Trinidad takes aim at Hopkins

Posted: Monday, May 13, 2002

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Felix Trinidad was talking about his next opponent shortly after knocking out French journeyman Hacine Cherifi.

''If my next fight is with (Bernard) Hopkins, I assure you that I'm going to make him pay for everything he did and said,'' Trinidad said, after stopping Cherifi in the fourth round Saturday night of a non-title fight in his hometown.

Hopkins handed Trinidad his first loss in a middleweight title unification fight on Sept. 29.

Adding to Trinidad's ire, Hopkins twice threw the Puerto Rican flag to the floor during the promotion for that bout. He said that he is willing to give Trinidad a rematch.

''I want Hopkins,'' the former middleweight champion said Saturday. ''I will chop his neck. Tito Trinidad is back.''

Trinidad (41-1) backed his words with an impressive performance in front of thousands of his fans.

He dominated Cherifi from the first round, knocking him down in the third, and finally dispatching him in the fourth with a right and a powerful left hook to the jaw.

Don King, Trinidad's promoter, also wants a fight with Hopkins but there might be other plans.

''There could be a change if Don King wants me to fight Oscar De La Hoya, but I want Hopkins,'' Trinidad said.

De La Hoya, who absorbed his first loss in a 1999 fight with Trinidad, is scheduled to fight Fernando Vargas, another Trinidad victim, and has expressed interest in fighting the Puerto Rican again.

Trinidad has held the welterweight, super welterweight and middleweight crowns.

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