Pay-per-view with 'The Boys': The Trinidad edition
By Martin Wade (October 7, 2004)
Ok, I am in no way prepared for this amount of big time boxing because my system is definitely on overload. First of all I had to call my cable subscriber (hanging up until I got a female salesperson) and try to sweet talk my way into an, uh hem, “payment plan”. I told the young lady she had a warm voice and she sounded like a loving person and within minutes she told me about her “dog ass” boyfriend. By the end of the conversation I had all possible late fees from failure to make “full payment” of my upcoming 2 million dollar cable bill removed. My skills at persuasion were further put to the test by attempting to free my married “homies” to attend yet a 2nd pay-per-view party at my place in 3 weeks. The fella’s are still hung over from the De La Hoya/Hopkins bash and we followed it up with an NFL game on September 26th so this is gonna take some work. But until then I spend my Saturday morning putting in some work of my own, some roadwork. I’m running a crazy Bernard Hopkins run this morning thinking about everyone who ever slighted me, and cats that call me “buttercup”. I’m rockin the Marvin Gaye “Here my Dear” (that’s old school ya’ll) album in my headphones going over escape tactics when the idea hit me like Chico Corrales hit Popo Freitas. How about tell the wives the truth about the evening’s main event bout.
Just say to your wife: “Honey, I won’t be there long because this fight is between two bad assed Latino’s who punch like a ton of bricks”. For emphasis tell your wife that just about 90% of the boxing media predicted that this fight would end with someone getting knocked the hell out. Show her the promotional video; I’m sure she can envision you home before eleven pm with that little “preview”. Tonight is going to be a short night so there’s no need to lie for “the truth” will set you free - at least until eleven.
As fight time approached the usual suspects began to converge on the hang out I like to call my home. You know the crew; there’s the 'Big Oak' who fits the gentle giant role bringing the sub sandwiches and snacks. There’s my dawg 'Chicken Grease' whose cheap ass is responsible for the beer. 'Crazy David' who is responsible for the… you got it, crazy. Tonight is a special night because my bourica homie Mario decided to drop by. Mario is a crazy Trinidad fan and we haven’t seen him since Trinidad lost to Hopkins in 2001. Chicken Grease thinks we haven’t seen him because his wife put his ass on a short leash. Hold up, somebody’s yelling outside my window.
Mario: TITO! TITO! TITO!
Me: Hey man hold that shit down, what about my damn neighbors?
Mario: Damn playa you actin like you live in a nice neighborhood or something. Where Crazy David at? I brought some of papi’s homemade rum and I know his crazy ass need a drink.
Me: He’s on his way, is that Grease pulling up behind you?
Me: Who dis is?
Grease: Wussuuuuup 'Eyecandy' I’m parking behind 'MIA' (his nickname for Mario).
Me: So is that the name for tonight? You know we can go a few rounds.
Grease: Why you getting all upset 'Eyecandy'? Don’t be like Oscar and try to stand in front of me (laughing) cus I’m just trying to touch something, legs, arms, kidney.
Me: Man you foul, hold up.
(Phone rings, call waiting)
Crazy David: Man, I’m running late.
You can hear his three beautiful daughters in the background yelling that chant I love to hear “Uncle Martin! Uncle Martin!”, but not tonight.
Me: Take your time dawg; Mario’s henpecked ass is here with some of his daddy’s rum.
Crazy: That’s my boy!
Booming knock on the door, the kind of knock you would hear if Babe Ruth stopped by to visit.
Big Oak: Lil Wade! It’s the Big Oak, man I got the food held down tight cus we boutz (Ebonics) to do it up right! Where cheap ass Grease?
Me: He’s parking out there behind Mario, David's crazy ass is running late but he’ll be here soon.
With all of the parts assembled 'the Boys' and me settled in for another big night of boxing. How were we to know that we would see what many would call this generation’s version of Hagler vs. Hearns? If you peep my archives (shameless plug) I compared it to Graziano/Zale but you’d have to be historian to see the similarities. The first bout of the night featured WBA junior middleweight champ Travis Simms against veteran Bronco McKart. Although Simms displayed superior reflexes in spurts but my party guest were uninspired by the professional effort by both warriors. I’ve always found it fascinating the discussion of casual/mainstream sports fans at a pay-per-view fight and my friends are no exception.
