|Trinidad takes Reid to school
by Chris Bushnell (BoyMayo@boxingchronicle.com)
In boxing, statistics don't always tell the whole story. Fighters with shorter
reaches sometimes out jab their opponents, boxers' weights can often vary widely between
official weigh-in and fight time, and even what is considered a win and loss can be the
subject of much dispute. But when David
Reid went out into a chilly Las Vegas parking lot to defend his WBA 154 lb. championship
against Felix Trinidad, one statistic stood out above all others: Felix Trinidad had
twice as many knockouts as David Reid had total fights. The vast disparity in
experience between the two men went on to
become the story of the fight.
As the fight began, one thing was immediately clear: Felix Trinidad looked
considerably better at 154 pounds than he had at 147 in his last fight against Oscar
DelaHoya. No longer looking skinny and emaciated, Trinidad looked every bit of the
164 pounds he was announced as weighing at fight
time. The difference wasn't noticeable exclusively in appearance, as Trinidad was
quicker and much stronger when he threw punches.
Trinidad didn't throw any punches
for nearly a minute into the bout. Getting a feel for Reid's rhythm, Tito patiently
studied the young champion. Uncorking a wicked left hook when he finally did throw,
Trinidad's punches were blocked by Reid's tight defense but were thrown with power that he
couldn't summon vs. the Golden Boy. As both men flicked out jabs and touched each
other for the first time, it was Trinidad who edged the close round by being more active.
In the second round, Reid stood out of range and stretched his arms as though he were
seeking a stance that suited him. Trinidad responded by aiming heavy right hands to
Reid's side. A few landed on the belt, but many landed clean. Trinidad the
seasoned pro was investing for a long fight ahead. Showing too much respect, and
perhaps a bit overwhelmed by the "big fight" experience,
Reid handed away another round by not throwing many punches.
Despite the admonitions from his corner, Reid didn't exactly pick up the pace in the third
round. Feinting non-stop with his shoulders and feet, Reid was looking for an
opening to get his game going. At mid-round Reid, having barely moved his hands up
until then, uncorked a windmill overhand right hand that landed on Trinidad's face and
made him take a few quick steps back.
Trinidad was stunned, but held his ground, and when the fighters came together again Reid
launched another right hand, this one a textbook straight right down the pike. The
punch swiveled Tito's face and buckled his legs as he squatted down and put his glove on
the canvas. Trinidad got up quickly
and bounced across the ring, looking to revive his legs. Suddenly Reid was swelled
with confidence, and after Trinidad took the mandatory eight he rushed at him making faces
and doubling up on a lead left hook. Trinidad recovered quickly and survived the
round, but he had forfeited his early lead.
Reid's inexperience was apparent as the fourth began when he let Trinidad off the hook.
True, it was prudent to be patient and not rush for an early kayo against a fighter
like Felix, but Reid was too patient. Again looking for the one perfect opening to
land his Hail Mary right, Reid spent most of the round with his right hand cocked and
ready, but still. For his part, Trinidad methodically fired the one-two and kept
getting in his occasional body shots. His rights to the body were drifting lower,
however, and the warnings piled up as a few Trinidad attempts landed on Reid's hip.
The fight lulled into a boring pace in the fifth, as Trinidad warmed up and threw more
punches, but Reid slipped almost all of them with some masterful head movement. But
Reid almost never paid Trinidad back for missing. Content with not getting hit,
Reid's confidence was growing, but he wasn't providing much offense. Still, he won
this round on ring generalship and by the fact that Trinidad could barely touch him in
In the sixth round, Reid kept up his unexciting defense and Tito switched to aiming at the
part of Reid that wasn't moving: his body. Repeatedly burying his fists into Reid's
sides, Trinidad was ensuring that the longer the fight went, the weaker Reid would get.
For the time being, it wasn't spectacular, but it was effective. Although
Trinidad finally lost a point when yet another shot drifted below the belt at the very end
of the round, he was calm, cool, and scoring points. As he sat in his corner, his
father reminded him to keep up what he was doing and not seek a knockout for a few rounds
more. It's the type of advice that only a veteran of the ring can follow, and Tito
followed it perfectly.
Reid decided he would hit the body in the seventh round, and he too was swinging low.
