Jones-Trinidad doesn't have the oomph it once did
It's hard to tell whether a Roy Jones-Felix Trinidad fight makes sense or, with both fighters past their primes, if it's just about the "cents," writes Dan Rafael.
As future Hall of Famers Roy Jones and Felix Trinidad limp through the twilight of their careers, both talk as if it were yesteryear.Jones, the former pound-for-pound king and four-division champion, still refers to himself in the third person, calls himself "Superman" and predicts he will knock out Trinidad in the fourth round. "I'm going to take Tito down in four. He must go in fo'," Jones said. Former three-division champion Trinidad, the Puerto Rican icon coming out of his second retirement and a two-and-a-half year layoff, says Jones will fall in two. "One of his weaknesses is that everyone he has boxed that punches well has knocked him out," Trinidad said. "And I punch well. So let's see if he can stand in there with me." Yes, they are in fine promotional form as they wind down to their 12-round light heavyweight battle Saturday night (HBO PPV, 9 ET) at New York's Madison Square Garden. The problem, however, is that while the fight between the faded greats, billed "Bring on the Titans," certainly has the ingredients for it to be an entertaining affair, the matchup just doesn't have the oomph it once did. Promoter Don King, beating the drums for a fight that is so far a box-office dud, most likely because of exorbitant ticket prices, takes exception to that description of the fight.
|Bring on the Titans|
|TV lineup for Saturday night's (9 ET) HBO PPV card from New York's Madison Square Garden: • Light heavyweights: Roy Jones Jr. (51-4, 38 KOs) vs. Felix Trinidad (42-2, 35 KOs), 12 rounds • Heavyweights: Andrew Golota (40-6-1, 33 KOs) vs. Mike Mollo (19-1, 12 KOs), 12 rounds • Junior middleweights: Roman Karmazin (36-2-1, 23 KOs) vs. Alex Bunema (26-9-2, 14 KOs), 12 rounds • Junior welterweights: Devon Alexander (13-0, 9 KOs) vs. DeMarcus "Chop Chop" Corley (31-7-1, 17 KOs), 12 rounds -- Dan Rafael|
Jones to cross the pond?Jones, a heavy favorite against Trinidad, views a victory as the launching pad he needs for an even bigger fight. Long reluctant to fight overseas, Jones has apparently had a change of heart and said he would be happy to fight super middleweight champ Joe Calzaghe on his turf in the United Kingdom, assuming Calzaghe beats Hopkins in a fight that is close to being signed for April. "On Jan. 20, after I get out of the ring against Trinidad, I will go straight to the U.K. for sure," Jones said. "I love Calzaghe, don't get me wrong. I think he is one of the best super middleweights to come along. The way I look at things, I try to be as fair as I possibly can. I look at the way the world goes and I want to be fair. Now [Ricky] Hatton came over here to fight Floyd Mayweather, now maybe it is our turn to go over there. So if I need to go, I'll go." Jones said he would even suck all the way down to 168 to challenge for Calzaghe's championship. "I am fighting Trinidad at 170," he said. "So what's two more pounds?" Jones said he wasn't interested in Hopkins if he beats Calzaghe. Of his old rival, whom he defeated in 1993, Jones said, "He doesn't want me. I'm not going to waste my time if he doesn't want me." Jones also mentioned a rematch with Johnson, a fourth fight with Tarver or even a fight with young titleholder Chad Dawson. "Line them up and I'll go to them," Jones said. "I don't care where he's at. If we have to go to London to fight Joe, if we have to go to Tampa to fight Tarver, or if we have to go to Miami to fight Glen. I don't care. My name is Roy Jones Jr. I am Superman and I don't care about anybody else."
Next for Trinidad?While Trinidad has also mentioned Calzaghe as a possible opponent if he beats Jones, he said he'd also like another crack at Hopkins and Wright. "Those fights have always been in the back of my mind," he said. "But we won't decide on who it would be until after I win this fight."
Undercard notesHot junior welterweight prospect Devon Alexander, 20, will fight on television for only the second time in his career when he takes on former titleholder DeMarcus "Chop Chop" Corley. Alexander was originally supposed to face former lightweight title challenger Miguel Callist but Callist suffered an injury and withdrew. That was fine with Alexander, who, along with his manager and trainer Kevin Cunningham, had been calling out Corley for the past few months. "This is a big opportunity and I am only 20 years old," Alexander said. "We have been training for two months and the fact that my fight is on television is an extra bonus. Come Saturday night, 'The Great' is on." Said Cunningham, "I feel like Devon is prepared to put on a spectacular performance. He's ready to make a huge statement. Don King needs a new star and on Saturday night he'll have one." • Russia's Roman Karmazin, a former junior middleweight titleholder who faces journeyman Alex Bunema, said he is dedicating his fight to slain New York City police officers and fellow Russian immigrants Eugene Marshalik and Russell Timoshenko, who were killed in the line of duty last year. "These guys, Russell, Yevgeniy, they were immigrants like me," Karmazin said. "Their families came here to realize happiness, to stand on their own two feet and to be proud of what they accomplished in life. That is why I am dedicating this fight in their memory to make sure they and their bravery are not forgotten." • Also on the card, but not part of the HBO PPV telecast, former welterweight titleholder Luis Collazo will fight for the first time in 11 months. He lost a lost a decision to former champion Shane Mosley last February and then had surgery on his left hand, which he injured in the fight. Collazo, a New Yorker, will face Edvan Dos Santos in a 10-rounder. • In a heavyweight fight, Emmanuel Nwodo faces Ezra Sellers in a battle of blown up cruiserweights. It will be Nwodo's first fight since June 29, when he suffered a brutal 11th-round knockout to Darnell "Ding-A-Ling Man" Wilson in the knockout of the year. Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com.
MORE BOXING HEADLINES
- Bayless to ref Mayweather-Maidana rematch
- Soliman's defense vs. Taylor to air on ESPN2
- Ward's case against Goossen dismissed
- Golovkin-Rubio fight set for Oct. 18 in Calif.
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
BRING ON THE TITANS
vs. ROY JONES
Saturday, Jan. 19, New York
• Rafael: Does Jones-Trinidad have that oomph?
• Mulvaney: The lead up to the big fight (Tuesday)
• Mulvaney: The lead up to the big fight (Wednesday)
• Mulvaney: The lead up to the big fight (Thursday)
• Smith: Golota no longer the "Foul Pole"
• Steinberg: Jones' key fights
• Steinberg: Trinidad's key fights
• Dettloff: Camacho's link to Trinidad
• Raskin: A post-prime showdown
• Rafael: Can Jones be serious?
• Roy Jones
• Jones-Trinidad press conference
• Jones ready for Trinidad