Melee In Manhattan


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What do you get when you combine Trinidad, a bunch of Puerto Ricans, some crazy-ass hair, the 1990s’ “Fighter of the Decade,” and The World’s Most Famous Arena? [You get a superfight] between Roy Jones Jr. and Felix “Tito” Trinidad, who yesterday was coaxed out of his two-year retirement by promoter Don King to announce his participation in the long-awaited bout.


The two titans, considered two of the greatest pugilists of all-time by the boxing world, were scheduled to collide in 2001 before Trinidad (42-2, 35 Kos) ran into Bernard Hopkins and [got knocked out]. Since then, Trinidad, a Puerto Rican icon, has retired. Meanwhile, Jones (51-4, 38 Kos) moved up to [win the heavyweight championship](http://www.cbc.ca/sports/story/2003/03/02/jonesruiz030301.html), then fell from grace after suffering three straight losses only to return to prominence after two consecutive wins.


Jones and Trinidad have agreed to fight on Jan. 26 in MadisonSquareGarden at 170 lbs., 10 pounds above Trinidad’s normal fighting weight and 23 pounds less than the 193lbs Jones weighed when he captured the heavyweight title in 2003 against John Ruiz. Jones, who has struggled in the past when shedding pounds for his fights, didn’t seem to mind the chosen weight: “I'll sacrifice a few pounds to make the fight with Tito,” he said. “Of course it will be difficult, but I'll do it. This is a fight worth getting up for.”



As always, however, it was King who stole the show when he and the fighters met with the media yesterday from his office in Deerfield Beach, Fla. The only thing larger than his mouth was his hair. “It’s two titans, two legendary fighters coming together to fight,” King said. “This is what the public has waited for for a long time, and now they’re going to have it. So, Tito is saying in the words of the inimitable and incomparable Cyrano de Bergerac, ‘Don't bring me no mortal men, bring me giants.’ And a giant is coming in Roy Jones Jr.” Get the TiVo and the popcorn ready; this is going to be a good one.


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