Twice he was warned for low blows by referee Mitch Halpern. The round
continued at the same unspectacular pace as the previous rounds when a Felix Trinidad left
hook swung the fight in his favor. The punch was so quick and so well timed that
almost no one saw it coming, least of all
David Reid. Coming back up after ducking a prior punch, the hook swung under Reid's
guard and caught him right on the chin. The punch hurt Reid, who wobbled in place.
After a brief second of being out on his feet, Reid stepped back on his newly
rubber legs and stumbled into the ropes. Trinidad stepped with him, looking to
finish, but a flailing Reid bounced off the ropes and fell forward onto his hands and
knees. He was stunned and still unstable after beating the count, but Trinidad did
not have enough time left in the round to finish.
If Reid was showing respect before he was sent down, he was showing even more now.
Reid regained his footing but backed up with each step Trinidad took forward.
Again looking for the big right hand that had saved him in the Olympics, Reid's
output was minimal as Trinidad stalked him from one side of the ring to the next.
Half way through the round a crisp Trinidad straight right snapped Reid's head
back. After a few more punches, referee Mitch Halpern stepped in and called a brief
time-out. Reid had been cut over the right eye by a punch. Although Dr. Flip
Homansky ruled him able to continue, it was another obstacle for the inexperienced Reid to
overcome. Worse than the cut, Trinidad never let up on the body shots, breaking Reid
down piece by piece with his consistent downstairs assault.
Reid fell woefully behind in the ninth round after throwing a low blow that resulted in a
point deduction. To make matters worse, Trinidad was now warmed up and ready to up
the pace. Trinidad continued firing body shots until he wobbled Reid again with 30
seconds to go in the round. As Reid closed his gloves over his face, Trinidad teed
off on him. Many of the punches were blocked, but several got through, and Reid was
lucky to survive the round. It was the type of one-sided beating that might have won
Trinidad a 10-8 without a knockdown, PLUS the one point deduction for fouls. But it
was about to get worse for Reid...much, much worse.
Trinidad showed the calm of a man who had been in control many times in the late rounds,
while Reid showed the desperation of a young fighter who was unsure of how to turn back
the momentum. Reid again settled on looking for the one big right hand bomb, but it
never came. Instead Trinidad won a workmanlike round that was punctuated with a
double right hand near the bell that definitely caught Reid's attention.
In the eleventh round, Reid looked lost. His movement was reduced to plodding steps,
the result of the sustained body attack inflicted upon him. Trinidad merely picked
him off, firing one shot at a time, landing most of them, and keeping Reid moving
backwards with even the blocked shots. A
minute into the round, Trinidad fired a left hook to the stomach and a beautiful right
uppercut that hit Reid on the bridge of the nose and sent him down after a one second
delayed reaction. Reid rose and tried desperately to hang on.
Clutching at Tito's midsection, Reid bought some time, but the round was not yet half
over, and Trinidad battered him back to the ropes and sent him down to his knees.
Reid looked alert, but his face told the story. His left eye was droopy as
ever while his right eye was swelling badly and bleeding slightly into his line of vision.
Somehow he was able to see, although it must have been getting dark. Trinidad
continued to pummel Reid, and the end seemed imminent. Trinidad launched a punch low
yet again, and another point was taken away from Felix, halting his highlight reel for a
moment. Reid could have taken up to 5 minutes, but after only a few seconds opted to
continue. As Trinidad came in to finish, Reid let go on of his trademark wild
flurries, and for a moment it looked like the break had let him catch his breath.
But Trinidad was patient, avoided Reid's desperation punches and sent him down for
a third time with a straight right hand just before the
bell to end the round. Reid got up and was allowed to continue...one of the few
times in recent memory that a fighter has been allowed to go on after being down three
times in one round.
Reid came out for the twelfth round looking only to survive. Placing his left arm
around his waist, his right up to the side of his head, and leaning back, Reid was in a
purely defensive posture for most of the round, content to slip the few punches Trinidad
risked. Reid kept his right hand cocked in the last minute of the fight, giving a
glimmer of hope to his contingent that his Olympic miracle might be repeated, but the it
was never thrown. Instead Reid survived to hear the final bell, and eventually the
wide decision that would be logged against him.
