A strong argument was given in the constant debate on who boxing's best pound-for-pound fighter is late in 2000. Felix Trinidad, already near the top of most people's lists, showed us why that was and further showed why he just might deserve to be above everybody on those same lists. In the highly-awaited match between Trinidad and fellow unbeaten junior middleweight Fernando Vargas, Trinidad proved he is one of the greatest fighters of his generation.
Trinidad almost ended the fight just when people were getting settled in their seats, knocking down Vargas twice in the first round but Vargas was able to recover and the two fighters finally gave us a big fight that actually exceeded all the requisite pre-fight hype.
Trinidad, who vanquished another well-regarded former Olympian in David Reid earlier in the year, will likely move up in weight for a shot at middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins and maybe, if we're lucky, an eventual bout with a trimmed down Roy Jones Jr. somewhere in the future.
Another former Trinidad victim, Oscar De La Hoya, lost the second fight of his career in a great battle with recent lightweight-turned-welterweight Shane Mosley on June 17. The Trinidad-Vargas fight, one of the most exciting of the year followed the Lennox Lewis-David Tua heavyweight title bout which was perhaps the most boring heavyweight title fight in history.
Both fighters slogged through a clutch and grab battle and Lewis, after slowly proving his superiority, prevailed with a unamimous decision. It had fight fans yearning for Mike Tyson-like theatrics and they just may get that if Lewis and Tyson meet in 2001, a potentially big payday for bother fighters if their handlers can agree on how to stage it and who gets to handle the hugely lucrative pay-per-view rights.
Meanwhile, Tyson was maintaining his end of the potential bargain in 2000 knocking out Lou Savarese 38 seconds into the first round on June 24 and stopping Polish strong man Andrew Golota in three rounds on Oct. 20 in a fight that people feared would disintegrate into a foul-filled wrestling match considering the resumes and rap sheets of the two combatants.
Something controversial had to happen and sure enough Golota disapointed with his failure to continue the bout after the second round.
A potential meeting between Lewis and Tyson would be a big event and their contrasting sizes and styles could prove to make an interesting bout. But the fight that everyone really wants to see now is the tantalizing possibilty of a meeting between Jones and Trinidad. While it may not happen in 2001 fans will be keeping their fingers crossed until 2002.
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