“Sugar” Shane And "Winky": Both Hall of Fame-Bound?

By James Slater - Fans have read by now that both “Sugar” Shane Mosley and Ronald “Winky” Wright have decided to call it quits in their excellent careers; both men announcing their decision to walk away at the age of 40. No-one will disagree with the logic both special fighters have applied, as both former champs had been on the slide for some time.

It was back in January of 2009 when Mosley put on his last great performance, brutally stopping Mexican warrior Antonio Margarito in the 9th-round of what was an upset.. While Wright’s last good showing came back in December of 2006, when the gifted southpaw widely out-pointed Ike Quartey. Both fighters carried on after their big wins, and it took Mosley’s one-sided (but exciting) loss to new star Saul Alvarez along with Wright’s weekend loss to Peter Quillin to persuade the pair to hang ‘em up.

Now that both men have fought their last, the debate will begin over just how great Mosley and Wright (who shared the ring together on two occasions, with Winky’s skills having the edge both times) were. After the necessary five years of retirement have passed, will both guys get the call to give an induction speech at Canastota as they become immortalised with all the other superb Hall of Famers? For what it’s worth, I’d vote a big yes for both guys.

Mosley is one of the best light-weights of recent years, his speed and power allowing him to win nine IBF title fights at 135. Mosley never lost as a lightweight and it’s possible, had he not gone after the big money at welterweight - where he managed a truly big win over Oscar De La Hoya - he would have stayed there and kept his perfect record for a long number of years.

Mosley also picked up big wins as a 154-pounder: his rematch win over De La Hoya most noticeably. Then dropping back down to 147 to destroy Margarito, Mosley’s losses to the late Vernon Forrest, to Wright, to Miguel Cotto (a close decision loss), to Floyd Mayweather, to Manny Pacquiao and to Alvarez should not be held too strongly against him. Mosley was considerably past his best by the time of his last three defeats. At 46-8-1(39) and for all he did at 135 and 147-pounds, Mosley deserves to go into The Hall.

As for Wright, he reigned for years and years at his natural 154-pounds. Winning four fights that contested the WBO crown and then an impressive five bouts that contested the IBF title, and then two fights that were for the unified WBC/WBA and IBF titles, Winky beat notable fighters such as: Mosley (twice) and then Felix Trinidad and Quartey up at middleweight. Winky also boxed a draw with unbeaten middleweight king Jermain Taylor, in June of 2006.

Forced to take his show on the road in the earlier days of his career, due to his tricky, formidable style making it tough for Wright to get the big fights, the southpaw finally got his big break in late 1999; losing (some say Winky was robbed) a majority decision to Fernando Vargas. As with Mosley, the last three defeats on Wright’s record (to Bernard Hopkins, when Winky was way above his natural weight class at 170, Paul Williams and Quillin) should not be held against him. In his prime, the only time that really matters when judging any fighter, Wright more than made his mark

As with Sugar, you can put Wright, 51-6-1(25) right in The Hall on the first ballot!

Article posted on 04.06.2012

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