Wright Wins Ugly Decision Over Soliman

11.12.05 - By Ryan Laming: Last night as I was preparing to watch what I thought was only the Jermain Taylor and Bernard Hopkins II bout, I was pleasantly surprised to see a special HBO broadcast featuring also Winky Wright and "King" Soliman. I fought my way through the scoring of the first fight, and was shocked by what came next. I expected to see a very technical dismantling of an Australian whose name only vaguely registered in my consciousness..

I’d read all the pre-fight commentaries of the experts and so was expecting him to fall without much struggle as Wright set himself up for a superfight with Jermain Taylor. So much for expert predictions.

Sam Soliman came out of his corner like a man possessed. His technique was impetuous as he twisted in all angles to unleash barrage after barrage of punches on the hyper-defensive Wright. Soliman was unrelenting in his attack and in the beginning I laughed like everyone else and figured Soliman would be dead tired by the fifth round at the latest if he tried to maintain pace. Regardless of conditioning, throwing that many punches with that much movement should spell disaster in the course of a long distance fight. So much for another expert prediction.

Interesting to me was hearing the HBO commentary regarding scoring. Near the beginning they were all about giving points to the man who does the most damage. However, they were quick to sing a different tune once it became clear that Wright was the one with the swelling. Soliman seemed to me to have taken very little visible damage. Suddenly the commentary turned to how Wright was blocking most of the shots and not actually sustaining any harm. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m almost positive I saw Winky take many strong uppercuts and it seemed also that the looping punches Soliman was throwing were connecting not only to Winky’s arms, but also to his sides.

I think if you remove the aura of Winky being a superfighter, not only the commentary of the fight, but also the scoring, might have been quite different. I personally scored the bout 116-113 for Sam Soliman. When I heard the scoring 117-110 my mouth dropped. That is highway robbery. The judge must have been watching another fight, because I can see no way to score the fight that lopsided for either fighter, much less Winky Wright.

I hold full respect for Winky and I understand that he’s had a difficult time gaining recognition from the public and the boxing community throughout his career, but if he moves past Soliman and denies him a rematch, it is essentially ducking the man. Sam Soliman deserves a rematch, he fought his heart out and did much more damage to Winky than many other top fighters have been able to do. Moving on to fight Jermain Taylor without finishing his business with Soliman would be a weak play, motivated either only by lust for money or fear itself. Certainly not the mark of a Champion. If Winky wants that title he’ll have to finish the King.

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Article posted on 12.12.2005

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