As expected, even in Las Vegas, the decision was clear: Trinidad on a unanimous
tally of 114-106 and 114-107 twice (BoxingChronicle.com scored the fight 115-106 for
Trinidad turned in a masterful, confident performance that showed he is comfortable at 154
and a force to be reckoned with. The methodical breaking down of his opponent was a
lesson that Reid learned the hard way. Adding the WBA 154 lb. title to his growing
collection of belts, Trinidad improved his sterling record to 37-0/30, and set the stage
for a number of attractive contests. The winner of Vargas-Quartey will make a
lucrative and high profile challenge, as will another move up to 160 pounds to face fellow
Don King fighter William Joppy. Although the richest match remains a return contest
with DelaHoya, Trinidad will likely not cede much, if any, weight to the smaller
welterweight. Obviously stronger at the higher weight, Trinidad will likely remain
at junior middle as he finally realizes the potential his young career has so long
promised. Trinidad was marked as a star years ago, but contract disputes and
canceled fights plagued much of his welterweight reign. Now with yet another high
profile victory, Trinidad is as marketable as he has ever been.
It's not the end of the world for David Reid. Understandably subdued after the fight
as he nursed his cut and closed right eye, Reid is wise enough to realize that he has time
in his young career to regroup and come back even stronger. At only 14-1/7, Reid's
record might resemble that of many prelim fighters, but he still possesses some skills
that will always make him dangerous. If he can maintain his focus and rediscover
some of the fundamentals that brought him to the top, he may fight on to future world
Too Much For Courageous Reid
By Thomas Gerbasi
14-0 against 36-0 proved too much
for David Reid, as a vastly more experienced Felix Trinidad scored a lopsided 12 round
unanimous decision over "The American Dream" to win the WBA Super Welterweight
title last night before a sold-out crowd at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada.
An impressive Trinidad (37-0,
30Kos) erased any lingering distaste regarding his disputed win over Oscar De La Hoya, but
when I will think back to this fight (which if not for Morales-Barrera would have been a
Fight of the Year candidate), my memory will be of the courageous performance put forth by
David Reid. Many boxing pundits (including this one) chose Reid (14-1, 7Kos) to win the
bout, but it was painfully obvious from the outset that Reids inexperience would
prove to be his downfall.
Trinidad established control in
the first two rounds, winning both. Reids recurring droopy left eyelid looked almost
closed at the outset of the bout, but it wasnt until late in the fight when it
seemed like it was giving him problems.
A couple of quick right hands
late in the second round by Reid set the stage for the exciting third, in which another
straight right dropped "Tito" for a short count. Reid wasnt able to
capitalize on his good fortune though, and the fight was on.
In the fourth, Trinidad regained
control behind some textbook double hooks, some of which strayed low. A strong left hook
by Reid shook Trinidad late in the stanza, but the bell intervened before any follow up
action could be taken.
Reid shook off any big-fight
jitters in the fifth and sixth rounds, as his fluid movement, jabbing, and combination
punching looked to be frustrating the welterweight titleholder. A point deduction from
Trinidad for low blows by referee Mitch Halpern added to Felix woes, and on my
scorecard, Reid had pulled into the lead.
This lead was short lived.
Trinidad put his punches together with frightening ease in round seven, and a short left
hook dropped Reid to the canvas, obviously hurting the champ. The round ended before any
more damage could be done, but the tide had turned in the challengers favor.
"Tito" picked up the
pace once again in the eighth, and soon a nasty cut was opened over Reids "good
eye", the right. Doctor Flip Homansky was asked to check out the gash on Reids
eye, and he allowed the fight to continue. Reid roared back with Philadelphia ferocity
late in the round, but with two bad eyes and a wealth of inexperience, the writing was on
the wall for the 1996 US Gold Medallist.
Trinidad stalked Reid in the
ninth, and David refused to back down. A point deduction from Reid for low blows squared
things on the scorecards, but a huge right hand with 30 seconds left in the round left
"The American Dream" in bad shape. The onslaught continued in the tenth, and
despite Reids attempts to land a right hand bomb, the fights outcome was no
longer in doubt.
As the eleventh round began, the
only question remaining was if Reid would finish on his feet. The question shouldnt
have even been asked. Three times Reid hit the canvas in the eleventh, and three times he
rose to his feet, refusing to give up. Facing a fresher, more experienced fighter in
Trinidad, Reid let his Philadelphia heart come out in one of the most courageous
performances in recent history. No one in that Caesars Palace parking lot would have
complained if Halpern had stopped the fight in that round
except David Reid.
