July 12, 2001 – By Paul Upham: Pound-for-pounder Felix Trinidad has made it very clear that he is coming for light heavyweight champion Roy Jones. Providing “Tito” defeats Bernard Hopkins on September 15, a fight with Jones would be one of the biggest clashes in 20 years. The good news for boxing fans is that Jones himself is very excited about getting the opportunity to derail the Puerto Rican Express.
“He is on a roll right now and they (the fans) want to see someone roll up to Roy and give Roy a challenge,” Jones said, speaking of himself in the third person. “They want to see me in a challenge too. They want to see somebody who they think has a chance. So far he looks like his is credible enough to have a decent chance to maybe pull off the upset. So they want to see it,” said Jones.
“Looking at Trinidad, he has been so impressive over his last few fights that people are now saying, if anybody can do it, he can do it. It looks like a big showdown. The name of this game is showdown, territory. You against me, who is the best?”
Is Trinidad as good as he has looked?
“He's got to be. He's beaten a whole hell of a lot of others so he's got to be something. I wouldn’t have said that two fights ago, it was maybe overblown. But nobody has stopped him yet, so he has got to be something.”
For a Trinidad-Jones fight to happen, the undefeated Puerto Rican needs to get past WBC/IBF middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins first on September 15.
“I'm rooting for both of them, I hope they have a draw, so I can kick both of their behinds. Trinidad for (the first time) and Bernard for the second time because I really want to fight both of them. As a matter of fact, I wish they'd cancel the fight right now and say let both of them fight Roy,” said Jones.
“Financially, the better fight is Felix Trinidad because he has a whole country that he is bringing behind him. I always wanted it country against country, it is always a bigger fight. He has the bigger name and he is on the up-rise right now. He is on the high tide. He's riding very high right now, so of course that's the better financial fight for me.
“However, I'm not really in this for all financial attribution’s sometimes. Some things I want to accomplish. Some of my accomplishments I want to be in the ring too. I just like proving that I am the best fighter. Whichever one of them is the best fighter, that's who'll win the fight and that's who I want to see.”
If a Trinidad-Jones fight gets closer, Jones may drop down to super-middleweight first to win a world title to defend against Trinidad.
He said: “Depending on what happens between September and now, because I feel the opportunities that I've opened up, might mean going down and winning a super middleweight title first. I don't know yet. It all depends.”
“It all depends on what direction I take. If I decide to go to super-middleweight and fight the winner of that fight (Trinidad-Hopkins), then I may look at if they want to take a little time away. Then I'm going to try to win a super-middleweight title first so that we can have a title to fight for when we do fight.”
“If that fight doesn’t look like it's going to happen, then I have of course other mandatories that I have to do to keep my light heavyweight titles, so those will come first. Then I guess I'll still look at hoping one day Dariusz Michalczewski (the German based WBO light heavyweight champion) gets in there to come across the water and we'll see what happens with him.”
Making the 168 lbs weight limit will not be a problem for Jones, who only moved up to light heavyweight for tougher competition.
He said: “I think they probably want me to come to 168lbs, but I'm still going to make him be the challenger if I can so if I can figure out when that fight’s going to happen I will try to win a super-middleweight title first, so we have something to fight for.
“I'm a super-middleweight who's been forced to move to light heavyweight to get some competition and I still get disrespected for that. They don't realise that I'm not as big as these guys are. I just fight there because that's where the competition was and that's where I went.”
The Florida fighters warned Trinidad to be careful that he is not biting off more than he can chew. “What he's biting into he is a real biter,” he said, before adding a fight with Trinidad genuinely excites him “You damn right! I'm just as excited as the rest of the world.”