Hopkins vows to crush "Winky the Twinkie"!
16.05.07 - By Mike Indri: -Retired Boxers Foundation - NEW YORK - Still beaming from their all-time record setting Oscar De La Hoya-Floyd Mayweather mega-event, which drew close to 2.2 million pay-per-view buys, amassing over 120 million dollars-as well as picking up another 19 million dollars from the live gate at the sold out MGM Grand Garden Arena, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer and HBO executives Ross Greenberg (President, HBO Sports) and Mark Taffet (HBO's Sr. V.P. of Sports and Pay-Per-View) kicked off the five city press tour for the July 21st clash between Bernard Hopkins and Winky Wright.
Article posted on 17.05.2007
While not dreaming of doing anywhere near the numbers set forth by De La Hoya and Mayweather, all involved feel this is a "can't miss" fight with both elite boxers fighting for pride, their legacies, and of course a lot of money; figuring to be in the proximity of 5 million dollars each.
Wright, 51-3-1 (25 KO's), is taking the step up and challenging one of boxing's living (and still fighting) legends in Bernard Hopkins, at a set weight of 170 pounds.
Wright, with two impressive victories over Shane Mosley, and a blow out win against Felix Trinidad, had to settle for a questionable draw in his quest to unseat middleweight champion Jermain Taylor of his WBC and WBO titles this past June 17th, in the champion's backyard of Memphis, Tenn. Many observers felt the nod, and the belts, should have been awarded to the St. Petersburg, Florida native. The 35-year old southpaw has established himself as one of today's premier boxers and a defensive master, who sits high atop everyone's pound for pound list.
With that being said, Winky Wright is trying to get to a level of greatness where Bernard Hopkins, 47-4-1 (32 KO's), has thrived for over ten years, which included his twenty middleweight title defenses, before he shocked the light heavyweight division by totally annihilating Antonio Tarver, then considered boxing's best 175- pound fighter. That claim, along with Tarver's Ring Magazine belt, now belongs to the extraordinary Philadelphia fighter.
Those points, as well as many others, were brought out in very entertaining fashion by the used to be gruff, now charismatic, Hopkins.
"I guarantee you, you won't see Winky after July 21st," stated Hopkins adding, "This is going to be Winky (as Hopkins then squeezed a Twinkie), Winky the Twinkie!"
Photo by: TEDDY BLACKBURN
Bringing laughter throughout Manhattan's ESPN Zone, packed with media personnel, boxing people and throngs of curious onlookers, Hopkins continued.
"I'm serious, I'm still in the game because I know I can still do it. I'm 42 years old and at 42 every fight is a risk. This 42-year old is going to whoop Winky Wright!"
Wright, also amused by his enigmatic opponent's antics, countered, "All you (Hopkins) are is a boogeyman, and come July 21st nobody will be scared of the boogeyman no more." Wright calmly added, "I did not chose Bernard, he choose to fight me. There was no one left for me to fight, I beat (Jermain) Taylor, there's no more middleweights, all the jr. middleweights run from me - Bernard is the only one left for me to fight."
Interest appears high for this intriguing match up already. According to Schaefer, 4,200 tickets, worth over 2.5 million dollars, have already been purchased for the Hopkins vs. Wright "Coming to Fight" showdown, to be held at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, in Las Vegas.
Tickets are available for purchase at www.mandalaybay.com or www.ticketmaster.com. For more Hopkins vs. Wright fight updates, log on to www.hbo.com.
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