Winky Wright: A Victim of Circumstance?

15.08.05 - By Vernon Mcnicholas: If there’s a number one fighter out there right now for just about everybody it’s got to be Ronald “Winky” Wright but you have to feel very sorry for him now because of the apparently signed, sealed and delivered rematch between Taylor and Hopkins on December 3rd. Wright is in the impossible position that at 34, he has no where to go in the wake of this rematch being made.

He’s fought basically all the people worth a damn in the light middleweight division (other than perhaps Roman Karmazin, Ricardo Mayorga, and Kasim Ouma) with possibly only a rematch of his own with Vargas (one of only three people to beat Wright and that was by majority decision) or possibly a match up with the recently returned Vernon Forrest left for him at that weight, but that could take months with Forrest not in any position at this time to be thrown in with an skilful boxer like Wright. De La Hoya won’t be back until sometime next year, and at Wright’s age, he can’t really afford to wait around for the “Golden Boy” to decide when he’s going to lace them up again.

The only other option I can see for him is to get in there with Mosley again, and what’s the point of that? He’s already got two wins in the column against him, so there’s no reason why he needs to that unless he’s desperate for the money.

Like I said previously, you really got to feel sorry for the guy. It seems the worst thing he ever did was move up to 160 and finish off Trinidad, because in ending his career, he may just have put a death nail in his own.

Hopkins vs. Taylor was a controversial fight in some people’s eyes, but to me it wasn’t. B-hop simply gave up far too many early rounds and waited too long to put on his spurt on. Even in the later rounds, they were hard to score it for Hopkins because it was so close. The thing is, Wright will not be the first or last fighter to be left in limbo by rematch clauses in contracts and for me, it stinks.

These clauses should not be allowed by the governing bodies of boxing in the sense that the rematch should be for the belt and not straight away. In no other sport I know, can the champion get a clause that allows him to get back in the ring for the same belt-or world championship before anyone else gets there hard earned shot. Now some people will say that Hopkins held those belts for 20 defences and has earned the right to have a rematch to get them back but I say why? What gives him the divine right to always be next in line? Has he put more into his career than Wright? Hopkins lost the belts fairly and that’s his problem. He would have likely had to fight Wright next if had he beaten Taylor (that is, assuming Hopkins didn’t move up). In which case, Wright would probably have fought one of the top 5 contenders for one of the vacant titles.

My point here is that Wright was next in line in every scenario I can think of, except a Taylor win, so why should Winky have to sit it out? In my opinion, Taylor should be made to fight Wright and the winner between the two of them gets Hopkins. In that way, Hopkins gets his shot at the belts. However, that will never happen now and why? Like I said, right now there’s only one fighter that’s wrong for everybody, and that’s Ronald ‘Winky’ Wright, and until the governing bodies get a hold of this rematch clause thing and stop fighters from giving themselves an out in case they lose, we’ll always see the fighters avoid fighter that are too risky to take a chance on fighting. The boxing public suffers as well, because they are forced to see the same fighters fight over and over again, which takes the excitement out of boxing, in my opinion. I think this who rematch clause thing leaves an opening for possible abuse.

If Hopkins wants to avenge his loss against Taylor, then that’s his choice and he has a right to chase that, but not at the expense of the career of the more deserving and talented fighter, be it Wright or anyone else.

Article posted on 16.08.2005

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