Trinidad Preview

by Pedro Fernandez

Tonight the "Prodigal Son Returns" to Puerto Rico as IBF welterweight champion Felix Trinidad engages one Mahenge Zulu in the SHOWTIME main event. Three other bouts will be part of the television action.

When you think of boxing's mythical top ten "pound for pound list", surely the 32-0, 28 KO's Trinidad deserves a slot. But forget the accolades, what Tito wants most is Oscar De La Hoya, the WBC titilist.

That fight is the fight everybody wants to see. Does Trinidad do a number on the greener De La Hoya? For Oscar has for the most part been a "bottom feeder" when it comes to picking foes.

But De La Hoya said in Jack Welsh's recent column in FLASH Magazine that he has instructed his promoter Bob Arum to "get him Trinidad for September." Oscar still has to meet French pastry Patrick Charpentier in June.

Zulu comes in at 17-2-1, 7 KO's. He is from Zaire. That and the fact the IBF have him ranked #2 is about all we can get on the African.

Odds: "100-1, Trinidad" says Oddsmaker Herb Lambeck

Prediction: Native of Zaire doesn't make it out of the second round.

In the semi-main, once beaten WBA 168 lb. champ Frank Liles will look to improve his status with the boxing world when he defends against top ranked Andrei Shakilov of Russia.

Lilies is a fighter who wants recognition. His 31-1, 20 KO's mark is quite formidable, while his ability to sell tickets is not. Shakilov is 29-3-1, 13 KO's. There is even less known about him that the aforementioned Zulu if you can believe that.

Odds: "15-1, Liles"

Prediction: Liles becomes a puncher. Stops Russkie in eight heats.

The unbeaten IBF 108 lb. guy Mauricio Pastrana of Colombia, 17-0, 14 KO's will make a defense, as will countryman and WBO 118 lb. titilist Jorge Eliecer Julio who meets Puerto Rican Daniel Jiminez, 26-5-1, 13 KO's.

The fights will be shown live on SHOWTIME beginning at 6:00 ET. The card will be delayed in the west with the starting time also being 9 PM.

Note: We are taking the weekend off so that we may take in the Boxing Writers of America Awards Dinner tonight in the Big Apple. Some of those to be honored include Evander Holyfield and trainer Emanuel Steward. It should make for some good radio this weekend when "Ring Talk" hits the airwaves at 11 PM ET on both Saturday & Sunday live from Las Vegas. The Saturday show is from 11 PM to 1 AM ET, while the Sunday show is one hour only from 11 PM ET. Both shows can be heard live on the Internet at Ring Talk Saturday is carried on the Talk America Radio Network, The Sunday night show is heard on "The Deuce" or Talk America 2. Be advised as there is a difference. Ring Talk is all about listener call ins and the hottest guests! And we are in our 12th year of being on the air.

Pedro Fernandez

The writer has his own site at and can be reached at

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