BERNARD HOPKINS w rsf 12 FELIX TRINIDAD
September 29, 2001; Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
FELIX TRINIDAD was 40-0 (33) and on the hottest of hot streaks. He was installed as the 2/1 favourite against long-time middleweight leader Bernard Hopkins and his purse of $9m dwarfed the $2.5m promised to his opponent. Almost all observers picked Trinidad to win. Hopkins did not care. In the best performance of his long and brilliant career, he oozed greatness as he picked holes in Trinidad before stopping him in the 12th and final round. It was of course an emotional night for all involved: This climax to the World Middleweight Championship Series had originally been scheduled for September 15, only to be postponed after the 9/11 terror attacks.
DID YOU KNOW? Trinidad had taken such a steady pummelling and was in such bad shape after the 10th round that the ringside doctor asked him if he was capable of fighting another round.
WATCH OUT FOR: That exciting 10th, particularly the last minute. Trinidad sensed the fight was slipping away and went for broke. Hopkins met fire with fire to all but confirm the outcome.