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Winky Wright: Why Hasn’t He Received The Fame Like Other Boxers?

Winky WrightDuring this past week with all the news on the old timers bout between Felix Trinidad and Roy Jones, I took another look at Trinidad’s bout with Winky Wright (51-4-1, 25 KOs), which turned out to be a lopsided 12-round unanimous decision victory for Wright in May 2005. I wondered why, a fighter with as much talent as the 36 year-old Wright, didn’t get the type of fame and popularity as other fighters like Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Bernard Hopkins get. Since turning professional in 1990, Wright has only been beaten four times, yet of the four, three of the losses – to Hopkins, Fernando Vargas and Harry Simon – have been highly controversial.

In point of fact, I only consider Wright’s loss to World Boxing Association light middleweight champion Julio Cesar Vasquez in August 1994, as being Wright’s only legitimate loss. In that fight, Wright dominated Vazquez for most of the fight before tiring out in the later rounds, and subsequently getting knocked down four times en route to losing a 12-round decision.

However, Wright looked to have beaten Simon, Hopkins and Vargas. I’m not precisely sure why Wright has failed to get the attention from the fans, other than to guess that some of them might not find his boxing style of fighting appealing, a style in which the southpaw Wright uses his jab frequently, mixing in an occasional hook and straight left hand.

He’s almost unbeatable with his jab, using it to dominate quality opponents such as Felix Trinidad and Shane Mosley, whom he beat twice by decision. Aside from that, Wright fought what I consider to be a controversial draw with then WBC/WBO middleweight champion Jermain Taylor in June 2006. Wright trailed the fight in the early rounds, but came in the second half of the fight, punishing Taylor with his jab and appearing to win the fight.

Many fans also felt that Wright had done more than enough to beat Taylor, yet the fight was ruled a draw. Wright was furious when the scores were announced, and rushed out of the ring without giving any comments to the media. In his last bout, a 12-round unanimous decision loss to Hopkins in July 2007, Wright again looked to have done enough to get the decision, but was came out on the losing end once gain.

Wright controlled the action when the two fighters were separated, but Hopkins used a punch and grab style to prevent Wright from landing his jab as often as he normally does. Still, I had Wright winning the fight by at least two rounds, and I felt it would have been even more significant if the referee had penalized Hopkins for all the holding that he was doing in the bout.

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