Big Oak: Travis Simms? Who the hell is he? Lil Wade, should I pay attention to him?
I then explain what the bout means for each combatant and how it is a classic match-up of a young up and comer vs. veteran in search of his last shot at glory. This all fell on def ears, as Mr. Orozco’s rum started to take effect and 'the Boys' started on a roll.
Grease: Man, I’m glad to see Roy (Jones) working instead of somebody working on him.
(Room erupts in laughter)
Crazy David: Sheeeeeeeeet, can knock me out for that kind of money why you think he smiling? Man, Mario papi put his foot in this rum cus I’m feeling… impaired like a mutha#$%& .
Mario: Man these jokers (McKart and Simms) are bullshittin', they need to get on with it and bring Tito out.
Big Oak: Man, Fat Joe walking out with Tito?
Mario: I heard he was Wade, I heard you called Fat Joe Big Pun, man he’s dead.
Grease: Is that Holyfields name in the center of the ring? Who he fighting? Bootney Farnsworth?
After Travis Simms banged out a solid victory over McKart improving to 24-0, 'the Boys' then took relentless aim at Brooklynite Zab Judah.
Big Oak: Zab fighting? Whatever happened to Zab? Didn’t he used to be the shit? Now he’s an undercard type brotha huh. Ima call him 'swing fight' Zab from now on.
Mario: Man, he fighting a dude who took 10 rounds to knock out Livingstone Bramble.
Collectively: LIVINGSTONE BRAMBLE!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!! (loud laughter)
Crazy David: That was my man back in '84. Grease you look like Livingstone Bramble.
Grease: Man, this fight is like a commercial for Zab’s next fight, King ain't shit. That Martell dude fighting cats like Meldrick Taylor and shit. I’ll bet his name is listed at Manpower.
When the Judah/Martell bout began it was clear that Zab’s 'opponent' didn’t belong in the ring against this level of opposition.
Collectively: DAAAAAAMMMMMMMMN he getting his ass whooped.
Big Oak: Damn, that aint right that dude cant even defend himself.
Grease: I know Roy (Jones) didn’t just say dude did the best he could under the circumstances (laugh). Yeah the circumstance that he cant fight. Lil Wade, where Pretty Boy Floyd? You think he’ll fight Zab?.
Mario: Man Floyd would whoop Zab ass, my bourica Cotto will whoop Floyd's ass.
As Larry Merchant interviews Zab Judah, the hits just keep on coming.
Grease: Did Zab just say “gimme my props?” Who did he beat? Hell, I’m docking him for taking too damn long.
Crazy David: Don can't put him in with nobody that can punch so him and Spinks have to fight 3 more times.
The raucous room went crazy at the sight of retired heavyweight champ Lennox Lewis.
Big Oak: Did he just say Riddick Bowe was Riddickulus? Aww now that’s wrong. When he gonna let go of the braids? Can't he see they’re trying to run away from him.
Bernard Hopkins was then asked a question about who his best possible opponent would be “theoretically”. Bernard’s pause and answer of “Bernard Hopkins” brought the roof down in this Boxing Junkies' bachelor pad.
Mario: That brotha didn’t know what theoretical meant! He was all stumped and shit.
Big Oak: Leave that brotha alone (laughing). He went to the school of hard knocks. He didn’t theoretically whoop Tito’s ass!
Mario: Yeah but he didn’t want no rematch, did he? He damn sure won’t mention Tito’s name after tonight.
When the moment of truth arrived there was an environment of reverence at my place. Every man in the room knew what Tito Trinidad stood for and there’s never been a time when he didn’t leave us satisfied with his brutal brand of drama. Tito entered the ring smiling as usual, swept away by the outpouring of love from his loyal supporters. Mayorga entered the ring with the look of a man bent on destruction - his fast rising reputation was not lost on my guests.
Grease: Man, dude is crazy smoking and shit. Tito better be careful with this crazy cat.
Mario: He’s hard, but if he does that crazy 'hit me' shit Tito’s gonna knock his head off.
Crazy Dave: No doubt, he may be crazy enough to do that shit but trust me, Tito will make sure the mutha*&#$ don’t forget it. Pass me one of them 'samiches'.
