Winky Wright & Dan Birmingham Conference Call Transcript
18.04.05 - Winky: Everything is going great right now. We are training and doing a lot of boxing. We are working on a lot of different techniques and on May 14 we will be ready for it.
Article posted on 18.04.2005
Do you think your power is underrated?
Winky: yes, I think it is definitely underrated. But Iím just going to go in and win the fight. I donít have to knock him out. I can just win in ten rounds. I can definitely punch but I donít go in looking for the knockout.
Do you think youíre the strongest southpaw youíve ever fought?
Winky: Most definitely. Like I said, Tito is a middleweight now but he used to be a 147-pounder. Ití not like Tito has always been a middleweight. He happens to be tall and he put the weight on and heís a great puncher. I was at 154 and 60 is only one step up. I going to be a lot stronger and Iím going to feel a lot better..
Do you plan on staying at middleweight?
Winky: When I win I will give Tito a rematch and that will be next and I donít want to talk about anything other than that. Then after the rematch weíll see whatís out there. Iíve been fighting for a long time and Iíve been chasing these so-called best fighters in the world for a long time and now Iím getting my chance to fight them. I want to fight the best that are in my era right now.
Winky: If I lose he wonít give me a rematch, but if I win there is a rematch clause in there. Then we will look forward to what is next. De la Hoya or whoever the fans want to see. We have to go back and see who the fans want to see.
Winky: Youíll see me looking for the best fights. Iíve fought all the rest.
How do you feel at 160?
Winky: I donít have to lose the extra 6 pounds. I donít think it is a great big thing moving up to middleweight. I think Iím ready for it and May 14 I will show the world.
How confident are you?
Winky: I am very confident. Every fight Iím in I am very confident. Iím not one to say that Iím going to go out there and knock him out. All that counts is the win and thatís what Iím going out there to do.
How long do you plan to stay in boxing?
Winky: It depends. If Iím still on top and the fans want to see me fight and they are paying me well, then Iíll be there. When nobody else wants to fight, then Iíll hang them up.
Do you think if your name wasnít Winky, do you think youíd be more recognized?
Winky: I think because my name is Winky I am recognized. If the networks market you then you become a big name fighter. If they donít market you, you could be the best fighter in the world but nobody will see you or know it. Right now I donít see them giving any new contracts out but you donít get a name unless you are on the network.
How did you get the name?
Winky: My grandmother gave it to me and Iím glad she gave it to me and once people here it they never forget it. It was a nickname she gave me when I was a little kid and it just stuck. Everybody knew me as Winky and thatís how it went. I donít want to be called anything else. Champ is good too.
Winky: Excuse me. My name is Winky.
What about the face guard at the press conference?
Winky: I am going to deal with him like I deal with everybody. Tito is a great puncher and I wonít take that away from him but heís no different than anybody else. I am going to go in there and put my game plan to work. I always do that and I donít care how big a puncher he is you still have to hit me. Also heís going to be taking punches back. When he has some hard jabs coming at him, he isnít going to be able to just tee off.
What makes this fight for you so special?
Winky: When people saw Tito come back and beat Mayorga, thatís what the people want to see. I am a proven fighter no matter who you put me against I am always coming out to win. Itís been a long hard road for me and that road led to Tito. There is tow men colliding and which will be standing last? And I think it is going to be me, most definitely.
What will you capitalize on?
Winky: He looked great. I think he got hit more because he was more offensive. If you throw a lot of punches you are going to leave yourself open for punches coming back. Mayorga was too small to fight at middleweight and Tito knew he couldnít hurt him. Tito went out there and executed his game plan well. I think Tito will come out and throw a lot of punches but once he sees a lot of punches coming back and how hard they are coming back, he isnít going to be throwing that many punches. Itís going to be a great fight. Tito has been a great fighter for a long time and Iím pleased to have this chance to fight him and on May 14 Iím going to go out there and show the world.
Why do you think it took so long to get these fights?
Winky: Because nobody wanted to fight me because they couldnít gain from it. I didnít have the title and Iím a tough fighter and they may lose the fight. Thatís why I got to get back to number one because I fought whoever was there. I never got a fighter to fight me unless I was his mandatory. All the times I had titles I was the number one contender. All the other fighters could be taken lightly and they could give them a chance when they were number ten because they knew they could beat them. For me nobody ever gave me a chance and I took every chance I got. Itís been a long time for me to get to where I am at, and the networks have their favorites and thatís cool. But Iím here now and thatís cool.
