A fighter's retirement is like a Mark Twain death notice—most likely it's greatly exaggerated. So we're inclined to hold off on F�lix (Tito) Trinidad's boxing eulogy for the moment. The suspicion, here and elsewhere, is that last week's announcement from Puerto Rico was either a flash of frustration at being held out of real comeback fights or a negotiating ploy to get an immediate return match with middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins, the only man to beat him.
Retire at 29? Just a year after he was being touted as the best fighter, pound for pound? Now that his paydays are topping $10 million? And with talk of return bouts (and even bigger money) still on the table? Pardon our suspicion.
Still, knowing that Mark Twain eventually did die (placing him once and for all beyond bon mot), we have to consider the possibility that Trinidad might be different; that 21 title bouts, carrying him to hero status in his home country, just might be enough, that one loss notwithstanding.
And it is possible. Trinidad, trained and managed by his father, was always considered an extension of Don F�lix's severe will. In fact it was his mother, Irma Garcia, who really pulled his strings, and her influence cannot be discounted. Ever since he got thumbed badly during his 2000 destruction of Fernando Vargas, she has been agitating for her son's retirement. Maybe he listened.
If so, good for him. Fighters get ruined chasing redemption, and maybe Trinidad understands that in the boxer's world, enough is never enough. Ask Evander Holyfield. Maybe enough is titles in three weight classes, a reputation for getting off the canvas and delivering devastation, a legacy of straight-ahead craft that finally, in the last few years, penetrated the language barrier and made him nearly as popular here as in Puerto Rico. It should be enough.
Of course, that's not to say we wouldn't cover Hopkins-Trinidad II.