154-Pound Unification Moving in the "Wright" Direction?

16.12.03 - World middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins may have more in common with Oscar De La Hoya, Fernando Vargas, et al. than originally one would think. No, no, Hopkins is not fighting De La Hoya or Vargas, but instead he has become one of them. The latest in a long line of world champions who will NOT fight IBF jr. middleweight champion WINKY WRIGHT.

“Hopkins was the closest of the three to fighting me,” said Wright. “At least Bernard was saying I would be his next fight after he defeated William Joppy…until about 10 days ago. I guess reality set in and he decided fighting me was not worth the risk, despite the fact I was willing to fight him at the middleweight limit and not at a ridiculous catch-weight. Now all I read in the papers from Bernard is he is willing to fight Oscar De Avoida or Shane Mosley at a catch-weight. Maybe I need a stronger mouthwash?”

“Winky has earned his right for a career-defining fight,” said world champion Roy Jones, Jr., Wright’s promoter. “When he beat up Fernando Vargas back in 1999 on HBO, Winky showed he belonged. Shame on Bernard Hopkins and Oscar De La Hoya for not fighting Winky. I think a fight between Winky and Shane Mosley to settle the dispute among the 154-pound division champions is a great fight for them and for the fans. I would love to promote it”

Wright, 46-3 (25 KOs), who previously held the WBO jr. middleweight title for two years, is beginning the third year of his reign as IBF jr. middleweight champion. Mosley, 39-2 (35 KOs), captured the WBC/WBA super welterweight title via a unanimous decision, September 13, in his rematch against De La Hoya.

“Shane and I can end the dispute within the jr. middleweight division by fighting each other to become the division’s first-ever undisputed champion,” continued Wright. “Neither one of us has ever been an undisputed champion. It would be historic. I think Shane has more confidence in his abilities than Oscar.”

Article posted on 16.12.2003

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