NEW YORK - A hand-wrapping controversy that surfaced before Felix Trinidad's September 2001 loss to Bernard Hopkins has New York State Athletic Commission officials paying close attention to the Puerto Rican power-puncher's gloves entering Saturday night's non-title, middleweight fight against Ricardo Mayorga at Madison Square Garden.
Ron Scott Stevens, chairman of the NYSAC, said yesterday that he and four other commission members were present at his New York office on June 10, along with promoter Don King, during a 30-minute meeting in which Trinidad's father, Felix Sr., wrapped his son's hands "in accordance with our rules and regulations."
"The mock wrapping was satisfactory. There was an occasion with his father where there was a difference in perspective on the way to wrap hands," said Stevens. "It has to do with the bandages over the knuckles, the amount of tape and the amount of gauze."
Before a fight, a member of each fighter's camp is allowed to inspect the rival's wraps and gloves. The June meeting was meant to avoid the Hopkins-Trinidad controversy at Madison Square Garden in which Hopkins' assistant trainer, Nazeem Richardson, refused to sign off on what he considered Trinidad's "padded," or reinforced hand-wraps.
Hopkins refused to fight until the issue was resolved.
"Rather than have a situation where we're not on the same page 30 minutes before a fight, we wanted to alleviate any problems," Stevens said of the meeting that included chief inspector Bobby Wall, director of boxing Ralph Petrillo, licensed hand-wrap specialist George Mitchell and Felix Figueroa, the inspector assigned to Trinidad's corner on Saturday.
"The [wrapping] Felix Sr. created was left with us in my office," Stevens said. "If they replicate that, we'll be fine."
NOTES: Trinidad (41-1, 34 knockouts), who is 31, will earn $10 million to $2.5 million for the fight with Mayorga (27-4, 23 KOs), who will turn 31 on Sunday.