Boxing: Unification the lure for undefeated champions

THERE ARE enough sub-plots in tonight's welterweight title fight between the World Boxing Council champion, Oscar De La Hoya, and Felix Trinidad, the International Boxing Federation title holder, to keep a soap opera running for years.

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."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

AIFMD Business Analyst / Consultant - Investment Management

£450 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: AIFMD Business Analyst / Consultant - I...

Business Analyst Solvency II SME (Pillar 1, 2 & 3) Insurance

£450 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Solvency II SME (Pilla...

Manager - SAS - Data Warehouse - Banking

£350 - £365 per day: Orgtel: Manager, SAS, Data Warehouse, Banking, Bristol - ...

Web Analyst – Permanent – West Sussex – Up to £43k

£35000 - £43000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment