attempt to take the Puerto Rican warrior out with a heavily leveraged flurry of punches. If he can’t accomplish this, I see him finishing in a cautious and crowd unfriendly manner until the bell rings ending the fight and giving Jones a UD and $ ten million dollars. Of course, if Trinidad connects flush with a hook, it could well be another Tarver nightmare for Junior.

Article posted on 25.12.2007



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