Trinidad returns after two-year absence

NEW YORK -- "Tito" talked some trash Friday, guaranteeing he'll knock out Ricardo Mayorga Saturday night in their non-title middleweight fight at Madison Square Garden. Tomorrow, you'll see him knocked out, no problem," said three-time former division champion Felix "Tito" Trinidad, through an interpreter. "I'm as ready as I've ever been. He will fall." The 31-year-old Trinidad (41-1, 34 KOs), who weighed in at 157 3/4 pounds, will fight for the first time since announcing his retirement in July 2002. Of course, a $10 million payday to fight Mayorga was quite an incentive to return. Trinidad's "guarantee" at the weigh-in came two days after Mayorga said he would knock out Trinidad in the ninth round. That is the round in which two of boxing's biggest superstars over the last decade -- Oscar De La la Hoya and Roy Jones -- went down in knockout losses over the last two weekends. At the time of his retirement, Trinidad was one of the top pound-for-pound boxers and on course for a rematch against undisputed middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins, who handily dealt the Puerto Rican native the lone loss of his career in September 2001. Trinidad still has Hopkins on his radar but first is focusing on Mayorga (27-4-1, 23 KOs), whose awkward, wild-swinging style will test the questionable chin of the returning former champion. Trinidad's last fight was a fourth-round stoppage of Frenchman Hacine Cherifi in Puerto Rico on May 11, 2002. The 30-year-old Mayorga weighed in Friday at 158 pounds. He will receive $2.5 million for the fight. Trinidad and Mayorga also have signed a contract for a $100,000 side bet, with the victor taking from the loser's purse. On the undercard, former 140-pound champion and local product Zab Judah returns home, and two world titles will be contested. Judah (31-2, 22 KOs), a 26-year-old Brooklyn native, faces Wayne Martell (24-2, 15 KOs) in a 12-round welterweight bout. Also, undefeated WBA super welterweight champion Travis Simms (23-0, 18 KOs) makes his first defense against battle-tested Bronco McKart. Simms won the title with a devastating one-punch fifth-round knockout of then-undefeated Alejandro Garica in Mexico in December. McKart (47-5, 31 KOs) is ranked 13th by the WBA in the 154-pound division. In another title fight, Rosendo Alvarez of Nicaragua and Bebis Mendoza of Colombia clash for the WBA light flyweight title. This will be the fourth meeting between Alvarez (32-2-2, 21 KOs) and Mendoza (30-2, 24 KOs). Alvarez has won the last two meetings by decision, answering Mendoza's win via seventh-round disqualification in August 2000.