Lee Groves

10: Best Mexico vs. Puerto Rico fights

6. Felix Trinidad KO 4 Yory Boy Campas — September 17, 1994, MGM Grand, Las Vegas Nevada

At 56-0 with 50 knockouts, the 23-year-old Campas was one of the most feared non-champions in the sport. Comparisons to Mexican icon Julio Cesar Chavez flowed easily and it was no coincidence that this bout was on the undercard of Chavez-Taylor II. According to Campas’ team Campas had to file a lawsuit to get the 21-year-old Trinidad into the ring and the respect for Campas was such that the bettors made this bout an even-money proposition. It was obvious that for Trinidad, the fourth defense of his IBF welterweight title was to be his most dangerous to date.

Respectful of Campas’ bludgeoning hook, Trinidad began the bout on his toes and snapped crisp jabs and hurtful hooks. The Mexican turned up the pressure in the second as he worked his way inside and blasted hooks to the ribs. A six-inch hook to the chin decked “Tito” for a two-count but instead of retreating Trinidad traded bombs with Campas.

A Campas combination shook Trinidad early in the third and, in a foreshadowing of the Fernando Vargas fight several years later, the champ retaliated with a low blow that drew a warning — as well as precious seconds to recover. Moments later Campas rocked Trinidad with a right uppercut and the Puerto Rican again went low, drawing a point deduction from Richard Steele. Angered by the penalty, Trinidad drove his way inside and battered Campas with blistering combinations for the remainder of the round.

Trinidad continued the pyrotechnics in the fourth but Campas unflinchingly fielded Trinidad’s rockets while ripping hooks to the body. Following a pulsating toe-to-toe exchange Trinidad ended matters with an awe-inspiring 23-punch assault that ended with a flush hook that initially appeared to break Campas’ neck. Steele immediately – and mercifully – stopped the fight at the 2:41 mark, capping Trinidad’s arrival as a superstar presence for years to come.

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