Trinidad-Jones: Does Felix Have Enough Left To Beat Roy?
Three-time division winner Felix Trinidad (42-2, 35 knockouts) will be coming out of his 2nd retirement on January 19, 2008, when he takes on four-time division winner light heavyweight Roy Jones Jr. (51-4, 38 KOs) at New York’s Madison Square Garden. This is kind of a desperation fight for both of them. Neither of them are considered top fighters at this advanced stage of their career, with Trinidad turning 35 and Jones 39-years old by the time the fight takes place in January. Trinidad, in particular, has struggled, losing a 12th round TKO to Bernard Hopkins in 2001, followed shortly thereafter by a two year retirement. After resuming his career in 2004 with a sensational 8th round TKO of Ricardo Mayorga, Trinidad turned around and lost a lopsided 12-round unanimous decision to Winky Wright in May 2005. This, too, was followed by another two year retirement.
Now, suddenly Trinidad has a itch to return to the boxing ring, but this time it’s going to be against Jones, who is on the downward slope of a once great career. A major problem for Trinidad, however, is that the weight it going to be fought at a 170 lb “catch weight,” a figure that both fighters agreed upon.
Jones fights at light heavyweight (175 lbs), which makes the 170 a fairly easy weight that he can make without having to drastically diet. Trinidad, though, will have a much harder time performing well at the weight. He’s naturally thin-boned and closer to a welterweight (147 lbs) than a light heavyweight, meaning that that he will have to bulk up to be able to compete with Jones, who will have the size advantage. Trinidad struggled in his last bout when he bulked up to make the middleweight class and was badly dominated by the larger Winky Wright.
Though Jones is older and doesn’t possess a jab nearly as good as Wright, it still will be very difficult for Trinidad to deal with Jones’ size and power. The speed issue won’t be near as much of an issue for Trinidad, because Jones has slowed way down in the past six years and is mainly a stationary fighter, one that tends to lay against the ropes, covering up to get frequent rest periods.
In Jones last bout in July 2007, he took a lot of punishment from the 29-year old Anthony Hanshaw, who landed frequently while Jones was laying up against the ropes. While Jones did enough to win the bout, he looked like only a shadow of his former self. It was particularly disappointing from Jones’ standpoint, considering that Hanshaw isn’t even ranked in the top 10 and not thought to be a top A level fighter. If Jones is struggling to beat a fighter like Hanshaw, it’s really telling about how far he’s dropped in talent in the past several years.
Trinidad has looked heavy in retirement, and it will be interesting to see how his conditioning will be by fight time. He not only has to loss fat, but he also needs to gain muscle and get in fighting shape. It’s not easy do both lose fat and gain muscle at the same time. Most likely, he’ll come into the fight with too much fat on him, which will hurt his if the fight goes beyond six rounds. It’s doubtful he’ll be able to knockout Jones, but that’s something he needs to be focusing on in the early rounds of the fight. Jones’ chin is still very questionable, having been knocked out two times in 2004. Clearly, this is something that Trinidad needs to focus his energy on because if the fight goes into the late rounds, I see him tiring out badly and losing the fight to Jones.