Clash of the Titans: Trinidad vs. Wright
By Rob Scott (May 13, 2005) 
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When last we saw Felix ‘Tito’ Trinidad in a boxing ring, he was in New York’s Madison Square Garden climbing all four ring posts shouting “Viva La Puerto Rico!” to his adoring fans. The fans likewise shouted with a deafening chorus of “Tito! – Tito! – Tito!” that could be heard all through the walls and halls of boxing’s most famous arena. Trinidad had just made a triumphant return to the ring after a 21/2 years hiatus, using Ricardo ‘El Matador’ Mayorga as not only his punching bag, but his symbol to other fighters that ‘Tito is back!’

This Saturday marks the first return since that exciting night at the Garden of Felix ‘Tito’ Trinidad, 42-1 (35), as he takes on Ronald ‘Winky’ Wright, 48-3 (25), in a WBC middleweight title eliminator on HBO pay-per-view from the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas, Nevada.

This will mark a different venue from when we last saw Trinidad. It will be a different opponent; and that opponent, Winky Wright, along with his followers mark it as a different day as well – the day the Trinidad express will come to a screeching halt.

Some fans can follow their hero to the point of blindness. That hero can’t and will do no wrong. Trinidad has such fans that feel that he is an unstoppable force. Like Mike Tyson before him, in the minds of many, Trinidad has no superior. Even with his 2001 TKO loss to Bernard ‘The Executioner’ Hopkins many feel to this day that it was just a bad night and a repeat will never again happen.

In reality the surgical job that Hopkins did on Trinidad that night in 01’ should serve as symbolic retinal surgery, or at least contact lenses to wipe the blur from the eyes of all those who feel that Trinidad or anyone for that matter is unbeatable. Winky Wright has his glasses on and has read between the lines of the ‘Tito’ Trinidad aura thinking he has what it takes to hand the Puerto Rican hero an inevitable loss on Saturday night.

Wright, who even without the official championship belts around his waist, is considered the 154lb champion. This weekend he will be stepping up in weight and stepping up to the challenge against one of the hardest hitters in the game. It’s a power that he hasn’t faced before – and oh yes he will feel it on that night. The hidden fear of all his followers is, just as Trinidad may be beatable, ‘Winky’ Wright is not Bernard Hopkins.

It is widely said that Oscar DeLaHoya created the blueprint on how to beat Felix Trinidad; Bernard Hopkins took that blueprint to the next level. In reality every fighter has a weakness and we all technically know how to beat a Trinidad, a Tyson, and everyone else who puts a pair of gloves. The problem is a further reality sets in; one that says, yes it is one thing to know how to beat someone and another to actually do it.

We all thought the way to beat Tyson was to have heart and stand-up to him, but soon as many fighters were hit, that plan went right out the window and they went into survival mode. ‘Buster’ Douglas, Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis and even Danny Williams did stand-up to Tyson and all prevailed. Felix Trinidad is no Mike Tyson though. Wright standing and fighting Trinidad will be something that will be welcomes with open arms and closed fists.

My personal belief was the fighter that was going beat Trinidad had to have a physical and mental that would have to be sustained for the long haul. Hopkins showed an extreme sustained discipline when he faced Trinidad; Wright has to do the same. There is no room for a lapse in focus and more over, judgment, like him putting his hands down in his second Shane Mosley encounter and giving a free swing. If something like that happens in this fight Wright’s chances will go ‘Wright’ out the window.

Styles make fights may be said a lot, but it can’t be disputed. Make no mistake about it; ‘Winky’ Wright has the style, ability and skill to defeat Felix Trinidad. The only questions are does he have the will and moreover the chin, to defeat Felix Trinidad? Those two things will be checked on Saturday night. Wright will need a full package, and if he doesn’t bring it, he can tell us he is going to win all he wants to, but Trinidad will prove ‘Wright’ wrong.
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