Boxing: Unification the lure for undefeated champions
Saturday 18 September 1999
First there is the rivalry between Mexicans and Puerto Ricans and between those who speak only Spanish and those who are bilingual. Trinidad, from Puerto Rico, insists on Spanish only - even though it severely limits his commercial opportunities, while the Mexican-American De La Hoya is smoothly bilingual and as a result will earn about pounds 4.8m in endorsements this year.
Then there is the question of whether De La Hoya will abandon his superior boxing skills and slug it out with Trinidad in an attempt to prove that he is as tough as anyone despite his good looks, his legions of shrieking female admirers and a nickname of "Golden Boy".
On face value, tonight's scheduled 12-round bout promises to be one of the best fights in years. It pits two undefeated fighters against each other - both 26 years old and in their prime - who have an abundance of talent and are expected to be the biggest non-heavyweight draw in boxing history. Executives at HBO, the American TV company who are broadcasting the pounds 30 pay-per-view fight, say they expect about one million subscriptions.
Each fighter is capable of taking the other out early in the fight. De La Hoya, who has a 31-0 record, is generally seen as the stronger and faster of the two men, both of whom possess powerful right hands and left hooks. Both man have been knocked down in fights.
Sugar Ray Leonard, the former welterweight champion who fought and beat the likes of Roberto Duran, Marvin Hagler and Thomas Hearns in the 1980s, says De La Hoya has an excellent chance to win if he doesn't stand toe- to-toe with Trinidad: "If he boxes and uses a couple of good body shots and tries to pick Trinidad apart, then I think you have to like Oscar's chances."
That may be easier said than done. Trinidad is a powerful puncher, as his 35-0 record suggests, and although his opponents have not generally been as good as De La Hoya's, the Puerto Rican has ruled the IBF since 1993 and is said to be laser-focused on De La Hoya.
However, the veteran trainer Teddy Atlas is picking De La Hoya for one special quality: "The ability to find a way to win, which he always finds."
Latest in Sport
Petr Cech demands talks over Chelsea future as Thibaut Courtois begs him to stay – as mentor
Angel Di Maria: Manchester United to push ahead with £50m move for Real Madrid winger
Marcos Rojo to Manchester United: Sporting Lisbon confirm deal with Nani heading back to Portugal on loan
Sami Khedira to Arsenal: Midfield omitted from Real Madrid squad for Spanish Super Cup
David Gold furious after Carlton Cole parody account mocks up a picture of West Ham chairman as a suspect in the Madeleine McCann case
- 1 Michael Brown shooting: Police shoot and kill second young black man near Ferguson
- 2 James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – and warns Obama of more to come
- 3 Why are UK rail fares so expensive?
- 4 Here’s the damning letter Robin Williams wrote to his Mrs Doubtfire co-star's principal after they expelled her
- 5 Cilla Black defends Cliff Richard: 'I am positive that the allegations are without foundation'
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
£450 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: AIFMD Business Analyst / Consultant - I...
£450 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Solvency II SME (Pilla...
£350 - £365 per day: Orgtel: Manager, SAS, Data Warehouse, Banking, Bristol - ...
£35000 - £43000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...