Felix Trinidad vs William Joppy – Highlights (Trinidad KNOCKS OUT Joppy)


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May 12th, 2001. Billed as “History In The Making”, hard hitting Puerto Rican legend Felix “Tito” Trinidad moved up to 160 pounds to challenge slick punching William Joppy for his WBA Middleweight Title.

Prefight records; Trinidad 39(32)-0, Joppy 32(24)-1-1.

In March 1993, Trinidad won the IBF Welterweight Championship via KO2 over Maurice Blocker. He would continue to reign as the IBF World Champion for 6 years, during which he defended the title a remarkable 15 times. In his final defense of his IBF Crown (against Oscar De La Hoya) he also added the WBC Welterweight Crown to his collection.

He moved up to Light Middleweight in March 2000 challenging “The American Dream” David Reid and scored a hard fought UD to become the WBA World Super Welterweight Champion. He successfully retained the title twice against Mamadou Thiam and “El Feroz” Fernando Vargas, which he also garnered the IBF strap in the process.

For his next move, he journeyed into the Middleweight division to take on reigning WBA Middleweight Champion, William Joppy. At this juncture, many questioned as to whether or not Tito Trinidad could carry his vaunted power 2 divisions above his natural weight.

In June 1996, William Joppy knocked out Shinji Takehara in Japan to garner the WBA Middleweight Championship. He made 2 successful defenses of the title before losing it via a controversial UD to Julio Cesar Green in August 1997.

Joppy would decisioned Green in a rematch to begin his 2nd reign as the WBA Champion. He successfully defended the title 5 times. For his 6th defense, Trinidad is up next.

Going into the fight, Joppy had beaten notable oppositions in Rodney Toney, Shinji Takehara, Hacine Cherifi & Julio Cesar Green (2x). Although he also beat the legendary Roberto Duran, but it should be noted that the Panamanian legend was in his late 40s and clearly well past his best years by the time of their bout.

On the other hand, Trinidad had meaningful victories over Maurice Blocker, Hector Camacho, Luis Garcia, Luis Ramon Campas, Oba Carr, Rodney Moore, Larry Barnes, Freddie Pendleton, Kevin Lueshing, Troy Waters, Hugo Pineda, Oscar De La Hoya, David Reid, Fernando Vargas & Pernell Whitaker.

The fight started off competitively, but towards the end of the opening frame Trinidad decked Joppy with a barrage of clean blows. Joppy got up with spaghetti legs as Tito gunned for an early finish but somehow the bell sounded to save him from a 1st round knockout.

In the 2nd and 3rd frames, both fighters competed at equal term with both (arguably) winning 1 round apiece.

** Interestingly, in the 3rd round Joppy threw 116 punches (according to CompuBox Stats) which is the most number of shots ever thrown against Tito.

The fight resumed at a competitive pace during the 1st minute into the 4th, but Joppy made a mistake by electing to trade; he suffered a 2nd knockdown just before end of the 1st minute. With a long time left before the bell, Trinidad went for the kill but Joppy in a great display of tenacity not only managed to return fire but once again made it to the bell.

“Give William Joppy credit. He’s standing up to the most deadly puncher in the game.”
– Larry Merchant

In the 5th stanza, Joppy despite still hurt from Tito’s onslaught continued to follow the puncher Trinidad and connected with some decent blows while receiving a fair share from him. Towards the halfway mark, Tito once again troubled Joppy and instead of holding on, he opted to retaliate.

With less than 50 seconds left, Trinidad floored him for the 3rd time. A gutsy Joppy rose to his feet again, but this time clearly in no position to continue thus referee Arthur Mercante Jr called a half to the bout.

With this victory, Trinidad proved that he still has his devastating power after moving up 13 pounds above his natural weight. He remained undefeated at 40(33)-0 and made history as the 5th Puerto Rican fighter to become World Champion in 3 weight divisions; at 147, 154 & 160 pounds.

** The 1st four in order are Wilfred Benitez, Wilfredo Gomez, Hector Camacho & Wilfredo Vazquez.

Hope you guys enjoy this highlight of one of Tito Trinidad’s best performances!

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