A Power Puncher
Trinidad's first professional bout came on March 10, 1990, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He defeated Angel Romero by a technical knockout (TKO) in the second round. It was a harbinger of a new style in which Trinidad, known for his speed, would now become a power puncher as well. Of the fifty-one victories in his amateur career, only twelve had come by knockout; nine of his first ten professional victories would come that route. During this time Trinidad stayed close to home, venturing outside Puerto Rico only twice—to Italy and to Miami—winning both fights by TKO. In fact, Trinidad fought fourteen of his first twenty fights in his native Puerto Rico, another factor that contributed to his being overlooked by the public in his early years. However, on the island Trinidad was a hero.
Trinidad's twentieth fight, on June 19, 1993, against Maurice Blocker in San Diego, California, proved to be a milestone in his career. He knocked out Blocker in the second round and won the International Boxing Federation (IBF) welterweight title. It was Trinidad's twentieth consecutive victory as a professional, eighteen by knockouts. Trinidad returned to Puerto Rico a champion and seven weeks later made his first title defense; he knocked out Luis Garcia in the first round in a bout on Bayamon, Puerto Rico. Trinidad had a tougher time against his next opponent, Anthony Stephens, but still managed to score a knockout in the tenth round of a fight staged in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on October 23, 1993. Soon after, Trinidad began preparing for the man who, up to that time, would be his toughest opponent, former lightweight champion Hector "Macho" Camacho.