Boxing


What's Next for Winky Wright?

11.08.05 - By Dino Alvarado: With a rematch between Jermain Taylor and Bernard Hopkins for middleweight supremacy set for December, perhaps the best 160-pound fighter of them all is left without a certain future. Ronald "Winky" Wright has improved an already impressive resume with dominating performances against Sugar Shane Mosley (twice) and Felix Trinidad. Due to the blockbuster rematch between Taylor and Hopkins later this year, the list of available quality opponents for Wright is incredibly thin.

Felix Sturm won't bring much money and would simply be a risk not worth taking. Kassim Ouma suffered one of the biggest upsets this year with his loss to Roman Karmazin, so he's out of the picture.

Oscar De La Hoya wants to return next year at the earliest and go down to welterweight, so he's not much of an option. Moving all the way up to super-middleweight or all the way down to welterweight may be too much of a challenge for Wright, so what can he do to stay busy?

He needs a rematch with Fernando Vargas.

Assuming he takes care of business against Javier Castillejo later this month, revenge against Vargas would bring a big pay-day and more time in the spotlight. When these two first met in December 1999, Vargas won a hard-fought majority decision against Wright. In order to win a "majority" decision, one judge had to score it a draw, so it wasn't a cakewalk by any means. Here we are, six years later. As much as Vargas has accomplished in his career (former two-time junior-middleweight champ who gave Trinidad and De La Hoya all they could handle before falling to each for his only two losses), some would say he needs to prove he hasn't lost a step due to chronic back problems. A dominating win over Raymond Joval earlier this year was a positive step in that direction, but boxing fans and analysts alike still aren't sure if he's all the way back. Another win over Winky Wright would certainly show his critics that he's still an elite fighter. As for Wright, he needs the match to keep his name in the headlines. He certainly has great wins, but Vargas is still the bigger name to mainstream boxing fans. HBO would definitely promote such a fight to a great extent, so there will be enough money involved.

The list of great match-ups is not thick enough to avoid such an offer, so a pay-per-view rematch between Winky Wright and Fernando Vargas is actually a fight they both need.

Article posted on 11.08.2005



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