Is it your style?
Gary Shaw: Winky might be the best fighter at his weight in his generation. He hasnít lost in five plus years. Heís only been down in one fight in his whole career. Winkyís not a guy with a lot of excuses but it had to do with his shoes and the type of canvas in South Africa. People donít fight Winky because Winky is too tough. Thatís the answer.
Winky: Iíve been in training camp for about a month and a half. Iíve been training with Carlos DeLeone and some other sparring partners here and there but Carlos has been my main sparring partner.
Dan, how did you go about developing the plan against Tito:
Birmingham: I have been studying Tito Trinidad hoping for this fight since he was a welterweight. I have been studying tapes, mainly the first half of the de la Hoya fight. And the second half fight of the Hopkins fight. I think that is the blue print to beat this guy. Itís very simple. Iím not to worried about what Tito is going to do. We are working on Winkyís strength and what he is capable of. We want to make him as sharp as he can be and the rest will come natural. Afew moves here and a few moves there, basically to make Winky the best that he can be.
It is very exciting but I think Tito Trinidad is just another fighter along the way. It is the 52nd fighter that we have to get rid of and thatís it, although I do respect Tito Trinidad.
Winky: The majority of the people know that I won those fights. Even though I lost, the people still come up to me and say you beat Vargas. I beat him enough that everybody knows that even though I didnít get it from the judges and we know how the judges are. It is about the fans and if Tito wins a decision like that, the fans are going to demand that they see the fight again. I am going to go out and prove to the world on May 14th and if they somehow give him the fight and I know that I won effectively, I am going to prove that I am man about the money situation but in my eye I will know I have won.
I want the best fights for the people. We want to give them what they want to see and if thatís what they want to see. They want that fight between Bernard and Jermain so I think thatís going to be a great fight. Jermain is looking very good but hasnít been tested but weíll se in that fight. Bernard is going to go out there and impose his will on him early and weíll se what happens.
What does it take Dan?
Birmingham: Itís a long tough hard road, I can tell you that right now. We started Winky on day one and traveled all over the world. It hasnít been easy but we enjoyed every part of it. Within a few months we realize if a kid has the coordination and a big heart and stuff like that. Iíve been training Winky for almost 18 years. I started out as an amateur in 1968 and been in the game ever since. I started training guys in 1988.
Winky: Tito will be in great shape. Even though Tito has great skills, I feel that I have way more skills than Tito. He only knows one way to fight and thatís it. With me, I can box, I can fight inside and I can do what it takes. I have more skills, but Tito always comes in great condition and he tries to outlast his opponent. So we are going to come in great condition. I am not going to see how hard he can hit. Iím going to be in there outthinking him and outboxing him. I will beat him round-by-round and once I do I will get inside and hurt him. This is the fight everybody wants to see and Iíve been waiting for my whole career and we will be ready to put it on.
Gary Shaw: Winky is a natural 154 pounder. Tito beat Mayorga, who is and 147-pounder. Thatís Winky and heís not going to stand out there with chin and say Iím a golf ball, try to tee off on this one.
Winky: I love the action and I love to outthink the man and thatís what is going to happen on May 14th.
Will you take more risks?
Winky: I am going to go out there and give the fans what they want to see. When I go out there I will do everything Iíve got to do and win. Those other guys are great fighters but I can beat them with the jab and a little movement. I will pull out all the tricks in my bag. With Tito I will have to do everything and thatís what Iím looking forward to.
We have to give Tito credit for his heart. For his will to prove that he is the best. He came back and said Tito can fight anybody and people will come and see it. Tito wants to prove that he is the best and heís proving that heís one of the great fighters that ever lived. I take my hat off to him for that. I think I am the better fighter and Tito and I should have fought each other a while back, but he moved to middleweight and I missed out again. This is now the time and I will prove that Winky Wright is one of the best fighters.
Why did you move to Las Vegas?
Winky: I needed to get away and really focus. St. Pete is great but it is really hard to focusPR: because everywhere you go people want to talk about how you are going to do this and do that. I had to come out to Vegas where I could train hard and focus.
Birmingham: DeLeoneís Style is perfect for him. Heís probably bigger and stronger than Tito. Heís giving us great work and heís done a great job for us.
How close will you be watching the wrapping of Titoís hands?
Birmingham: We are going to watch the hand-wrapping with a magnifying glass. Making sure along with the Las Vegas commission, the great commission. Iím not going to worry about his hands here in Vegas because the commission here will make sure that his hands a wrapped properly.
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