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Boxing’s Felix Trinidad Retiring

July 3, 2002

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) _ Felix ``Tito″ Trinidad is retiring, a legal representative for the former middleweight and welterweight champion said Tuesday.

Nicolas Medina said that the 29-year-old Trinidad, who had a successful career of multimillion dollar fights in three weight classes, has decided to quit fighting.

``After carefully evaluating all present factors and listening to the recommendation of his father, manager and trainer he has decided to retire definitely as a professional boxer,″ Medina said in a statement.

Trinidad was 41-1, with 34 knockouts, and took part in 21 title fights. He is considered by many as the best Puerto Rican boxer. Trinidad began his professional career in 1990, when he was 17, after a short amateur career of 57 fights.

Trinidad won his last fight against France’s Hacine Cherifi in May. He suffered his first defeat in the previous fight against Bernard Hopkins, which also cost him his middleweight title. Hopkins knocked him out in the 12th round.

After Trinidad beat Cherifi, Hopkins refused his requests for a rematch, as did Oscar de la Hoya, who lost a previous bout to Trinidad.

``The only fights remaining would not add anything to his career, but would cause great risk to his health,″ Medina said.

Trinidad and his family could not immediately be reached for comment.

On July 19, 1993, he won his first championship _ the IBF welterweight crown _ when he knocked out Maurice Blocker in the second round. He defended that title 15 times.

Trinidad beat the previously undefeated De la Hoya in September 1999, adding the title of WBC welterweight championship.

A year later, he gained weight and beat promising Americans David Reid and Fernando Vargas in super welterweight bouts.

In 2001, Trinidad moved to the middleweight division and beat William Joppy, which paved the way for his unification fight against Hopkins.

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