Doghouse Boxing's Trinidad-v-Mayorga fight predictions
Compiled by Anthony Cocks, Site Editor (October 1, 2004) 
Photo © HBOPPV
In the most intriguing matchup of the year, the legendary Felix 'Tito' Trinidad makes his long awaited return to the ring against Nicaraguan wildman Ricardo 'El Matador' Mayorga on Saturday night in what promises to be one of the most explosive contests at any weight. There are so many variables in this fight that it is almost impossible to pick a winner with any confidence, but the learned boxing scribes at Doghouse Boxing are willing to lay it all on the line just for you, gentle reader. On Sunday morning half of us will be geniuses of Nostradamus proportions, while the other half will be eating a healthy plate of cold crow.

Anthony Cocks, Site Editor: While Mayorga will never be mistaken for Willie Pep, he does have underrated boxing skills that he displayed in his first fight against Vernon Forrest and his title winning effort against Andrew 'Six Heads' Lewis. Despite his pre-fight bluster, I think Mayorga will use his superior footwork and unorthodox angles to pressure Trinidad from range and prevent the Puerto Rican legend from establishing any rhythm. While Tito is still trying to shake off the ring rust, El Matador will be busy opening him up. Providing Mayorga can handle the additional poundage, I think he'll cause all sorts of problems for Trinidad for as long it lasts. Mayorga by savage 7th round KO.

Victor Garcia: In what certainly promises to be an action filled affair, the Felix “Tito” Trinidad versus Ricardo “El Matador” Mayorga fight should live up to its billing: Back With A Vengeance. The bout will progress as most fans expect it to. Mayorga will waste little time warming up or feeling out. Instead he will rush out and try to land bombs early. For his part, Trinidad will not be intimidated. He should be able to land hard shots with hardly a sign of ring rust. El Matador’s wide blows will leave him open for Tito’s straight punches and counter hooks. In the end, the bout should prove to be the perfect welcome back victory for the Puerto Rican. Remember, Mayorga was not impressive at a higher weight division. He lacked the power he is known for and was noticeably shaken by the light hitting Eric Mitchell. Look for Felix Trinidad to stop the wild man from Nicaragua in the mid to late rounds.

Tom Gray: Mayorga KO's Trinidad inside five rounds. For the most part a great fighter who has languished in temporary retirement returns against someone who isn't a threat.  There is no way that Tito should be fighting Mayorga in his first "competitive" fight in three years. I hope I'm wrong, because I'm a huge Trinidad fan. However, there is a difference between hitting sparring partners in Puerto Rico and fighting a massive puncher who has been mixing it in world class, while Felix was growing fat.

Jim Cawkwell: In theory, the precise and efficient explosiveness of Trinidad should be far too much for the unpredictably wild swinging punches of Mayorga. However, there are enough intangibles attached to both fighters to make their fight that much more compelling. Mayorga has been plagued by distractions recently and his reaction to the turmoil surrounding him remains to be seen. I feel that Trinidad's return is not born out of a desire to become boxing's savior but rather from some coercion from Don King or perhaps even worse, boredom. Mayorga, to my knowledge, struggles only with southpaws so in the orthodox Trinidad he knows entirely what to expect. It is not an easy pick, but I just cannot see that Trinidad can return in the same form that saw him scythe through multiple weight classes years ago. Mayorga by stoppage in eight rounds.
 
Gary Pino: This fight is one of those that could end with one good shot, so a lock on anyone winning this outright is just not there, but I will call this one as I see it playing out in my mind. I see Mayorga dictating the pace of this fight early and setting the tone thus frustrating Trinidad into a defensive counter punching mode which isn't one Trinidad's strong points at this point in his career. Trinidad has not been razor sharp since the Whitaker fight 4 years ago. I just can't see Felix pulling this one out, unless he can land one big shot early. I think Mayorga will end this fight in the 5th or 6th round on a TKO (with my heart in my mouth)!

Rob Scott: Trinidad 6-7 round. Unless Trinidad has lost everything he had he should win. If he maintained half of what he had he wins. In Mayorga's first fight with Forrest, he was hit from every angle. Forrest isn't a feather-fisted fighter, but his has never been confused with the power of Trinidad. I know that Trinidad's chin has been in question before, but if you think about it, he has never been hurt by those knock downs. Even when Hopkins KO'd him, it was more from a wear down process, as oppose to one shot.

Luke Dodemaide: Mayorga by decision. I think Ricardo Mayorga is the worst opponent out there for a guy coming off a two year lay off, even if that 'guy' is boxing legend Felix Trinidad. Ricardo will not give Trinidad time and space  that will be needed for Felix to shed his ring rust. I think the Nicaraguan may out hustle the Puerto Rican champion en route to a close decision.

