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PUERTO RICO HERALD
Don Félix, Can You Say "Wet Blanket?"
By Gabrielle Paese
May 24, 2002
Copyright © 2002 PUERTO RICO HERALD. All Rights Reserved.
Félix Trinidad Sr. squelched a chance to smoke the peace pipe with WBA heavyweight champion John Ruiz this week.
Ruiz, who is in Puerto Rico training for his July 27 bout versus Kirk Johnson, offered to appear in a fund-raising exhibition match locally. His idea was to go a few rounds against fellow heavyweight Puerto Rican boxer Fres Oquendo, raise money for a charitable organization and give local fans a hint of what the future might hold.
Forget about it. That was the reaction from Trinidad Sr., who trains Oquendo.
"I've never liked boxing exhibitions, not even during my amateur days and this is something that is done a lot in the amateur ranks," said Trinidad Sr. "They [Ruiz and Oquendo] are professionals and I'm not in agreement with it. I don't work like that with my boxers."
The whole scheme was reportedly dreamed up by the Puerto Rico Boxing Commission, with whom Trinidad Sr. is not exactly on friendly terms (Remember, it was the Commission that picked John Ruiz as Fighter of the Year over Trinidad's son, Félix "Tito" Trinidad).
Since Ruiz is training this month at the Salinas Olympic Training Center, home to Puerto Rico's amateur boxing team, the idea was to drum up a little publicity and interest in the amateur team's fight cards by adding Ruiz and Oquendo to the menu.
Don Félix, can you say "wet blanket?"
Camacho Jr. still trying to take the weight off
His legs are thicker than a midfielder's, but Héctor "Machito" Camacho Jr. is confident he'll be back in the ring by August, possibly with someone from three-time world champion Jeff Fenech's stable out of Australia.
Camacho Jr. weighed in this week at 160 as he did time on the treadmill as part of his weight-loss campaign.
"So far I've lost 13 pounds," said the 23-year-old son of four-time world boxing champion Héctor "Macho" Camacho. "I'm sure I'll be able to get back down to fighting weight by August. The problem is I like to eat."
Camacho Jr., who in April could have sought a light heavyweight bout, also admitted he inherited his famous father's love of nightclubs.
"OK, I like to party too," he conceded during a training run.
He still has 20 pounds to go. Fighting weight is 140, junior welterweight, and Camacho Jr. hasn't seen it since he begged off a fight last August versus Jesse James Leija after being head-butted.
He was six pounds overweight this past March when he weighed in for a match versus Argentina's unheralded Omar Weis in Phoenix, Ariz., on an America Presents card.
The Arizona Boxing Commission spotted him two pounds and two more hours to make weight at the weigh-in, but Camacho Jr. treated himself to a full-course meal and came back tipping the scales at 151.
Weis still agreed to fight Camacho, after promoter Matt Tinley conceded the Argentinian an extra $12,500 as incentive.
"I had to pay the $2,500 fine plus I had to give him [Weis] $10,000 to agree to the fight, so basically I fought for free," said Camacho Jr., who dodged Weis (34-3-3, 16 KOs) throughout and eventually lost a unanimous 10-round decision for his first career defeat.
Still, Camacho Jr. said he's learned from the experience. He said he's ready to prove he's not the lazy, bloated and lackluster boxer he's been in his last two bouts.
"In retrospect I realize that it was good that this happened to me because it's made me determined to work hard again and get back into shape," said Camacho Jr. (33-1, 19 KOs). "I'm trying to eat better and now I'm back in the gym."
The southpaw, who calls both Puerto Rico and Orlando, Fla., home, said he's not ready to call it quits just yet.
"Maybe one or two more fights and I'll consider it," said Camacho Jr. "Nah, I love boxing too much. It's in my blood."
Camacho Jr. said he'd like a shot at Russia's Kostya Tszyu, the Russian world junior welterweight champion who fights out of Australia and holds the WBC and IBF titles.
He said he wouldn't even consider giving in to his partying urges to open up nightclubs in either Puerto Rico or Florida.
"No, because then you have to be there and that's work," said Camacho Jr. "This isn't work. This is fun."
Puerto Rico's junior golfers to compete in Teens on the Green' tournament
This weekend, nine teens from Puerto Rico will compete in Renny Roker's "Teens on the Green" golf championships in Orlando, Fla., an event geared for high school minority players.
Max Alverio, Manny Fossas, Tirso Vélez, Marimar Colón, Tata Jreige, Rafa Campos, Valerie Vázquez, Robert Paul Calvesbert and Andrea Rosado will represent Puerto Rico in the event, which is the culmination of a series of regional tournaments for golfers ages 10 through 18. Campos recently won the Puerto Rico High School Athletic Association golf title while the rest are all leading junior golfers. Alverio, 16, and a student at the Palmas Academy in Humacao, is trained privately by pro Sean Reiser, of the David Leadbetter Academy, in Bradenton, Fla.
The event will be televised on the Golf Channel and is designed to give junior golfers the exposure they might need to start their careers or earn college scholarships. To participate, teens must have a C average or higher in school and a 12 handicap or less.
Gabrielle Paese is the Assistant Sports Editor at the San Juan Star. She is the most recent recipient of the Overseas Press Club's Rafael Pont Flores Award for excellence in sports reporting. Comments or suggestions? Contact Gabrielle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Her Column, Puerto Rico Sports Beat, appears weekly in the Puerto Rico Herald.