Round one was a round that worried me. Tito didn’t look sturdy on his legs and he seemed bothered under Mayorgas unbridled aggression. I thought to myself, it might be the end of an era tonight. Then Mayorga did what me and the fellas debated only moments earlier, he stuck his chin out and tasted Tito’s legendary power. Me and the Boys all looked at one another with a collective 'daaaaaaammn' expression on our faces. While we marveled at Mayorga's granite beard, Tito seemed to inflate and steady himself landing thudding right hands followed by crisp left hooks. This surge, after several weeks of icons falling brought us to our feet.
Mario: Uh huh, I bet you felt that shit didn’t you!!
Crazy David: Dammn Tito put hands on that fool, he (Mayorga) walked back to his corner like 'uh, I shouldn’t have done that stupid shit'.
Big Oak: Yeah but he hit Tito with some shit, this here is gonna be a damn fight!
Round two started with both combatants trading leather, I swear if you were down the hall from me all you could hear was “Damn” over and over again. Round three showcased subtle movement and a stiff jab from the Puerto Rican icon but Mayorga would not waver. Towards the end of the round Tito seemed to slip/fall in result of a wayward (all of Mayorga’s punches are wayward) right hand. We were so hyped up it seemed to catch us off guard. Tito accepted the calling of a knockdown with his usual grace because this fight wasn’t going to the cards anyway.
Tito picked up the pace in round four with his power punching and precision. He seemed to find comfort in Mayorga’s straight-ahead style, landing a lead uppercut in very close quarters that rocked his foe. Mayorga was up to the challenge landing several crushing hooks of his own. Round five was classic Trinidad, as he seemed to walk Mayorga into his gruesome fate with crisp combination punching. Mayorga was starting to get busted up and it seemed like only a matter of time before Tito overwhelmed him.
In round six Tito continued his onslaught to a gaudy power punching connect percentage. In the heat of an exchange Trinidad strayed low, prompting referee Steve Smoger to allow El Matador some much needed recovery time. I was of the opinion that if Ricardo could just smother his machismo and take the full five minutes then he could rejuvenate and be more competitive. How wrong I was, with an abbreviated rest Ricardo stormed back at Tito to close the round. My place was a zoo! As the two Latin warriors thumped chest at ring center the Boys' roared their approval.
Mario: Ayo, I don’t like the dude (Mayorga) but that crazy bastard is down for whatever!
Crazy David: (laughing) Did Roy say he got hit in the butt cheeks? Any more rum?
Round seven was straight up and down kick ass fighting with both combatants dropping bombs of evil intent on one another. My man Chicken Grease put it best when he said “all the boxers are in suits tonight”. Mayorga complained of a low blow to no avail. Some fighters try to look for a way out with complaints but not Ricardo; he simply resumed trying to knock Trinidad’s block off. Round eight showcased Mayorga taking it to Trinidad. Tito’s resolution stayed unyielding and despite Mayorga’s fury the bourica stayed in the pocket with his hands high landing choice shots to the wildman's mug. In the middle of the round Trinidad landed a body shot that put his gallant opponent down for the first time in his career.
Crazy David: (on Mayorga beating the count) Man I knew he wouldn’t stay down.
Once the dam broke, Tito turned it up a notch flooring Mayorga again with a picture perfect hook to the jaw. When Mayorga rose again my apartment became strangely silent. It was the sound of humility. Trinidad marched forward beating Mayorga down to one knee. Steve Smoger hovered over Ricardo physically to shield the true warrior from rising yet again. It was over. Watching a fight like that should be an eye opener for boxing fans, promoters and fighters who fancy themselves as attractions. Tito Trinidad may not be the best fighter I’ve ever seen, but he’s the perfect pay-per-view attraction. So many times my friends and I congregate with the hopes of seeing a battle like this one. Tito Trinidad (and Mayorga if he so chooses) makes it conceivable to spend your money on a fight and acceptable to invest hard earned dollars in refreshments and food. Tito Trinidad with his nationalistic fervor, his heavy hands and his penchant to fight only the best is something of a rarity in boxing - a reliable entity.
Disclaimer: The views expressed above by my guest were in no way meant to demean or devalue any professional boxer. They are the views of the casual fan and more importantly the average guy on the street. I am the only hardcore boxing fan within my peer group, yet I think it is the support of guys like my friends that will return our great sport to it’s past glory and prominence.
Until the Next 'Jones'
The 'Boxing Junkie'
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