Boxing

Is Winky Wright The Mirror Image Of Mike McCallum?

20.07.05 - By Jim Amato: What was the worst thing that could happen to stall the upswing of Winky Wright's career? Answer: Jermain Taylor beating Bernard Hopkins for the undisputed middlweight championship of the world. After Winky terrorized Felix Trinidad, he seemed like the only one capable of giving Bernard a fight. Enter Jermain Taylor. Taylor's win will lead to a rematch that is being rumored to take place in October.

Say Bernard wins that one, more then likely there will be a rubber match. If Bernard wins the third fight he may move up to 175 pounds to challenge Antonio Tarver. He will also be calling out Roy Jones Jr. If this scenario takes place, Winky will be in a wheel chair before he gets his well deserved crack at the middleweight crown.

Now if Taylor beats Bernard in the return match, will he take Hopkins a third time ? Will he fight Felix Sturm? Will he entertain the challenge of Winky Wright?

Winky's plight takes me back to the early and mid- 1980's. There was a tough and highly respected boxer who was looking for fame and fortune. He was willing to fight the best to prove himself but the big fight never came off. His name was Mike McCallum. He was not a flashy fighter but he was strong and crafty. He was a great body puncher thus earning him the nick name "the Body Snatcher". Yes he nearly decapitated Donald Curry and he stopped Milton McCrory. Yet the names he longed for the most, Leonard, Hearns, Duran and even Hagler failed to appear on his dance card. What a shame, what great fights we as fans may have been treated too.

Later in his career Mike would have some memorable bouts with James Toney and a prime Roy Jones Jr. Mike peaked though in the early eighties when so many greats roamed the ratings. Although Mike McCallum is enshrined in the Boxing Hall Of Fame, he never really had the career defining bout with Leonard, Hearns or Duran that would have launched his legacy.

Now fast forward to 2005. Up to this point Winky Wright has twice defeated Sugar Shane Mosley and had out foxed the feared Felix Trinidad. He has called out Oscar De La Hoya for years without being granted a bout with "The Golden Boy." Then after beating Trinidad he was a force to be reckoned with. Then Taylor topples king Bernard and again Winky is forced to play the game he has mastered in his wonderful career. The waiting game.

My question is, has Winky Wright become the Mike McCallum of this era?

Article posted on 21.07.2005



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