The boxer who walked away from Don King with full pockets but ended up bankrupt after his career ended. The story of Felix “Tito” Trinidad.
1- Trinidad was one of the best boxers in the world at the turn of the late 90s and early 00s. He topped the pound-for-pound rankings in 1999, winning a judges’ decision over the undefeated Oscar De La Hoya. During his career, Felix has conquered three weight classes and has 42 wins in 45 fights.
2. In addition to Oscar, the Puerto Rican has beaten Pernell Whitaker, Fernando Vargas, Hector Camacho, Ricardo Mayorga, Rodney Moore. He has lost to Bernard Hopkins, Ronald Wright, and Roy Jones Jr., all three in foreign divisions. The Puerto Rican remained unbeaten in his native welterweight (to 66.7 kg) and first middleweight (to 69.9 kg) and had a 39-0 record.
3. Trinidad was a natural lefty, but boxed right-handed in the stand-up, like his former opponent Oscar De La Hoya. Therefore, Felix’s best weapon was the left hook. During his career he scored 35 knockouts (almost 78% of his total fights).
4. His bout against Oscar De La Hoya sold 1.4 million PPVs. At the time of 1999, this was an all-time record. This figure was only beaten 8 years later by the same De La Hoya who boxed Floyd Mayweather.
5. Trinidad earned $90 million dollars during his career (data from court documents). Even though Don King also ripped off Tito, the Puerto Rican’s net earnings were still pretty high. As Larry Holmes said, “An average promoter will give you 1 million, a good promoter will give you 3 million. Don King will promise 10 million, steal 5 million of it, but you’ll still get more than the others.”
6. Trinidad is one of King’s few boxers who ended their careers with a tidy bank account. But Tito’s personal finances were handled by a close friend of his. Without the boxer’s knowledge, he invested $63 million dollars in government bonds. In 2014 in Puerto Rico played out a financial crisis, because of which all the money burned through. As a result, the account of Felix remained only with 9 million dollars, but the debts to banks was as much as 30 million! Now it’s 2023, and the trial is still going on. Some of the debts have been forgiven, but imagine how much he’s paid to the lawyers over the last 9 years. There’s no trace of his wealth left.
7. Trinidad now trains in his own gym. He also proteges Puerto Rican boxer Edgar Berlanga.
8. Interestingly, Felix was not seen in any dirty stories, below-the-belt thrashing, any showdowns. On the contrary, he had a very motivating story of dating his wife. She long rejected Trinidad’s advances, even though he would literally roll up to her in an expensive sports car, give her gifts, and constantly hover around her. Over time, the girl’s heart melted, but her parents were long opposed to Félix as a candidate because athletes (especially boxers) were considered bandits by common folks in Puerto Rico.