Juan Angel Zurita: This is such an intriguing fight because we don't know how Trinidad will fare after such a long layoff and it's unknown how Mayorga will fair in a higher weight class against a fearsome power puncher. After watching Roy Jones Jr. get crushed by lifetime road warrior, Glen Johnson, we were once again reminded that boxing is the theatre of the unexpected. But although a Mayorga upset isn't out of the question due to Trinidad's inactivity, the most probable conclusion is that he'll struggle early on and may find himself on the canvas (as usual), but will eventually catch the wide punching Mayorga in between a flurry to knock him out in brutal fashion. Don't blink for a second. This fight will be filled with fireworks from start to finish.

Henry Dyck: This fight might as well take place in a phone booth. Neither will have to look very far for the other. When trying to judge who will win this potentially explosive match you have to keep in mind the disadvantage they'll both bring to the table. Will there be signs of ring rust on Tito from his long layoff? Or will Mayorga's jump to middleweight be too much? While I think that Tito's absence from the ring is the greater of the two, I believe his ring savvy and experience will help him survive the early rounds, and many bull rushes by El Matador, but not before he tastes the canvas at least once. Both fighters are somewhat one dimensional but Trinidad has more angles. He'll use them en route to a late round stoppage. Tito by TKO RD10.
 
Martin Wade: Trinidad’s punches are too short and crisp for Mayorga; he will fight at a deliberate pace out of concern for his own wind and Ricardo’s early power. In round 5 Ricardo will consider this “pace” a white flag and get tagged coming in by a crisp hook, he will survive the knockdown but never be the same. In round eight Trinidad eventually (after absorbing some blistering single shots) will trap Mayorga on the ropes and bombard him with unanswered blows forcing a stoppage. Mayorga, still standing will have to be restrained because he still wants to fight, his language in describing Trinidad will be just as disturbing as it was in pre fight press conferences. Don King (euphoric with visions of Trinidad /Hopkins two) will drown Ricardo out with shouts of Viva Puerto Rico!

That was my call from my archived article “the real fight at 160” a couple of months ago and I’m sticking to it.

Ben Carey: With legends De La Hoya, Tyson and Jones Jnr suffering spectacular knockout losses, it's conceivable that Felix Trinidad could become Boxing's next fallen icon against the free-swinging Mayorga. It all depends on whether the Puerto Rican idol can recapture the destructive skills that made him one of Boxing's premier operators following his long lay-off. Against such an inviting target as Mayorga I believe he can, in four see-saw rounds.

Gavin McLeod: Trinidad TKO 8 Mayorga. A very tough first fight back for Trinidad, not aided by the ring rust that he will have to shake off. Trinidad can be hurt and Mayorga certainly packs the power to switch out the lights but I just feel that Tito will be aware of this and keep his distance early on. Once the initial onslaught is out of the way I look for Trinidad to start unloading the heavy artillery and wear down and eventually stop the wild swinging Nicaraguan around the 8th.

Ed Ludwig: This match-up is very appealing and even more so as Felix Trinidad's first fight back. I wonder how much Trinidad's loss to Bernard Hopkins a couple of years ago really affected him? It's like a little boy dropping the ball and going home and not living to fight another day. Enough of the rhetoric, the two key things that will decide this fight is where Trinidad's heart is and where Ricardo Mayorga's head is at! Mayorga tends to look past of what is in front of him and with all his outside troubles, beating someone of Trinidad's calibre is no small task and when it comes right down to it, Trinidad will end the fight in round five. 
 
Alex Pierpaoli: Trinidad has way too much left for a blown up Mayorga.  Tito by kayo early.

Krishen Rangi: I'll take Mayorga by 2nd round KO. Throughout his career Tito has had difficulty taking punches, even from guys with much less power than Mayorga. To win Tito would have to move a lot, which his pride will not allow him to do. Plus, it is flat out a mistake to comeback from a two year layoff and fight someone as reckless as Mayorga.

The Next Part Compiled by Elisa Harrison, Head of the BRC Division.

Aladdin Freeman: I like Tito Trinidad in this one, I remember thinking that Ricardo Mayorga was made to order for Shane Mosley at 147 lbs. but moving up to 160 pounds Mayorga is already talking the wrong fight, saying he's going to let Tito hit him with his best left hook, then knock him out. You don't want to go around following a puncher, bad things can happen. Now I know Tito has been on the beach for 29 months and it's not like you get up, dust yourself off and then go knock people out, however I do think he's still young at 31 and has a lot of gas in the tank and has always been able to take his power with him at any weight. Also, factor in the level of opposition at middleweight and this is another clear advantage for Tito. The one chance that Mayorga has is that Tito has been caught in the past many times and maybe he can catch Trinidad with one of those wide looping shots.
We can't have 3 great fighters get knocked out 3 weekends in a row, can we? Is this the year of the surprise Knock Out? Prediction: Felix Trinidad with a 5th round knock out..


