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."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Executive

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An On-line Sales & Customer Ser...

Recruitment Genius: Accounts Assistant - Fixed Term Contract - 6 Months

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the largest hospitality companies...

Recruitment Genius: Electricians - Fixed Wire Testing

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a result of significant cont...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£16575 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity is ava...

Day In a Page

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue