Winky Wright: “After I beat Kid Chocolate I’m going for the title. There ain’t no need for all of these tune-up fights—look, he’s going to be my tune-up fight!”

by Geoffrey Ciani (Exclusive Interview by Jenna J & Geoffrey Ciani) - The most recent edition of On the Ropes Boxing Radio featured an exclusive interview with former undisputed junior middleweight champion Winky Wright (51-5-1, 25 KOs) who will be squaring off against undefeated middleweight contender Peter ‘Kid Chocolate’ Quillin (26-0, 20 KOs) on June 2. Winky spoke about his upcoming fight and talked about his career and his future. He also touched on a wide variety of subjects pertaining to the current boxing landscape including Floyd Mayweather Junior’s recent win against Miguel Cotto, middleweight champion Sergio Martinez, Chad Dawson’s victory over Bernard Hopkins, the upcoming fight between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley, Jermain Taylor’s future in the middleweight division, and whether people are too quick to count Paul Williams out against Saul Alvarez. Here is what Winky Wright had to say:

On how preparations have been going for his upcoming June 2 bout against Peter ‘Kid Chocolate’ Quillin:

“Oh man! Preparations have been great. Training camp has been great. I’m looking forward to the fight and I’m looking forward to getting back in the ring and doing my thing.”

On whether or not he expects any ring rust given this will be his first time in a professional boxing match in over 3 years:

“I’m pretty sure I’m going to have some ring rust, but you know that’s part of the game. In any thing you do if you take time off you’re going to have to get back in there and try and get that feeling back. But you know I’m ready for that. I know I’m going to have some things I’m going to have to work out while I’m in the ring, and then I’m going to get it right and just handle my business.”

On how much time he has actually spent outside of ring not training given he has had several fights that were scheduled and ultimately canceled during his time off:

“Well you know like you said I had some fights that were supposed to come about, and things would happen and the fight would get canceled. I think mainly I probably was out totally not training or anything about a year. I really took off like a year and just didn’t do anything but relax and enjoy life.”

Regarding what he has been doing outside the ring these past three years:

“You know just business. There is life after boxing so you have to prepare yourself for that and try to get yourself in the right business where you can make money, live a comfortable life, and raise my kids. You know just enjoy life! All this training and everything I have done to this point I enjoyed. You know what I’m saying. I have to just reap the rewards from it and just lay back and just be happy with my accomplishments.”

His views on Peter Quillin as a boxer:

“I think he’s a good fighter. You know I wouldn’t have taken the fight. As you can see I didn’t do like a lot of these old champions did. They come back and get fights with fighters who have 12 wins and 7 losses and stuff like that. I didn’t want that because I feel if I’m going to continue to fight I want to be a world champion. I’m doing this to be the world champion, not just to be fighting. After I beat Kid Chocolate I’m going for the title. There ain’t no need for all of these tune-up fights—look, he’s going to be my tune-up fight! I’m going to prove to myself if I need to be back in the ring or not.”

On whether he believes a victory against Peter Quillin would justify a title shot:

“Definitely! If I’m coming off a three year layoff to fight an undefeated kid and I whop him like I plan to, then feel that yes! I’m showing the people that I’m dedicated and I’m ready to comeback and fight for the world title. Remember I never lost my world titles. I gave them up because I moved up. You know I didn’t ever lose the world titles. I gave them up.”

On what he believes he will do that will most surprise Peter Quillin:

“Well like I said, there ain’t too many things you can do to surprise somebody. You know they watch boxing. They see your style. So the surprise is that I’m going to be in front of him and he ain’t looking at a video. See? A lot of people see videos and see this and think differently. You know it’s different when you’re face to face. When we start throwing punches he’s going to have to realize who he’s in the ring with.”

On whether there was ever any point since his fight with Paul Williams that he seriously contemplated retirement and felt that would be his last match:

“No not really. I knew when I fought Paul Williams it was a similar situation where I couldn’t get fights. It’s hard for people to really realize or understand, but for me it was really hard to get fights, but quality fights! You know I could have got fights with fighters where people knew I was going to win. So really I didn’t want to fight fights like that. I don’t want to take fights where it’s a total mismatch. For what? It ain’t doing me no good. I got almost 60 professional fights. So that’s about accomplishment. It’s about being champion and proving you still got it. That’s why like I said, I’m going to beat the kid that’s got a good record and he’s coming to fight and coming to win.”

Regarding whether he is targeting any specific champion in the event he defeats Peter Quillin:

“Well you know it’s not anyone in particular. I’m just saying right now that’s what I’m looking forward to. I’m looking forward to beating him and then going right to the championship. No I don’t know who it will be, but whoever it is they better be ready.”

His views on reigning middleweight champion Sergio Martinez:

“I really like him! I think Sergio is a very skillful smart fighter, he’s strong, and I think he’s a real tough fighter. That’s why I think a lot of people won’t fight him, because he’s got skills and he can fight!”

His views on Floyd Mayweather’s recent victory against Miguel Cotto:

“Well I think it was a good fight for both fighters. I think Floyd tried to pot shot him and do what he had to do. I think Miguel gave a great account of himself. I think it was a very close fight. When you look at the way Floyd fights you really got to see that a lot of those punches don’t land on him, but at the same time Miguel was busy and was throwing the punches. So I see how some fans want to say Miguel should have won, but I think Floyd won. But I think it was a very good competitive fight and I wouldn’t mind seeing it again.”

His views on Chad Dawson’s recent victory against Bernard Hopkins and how he feels about a matchup between Dawson and Andre Ward:

“Well once again I have to give it up to Bernard for coming and giving it a good fight. I think Chad won, but it just shows you Bernard’s what, 46-47, and still in shape and still coming to fight. I think that Chad Dawson is a very skilled boxer/fighter. I think that for him to challenge someone like Andre Ward would be a great fight, because Andre Ward is a great fighter, too! So the fans would love to see something like that. It may be hard for them to make that fight, but I think that would be a great fight for the boxing fans.”

On whether he feels Paul Williams has a chance against Saul Alvarez and whether he believes people are unfairly dismissing Williams and counting him out:

“I think people are writing him off because of how Sergio knocked him out. You know they were kind of saying his chin was suspect, and then the next fighter came behind him and hurt him and was winning the fight. But I really can’t dismiss him like that. Paul Williams is long, he’s rangy, he’s awkward, so you know Canelo is going to have to really concentrate and fight because like I said, Paul Williams is an awkward fighter.”

On whether he believes Jermain Taylor has much of a future left in the middleweight division:

“Well I see everything you just said. He’s getting caught a lot more and he’s getting hurt a lot more. I hate to say that someone needs to give it because this is what they do. I can’t tell someone not to be a fighter if he really wants to do that, but at the same time he’s got to realize there’s a life after boxing. The most important thing is your health and your family and your kids. You know you want to be able to grow up and do things with your kids. See I live in Florida so I do a lot with my kids—Disney World, Busch Gardens, and all of that kind of stuff. I enjoy that kind of stuff. Some people may not. But I know that, once again, there’s a life after boxing. So I’m trying to prepare myself for that.”

His views on why fighters like Bernard Hopkins and Antonio Tarver have had success into their 40s whereas someone like Roy Jones has not, and how he thinks that relates to himself now that he is 40:

“Well as far as Bernard Hopkins and Antonio Tarver, I think styles make fights. They had the styles that could take them into an older age where they can still be competitive and still win. Roy Jones Junior fought with speed and reflexes. When he got older those reflexes slowed down. So that fraction of a second that he used to take and slip them punches and come back and counter, he doesn’t have it like that anymore so now he’s starting to get hit with those punches he used to avoid, and that’s where I think the problem is coming in at. I have much respect for Roy Jones. He was a heck of a talent, and speed-wise the things he did in the ring. You know I just hope that when he does want to give it up, he can give it up and that he’s still healthy.”

On whether he gets any added motivation with so many critics counting him out against Peter Quillin:

“Oh definitely! Like I said, let’s put it this way—if I wasn’t 40 and if I didn’t take the three years off, Quillin wouldn’t be in the ring with me. They wouldn’t have given him the chance. They wouldn’t even put him in the ring with me because I would have murdered him. But like I said I have been out of the ring, and I am getting a little older. So they gave him a chance, and that’s cool with me! Like I said I love fighting and having something to fight for, I don’t really like to fight when everybody thinks I’m going to win the fight. You know you need that edge! You need that drive. Okay people think you ain’t going to win it. What do I got to do to go out there and win and prove them wrong? And once I do just give me my accomplishment and I’m happy!”

On how he would write the final chapters of his career given the chance to choose his own ideal storybook ending:

“The final chapter would be coming back with some great wins and then walking away from the game. Just walk away from it. I didn’t want to end my career with that loss to Paul Williams because I know there were some things I could have done and didn’t do. You know it was just hard to fight an awkward guy like that not being sharp. But other than that, like I said I’m happy about my career. I’m happy with everything I did in boxing. I wouldn’t want to change anything. Even some of the bad decisions that I got, they helped me to become a better fighter, and that’s just what it is! Like I said as far as Vargas and all of them people, that’s the game man. People think I’m always mad at Fernando Vargas for the decision. I’m not mad at him. I’m mad at the judges. He just came in there and did what he had to do. You know it’s just life. Like I said, you got ups and you got downs, and you just got to be prepared for that.”

On whether he has any regrets about his career and whether he may have done something differently:

“Not really. Honestly I really don’t think I would have done anything different. You know maybe the only thing I may have done in my last fight, I may have taken a fight before Paul Williams now because I can see my timing was a little bit off. But other than that, no! I had a great career. I won a lot of titles. I did a lot of things people thought I wouldn’t do. I became the undisputed junior middleweight champion. I fought the best, and I had the best dodge me. Oscar De La Hoya never fought me. He fought everybody else except me. I beat everybody else he fought and he still wouldn’t fight me. So how many people can say that?”

His views on the upcoming fight between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley:

“Oh man! I think that’s going to be a good fight. I think Timothy Bradley is very tough. A lot of people just know that Manny Pacquiao can fight, but you got to give Bradley a shot because he’s a tough little guy. Once again you can’t count Pacquiao out, because I did it twice! I counted Pacquiao out with De La Hoya and I counted him out with Cotto. You know he proved me wrong both times, so he kind of made me a believer.”

His official prediction for his upcoming match with Peter Quillin:

“I see me winning. I see him coming out and trying to bully and put a pace on me, and all of that. But like I said, once I get the timing down and get my movement right, slipping his punches and countering or whatever, then I’m going to destroy him. He said he’s coming to take me tomorrow. Okay! We’re going to go. He better have some oxygen because we’re going to go. I’m ready to fight.”


For those interested in listening to the Winky Wright interview in its entirety, it begins approximately sixteen minutes into the program.



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Article posted on 25.05.2012

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