Mike LeTourneau: Mayorga by 8th round KO, making it three straight weekends that a legend goes down. -

Tom Dickey: It's a tough pick. You got one guy coming off losing his title, and another guy coming off a 2 year layoff. Plus, they are both big punchers. I'm going to pick Mayorga by 7th round KO. I think they'll go at it wildly early on. Mayorga will burrow in on Tito, who has been out of the ring for a long time. It's been a bad time lately for ring legends, and Tito might get added to the list. I think Mayorga has a better chin, but he is moving up in weight. - Mayorga by 7th round KO. -

Chris Robinson: Oscar, Roy, and Tito losing in consecutive weeks? I just can't picture it. This fight would seem to be a lock for Trinidad, what makes it more intriguing is the layoff factor. Being out of the sport for over 2 years can't help Tito, plus he is on the other side of 30, so who knows how much he will have left. Mayorga can take a punch and will stick around for a bit, so I expect some serious action and drama from this one.

My biggest question is how well Trinidad will react to Mayorga's early firepower. I think Mayorga will come out with his guns blazing and surprise Felix in the first couple of rounds. I see Trinidad being offset and tasting canvas in the second round. With suspense in the air we will get to see once again what Tito is made of. Being the great champion he is, Trinidad will adapt and have Mayorga pretty much figured out by the 4th round. From there on Trinidad will begin to find his range and start landing on the wild Nicaraguan. Mayorga will hang tough for a while but I see Trinidad ended things via TKO in the 7th round in a barnburner of a fight. Sometimes it doesn't pay to bet against logic.-

Darren Yates, from Down Under: Trinidad by 9th round TKO. Its seems to be the round to get stopped recently.

Danny Serratelli: Mayorga is always unpredictable. After the long layoff with no tuneups, Trinidad is just as unpredictable here. If Trinidad isn't done he'll win a unanimous decision, if he is Mayorga will stop him. Felix Trinidad by Unanimous Decision. -

George Elsasser: Similar to my having had Hopkins over Hoya early or late, I see Trinidad over Mayorga, but more likely via decision or late round stoppage.
Trinidad is a proven special and past dominant champ in all areas. Condition, courage, power in both mittens ... and the post-Hopkins disaster two-years "retirement" was a smart choice. At age 31 he has grown to full and legit middleweight in size.

Finally, the "rust" factor is unlikely since Trinidad is not a stylish, slick in style operator but more a stalker in search of prey.

Mayorga on the other hand is more a natural welterweight in size and more an entertainer than a finished and polished product. Likable personality that entertains his fans during pre-fite media settings ... but unfortunately, more a fistic clown with good chin than a valid threat against a serious type such as Trinidad.

Jeff Mayweather: I pick Trinidad in a reversal of what Mayorga said... I think he is going to eat his words and get knocked out in the 8th round just like he predicted for Trinidad, only it will be Mayorga instead... -

Jose Hernandez: I see Mayorga having his moments in the fight, and maybe even scoring a flash knock down on Trinidad. But Mayorga is too small to rough up Trinidad like he did to Forrest. Trinidad will just pound Mayorga and drop him a few times before Mayorga stays down for good. Trinidad in 9.

Kris Lake: After a slow and cautious start, Tito regains his confidence and his power and stops Mayorga in round 7

Kenny Perrault: Felix Trinidad may be rusty but he'll knock it off when his punches land to Mayorga's head. Don King is no fool, Felix Trinidad is a money maker for him, something Don King has lacked lately. He wouldn't put Trinidad in too much risk his first fight back. Trinidad may look slow from the start, even end up on the canvas, but look for him to score a late knockout.

Xavier 'El Mago' Cepeda: Whether Mayorga attacks from the onset of the fight or he takes his time to find a weakness in Tito, I see him losing this one. Every man that has thought he could stand in front of a Tito Trinidad combination has had his face put to the canvas. I never thought I would see Tito in the ring again, but I was wrong. Just when you think that your hopes are gone, life has a way of restoring it. And quite possibly, Trinidad’s career. Trinidad inside of five. -

Blaine Hislop: Well, this is a tough one. I can certainly see Trinidad perforating Mayorga's less than air-tight defense, and I can also see him dropping Mayorga to the canvas (Ricardo has been down before, after all). But I also know that doubts continue to swirl around Tito because of his chin, and Mayorga - an extremely effective volume puncher when he is on - will be eager to take advantage of his opponent's perceived Achilles heel. At the end of the day, this confrontation will be a battle determined most of all by which of these two men will least be the victim of his own limitations.
And I'm not ready to bet the farm against Ricardo Mayorga. - .

Elisa Harrison: One thing can be said about this match-up... both men will come to fight. Neither Tito nor Mayorga know how to run or back up from an opponent, and that may spell disaster for one of them.

Mayorga proved himself to be a terror at 147 lbs., but he was unimpressive in his only outing at 154 lbs. against a mediocre opponent; he has yet to take a leather test at 160 lbs, (and what a tester he has chosen).

Trinidad, on the other hand, already beat a champion at 160 lbs., (the classic demolition of William Joppy). Albeit in a losing effort, he also hung in with a masterful Bernard Hopkins for more rounds than I care to remember.

Trinidad's lay off may be a factor, but one that I believe he will overcome on his way to a 7th round stoppage of a game.
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