It’s the kind of fight that doesn’t get made too much anymore. Two prospects from the same area willing to take the next step up in their career against each other, with only one moving forward when it’s all done.
Risky? Yes. Glorious? Yes again. And it was a no brainer for Boyle Heights’ Omar Trinidad when he was approached about fighting Downey’s Adan Ochoa in this Friday’s Hollywood Fight Nights main event at Commerce Casino.
“I grew up on old school fighting,” said Trinidad. “My dad is a fanatic. He grew up watching a lot of fights, so, of course, I like to be a throwback fighter and I feel that this was a good moment, giving the people a throwback show.”
Trinidad has built a following in the Southern California area with that mindset, and after fighting five consecutive times on the UFC Fight Pass platform that he will headline this week, a wider audience has been getting on board with the 27-year-old featherweight. And that’s not a surprise.
“I feel like I approach the sport in a good way,” Trinidad said. “I like to put in a show. I grew up being a showman and I like to get people involved in the fight. I like when a person comes and buys a ticket. I tell 'em right off the bat, I'm going to give you guys a show and a night to remember. And I always put this extra pressure on myself to perform and just give up people a good night of boxing. People want to see good fights. And me, even when I put myself in their position, when I watch fights, I want to see exciting fights and stuff that you're going to be talking about for weeks, for months, and I feel like I'm going to do just that April 14th.”
If it sounds like Trinidad is a little impatient for the opening bell, that would be accurate, as he says with a laugh, “I'm more than ready. I'm trying to give these people a show already, man. I feel like this has been dragging and I just want it to be fight night.”
Then again, there’s not only that, but the fact that, yes, there is a little heat between the combatants, with the 12-2 (5 KOs) Ochoa calling out the unbeaten Trinidad (11-0-1, 9 KOs) for the eight-round featherweight turf war.
“I feel that there's a little tension because we both got something to prove and, honestly, I'm taking this personal out of the fact that he's calling me out, and when somebody calls me out, I guess they want a piece of me, so I'm going to serve it to them. I'm going to let 'em know that when the bell rings, he's mine for eight rounds and it's going to be a long night for him.”
With a win, that makes it 12 for Trinidad, and he’ll be ready to start looking for bigger names and bigger fights at 126 pounds. Some might think he needs a little more seasoning, especially since he didn’t have an extensive amateur background, but being 27 has given him a different outlook than most with his amount of pro experience.
“The positive I take from it is that I know what I want now,” he said of his late start in the pro game. “When you're younger, you don't know what you want, really, or you're not really taking stuff serious. And I'm taking this serious, and I'm locked in. I know what I want in life. I feel like I got everything figured out and I feel like I still conserve my body. I'm not that beat up and I had a long layoff. So I'm coming in practically complete, and I feel like, yeah, starting late has its benefits.”
As for the negatives?
“I didn’t get that time, those precious years in the amateurs where you get that experience,” Trinidad said. “I'm getting the experience as I go on the job in the pros. I had a short amateur career, so when I went into the pros, I was learning as I went, but I'm pretty sure it's going pretty good.”
It is. So good that he’s ready to make his move. First, take care of Ochoa in his main event showcase. Next? He’s shooting for the moon.
“I want to take it day by day, fight by fight, and hopefully, maybe by the end of the year, I get those big names,” Trinidad said. “And maybe starting next year I start being in the top 15, top 10, and start calling for all these champions, because that’s what I'm here for, to get that rep.”