Hopkins and Wright: two wrongs can make a Wright

01.07.07 - By Mike Cassell/The Philadelphia Boxing Report - A few years back, it amazed me to listen to who I thought were knowledgeable boxing writers talk about Ronald Winky Wright (51-3-1 with 25 KO’s). They said the 35-year-old south paw was boring. They said he wasn’t good enough to handle the upper echelon of his division. It seemed to be the general consensus of everyone, including the fans. The funny thing about that, was that he was not really seen enough to make such an abrasive assessment.

Ronald Winky Wright never got the respect he deserved, so he got on a plane, went around the world a few times, and just beat the hell out of everybody. By the time he came back our way, he not only demanded respect, he made a damn good case for being crowned, pound for pound, the best fighter on the planet. Oscar De La Hoya, very wisely, never really looked in his direction. But Felix Trinidad, Shane Mosley and Jermain Taylor did. All world-class, possible future hall-of-fame inductees, they paid dearly for it.

Bernard Hopkins (47-4-1 with 32 KO’s) may be making a critical mistake. He demolished Antonio Tarver and defeated a seemingly unbeatable Felix Trinidad. Even after all he has accomplished, Bernard seems to looking for the money he missed out on early in his career.

Wright, on the other hand, is still under-appreciated and terribly underrated. I personally think he is one of the best fighters in the world. Making comments like that five years ago made some of us at The Philadelphia Boxing Report easy targets for the bandwagon jumpers and the fans easily swayed by the mainstream media. This fight will vindicate Wright. He needs it more than Bernard Hopkins.

What was that great line that actor Burgess Meredith (Mickey) had in Rocky 3? He told Rocky: “The worse thing that happened to you was, you got civilized.” That is exactly what happened to Hopkins. He became a businessman first and a fighter second.

Bernard Hopkins was disrespected on so many levels, until he beat Felix Trinidad and destroyed Antonio Tarver. He got the money, the fame, and all the “Oscar”-like adulation he had chased so feverishly in his outstanding career. But at this point in time and boxing history, he is not the same fighter he was. It is not an age thing. It is a heart thing.

Winky Wright is still one of the hungriest fighters to ever step into a boxing ring. He is willing to put it all on the line. Is Hopkins? This fight is a very good fight. It is a fight that boxing people want to see. It will be competitive and hard fought. Both of these fighters know what it is like to look through the store window at the fortunate ones. They were both ignored and dismissed by the mainstream. They were both considered over achievers.

Of the two, Hopkins has silenced his critics, and all eyes are now on him. This seems like a perfect time for Ronald Winky Wright to show the world exactly what he has known all along. He is more than ready for prime time. And while most eyes will be tuning in to see the great Bernard Hopkins, I think they will get a look at what they have been missing - a rugged, hungry Winky Wright, who has not lost a fight in eight years, and who is seeking to steal the newly-found respect Bernard Hopkins has earned.

If you buy this fight, don’t blink. Respect, as well as Bernard’s final retirement, is only one right hook away for Ronald Winky Wright.

Article posted on 01.07.2007

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