Reid managed to survive the
eleventh and twelfth rounds, and the scores of the judges (114-106, 114-107(twice)) were
academic, as Trinidad added the WBA super welterweight belt to his hardware collection.
Hopefully, late-2000 will treat
us to a bout between Trinidad and the winner of the April 15 battle between Fernando
Vargas and Ike Quartey. Trinidad-De La Hoya II? No thanks.
As for Reid, hes only had
15 fights, and this fight will either make him a better fighter or be his Waterloo.
Its that fine a line. Only the future will tell. Right now, Reid needs some rest.
Hes earned it.
The American Dream
By Francis Walker
On Friday, March 3, at
Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, WBC/IBF welterweight champion Felix Trinidad, having been
knocked down in the third round, bounced off the canvas to seize the WBA junior
middleweight title from the 1996 Olympic Gold medalist, "The American Dream"
David Reid, by 12-round decision. Trinidad, who scored four knockdowns during the contest,
earned his third victory over America's last three Olympic Gold medalists - namely Oscar
De La Hoya and Pernell Whitaker. At age 27, the Puerto Rican sensation also improved his
record in world title fights to 17-0, 10KOs.
The bout, promoted by Don King Productions in association with America Presents and
televised exclusively on Pay-Per-View at $34.95, moved Trinidad one step closer towards a
rematch with De La Hoya sometime this year.
Trinidad, who many experts felt would fizzle to the speed of his younger 26-year-old,
Philadelphia rival, proved his critics wrong (I was correct) as he over-powered and more
importantly out-boxed his opponent - earning four
knockdown in the process.
The judges were so impressed with Trinidad's overall display of talent, perhaps his most
impressive victory throughout his tenure, that the three officials scored the bout
114-106, and 114-107 (twice) for Trinidad.
Having tasted one too many of Reid's quick straight-rights, Trinidad tasted the canvas in
the third round. However, that made very little difference as Trinidad proved that he was
by far the better fighter of the two.
In the eighth, Trinidad caught Reid with a hard left hook to his chin, forcing the
defending champion to cover-up tightly against the ropes. Reid, who experienced tremendous
droopage across his left eye and a laceration
across his right, did not have his legs underneath him. Trinidad punished Reid like a
pulp, driving left hooks deep into Reid's sternum.
Reid, who was also docked a single point in the ninth, slipped and slid across the mat, as
if he was learning how to skate for the first time. The bout should have been stopped in
the eleventh, as Reid, who could barely see,
was literally put on his behind by a right-uppercut. As soon as Reid returned to his feet,
Trinidad dropped him on his hands and knees again on a single left hook.
Trinidad, trying to hard to knock Reid out, was docked another point for hitting low. It
was okay because the point Trinidad lost, he regained when he chased and floored Reid for
the third time just as the bell sounded to end the round with an accumulation of
Overall, Trinidad fought a tremendously intelligent fight, as he kept his distance outside
of Reid's right hand in the middle rounds to measure his speedy punches.
Reid appeared just as strong, quicker, and amazingly sharp in the middle rounds, but faded
badly when the bout headed toward the latter rounds. Reid had Trinidad's head spinning in
bewilderment and frustration as he was docked one point at the end of the sixth round.
If Reid was in such commanding control in the early rounds, why did he still lose? It's
simple, Reid has never fought anyone with Trinidad's capabilities. It was only a matter of
time that a slow Trinidad would catch the faster Reid, as he evidently proven in the
seventh when the Puerto Rican star had Reid dancing backwards into the ropes and onto the
canvas toward the end of the round.
Referee Mitch Halpern ruled it a knockdown.
Overall, Trinidad fought a tremendously intelligent fight, as he kept his distance outside
of Reid's right hand in the middle rounds to measure his speedy punches. Give the guy
credit, although Trinidad should have lost to De
La Hoya, Trinidad is still a marquee talent capable of remaining an unbeaten fighting
As of press time, Trinidad would agree to fight De La Hoya at a "catch-weight"
bout sometime this year. De La Hoya, who last weekend at Madison Square Garden stopped
Derrell Coley (TKO 8) on an accumulation of body shots, has reportedly agreed to fight
Sugar Shane Mosley on either June 10, or June 17 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.