Winky Wright

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Winky Wright
Statistics
Real name Ronald Lamont Wright
Nickname(s) Winky
Rated at Light-middleweight
Middleweight
Height 5 ft 10 12 in (1.79 m)
Reach 72 in (183 cm)
Nationality United States American
Born (1971-11-26) 26 November 1971 (age 42)
Washington, D.C., United States
Stance Southpaw
Boxing record
Total fights 58
Wins 51
Wins by KO 25
Losses 6
Draws 1

Ronald Lamont "Winky" Wright (born November 26, 1971) is an American former boxer. During his professional career he was recognized as the undisputed champion at light-middleweight, and fought many notable world champions including Shane Mosley, Félix Trinidad, Jermain Taylor, Ike Quartey, Fernando Vargas, Bernard Hopkins and Paul Williams. Wright announced his retirement from boxing on June 4, 2012, following a loss to Peter Quillin.[1]

Amateur career[edit]

After an amateur career that saw him accumulate an amateur record of 65-7 (even though most sources say 52-5 because they couldn't confirm the exact number of amateur fights that Wright had)[citation needed] he turned professional in 1990.

Professional career[edit]

Early years[edit]

After his second-round knockout of Carlos Santana on July 30, 1992, in St. Petersburg, Florida, the ring announcer called him "Winky" Wright, the name given to him by his grandmother when he was 6 months old and that had unofficially stuck with him since he was 18 months old. The nickname stuck with him for the rest of his career following his win over Santana.

Big time promoters like Don King and Lou Duva would not promote Wright in the early part of his career. His first big time promoters were the French based Acaries brothers, who struck a deal for Wright to fight Darryl Lattimore in Luxembourg on January 1, 1993. Wright knocked Lattimore down three times, and the fight was stopped. Wright went on a tear during his tour of Europe, winning 8 straight in France, Germany, Monte Carlo, only fighting in the United States once over the next year.

First title shot[edit]

On August 21, 1994, Wright received his first title match against WBA light-middleweight champion Julio César Vásquez in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, France. Although he was 25–0 at the time, Wright had not fought in a match that had gone more than 8 rounds. His inexperience showed as Winky lost a unanimous decision, with Vasquez knocking down Wright in the second, seventh and ninth rounds, as well as twice in the twelfth round (Wright also officially slipped 3 times during the fight and 4 times unofficially). However, the decision proved controversial, as Vasquez only won the fight on the knock-downs he scored (with Wright appearing to win every round (except the third round, which appeared to be even) that Vasquez didn't knock him down in) and that the knock-down (which was the first knock-down) in the second round was a controversial variation of a slip (the one unofficial slip in the fight), which would mean that if it wasn't controversially ruled a knock-down, Wright would've narrowly won the fight on the scorecards (on a one-point margin): 112-111.

However though on February 4, 1995, Wright would bounce back in his typical fashion, defeating Tony Marshall by unanimous decision to win the vacant NABF light-middleweight title.

Ongoing world tour and winning the WBO title[edit]

Wright continued fighting in Europe, only fighting in the United States once, until his unanimous decision victory against Andrew Council on March 5, 1996. His impressive win opened the door to fight WBO light-middleweight champion Bronco McKart, a fight Wright won by split decision. Wright successfully defend his title in England three times; twice in Manchester against local fighters Ensley Bingham and Steve Foster, and Adrian Dodson in London.

Wright then traveled to South Africa where he lost his world title in controversial circumstances to the undefeated Harry Simon. After a very close contest the fight was initially ruled a draw, then minutes later changed to a majority decision win for Simon due to an apparent scoring error.

Moving to America[edit]

He stopped working with the Acaries brothers in 1999, stating that he was tired of all the travelling. He went on to knock out Derrick Graham in the third round in Miami, Florida. Wright then challenged IBF light-middleweight champion Fernando Vargas. Although some ringside fans and members of the media felt that Wright had won the fight, Vargas ended up winning a controversial majority decision. Harold Lederman (a ringside boxing broadcaster for HBO whose job is to unofficially score fights) scored the bout 115-113, for Wright.

Wright continued to defend the NABF and won the USBA light-middleweight title in another decision over Bronco McKart.

IBF champion[edit]

Félix Trinidad's jump to the middleweight division left the IBF light-middleweight title vacant. Wright scored a unanimous decision over Robert Frazier on October 12, 2001 to win the vacant title. In his first defense on February 2, 2002, Wright stopped Jason Papillion in the fifth round. He took a third fight against Bronco McKart, which ended in controversy as the referee disqualified McKart for repeated low blows in the 8th round.

For Wright's next fight, Oscar De La Hoya offered to fight him. However because of the lack of money The Golden Boy was willing to give Wright for the fight, the deal fell through and Oscar fought Luis Ramon Campas for the WBA/WBC titles. Wright went on to debut on National Television Las Vegas against Juan Carlos Candelo on March 1, 2003 in a title defense, winning a unanimous decision. He followed that up with another blowout victory over Angel Hernandez 8 months later.

Wright vs. Mosley I & II[edit]

To the surprise of many, including Wright, Shane Mosley challenged Winky to a light-middleweight unification title fight on March 13, 2004. Mosley was a celebrated fighter coming off his second win against Oscar De La Hoya and was looking for a tune-up fight to prepare for a super fight with Felix Trinidad. Shane had stated that he wanted to fight the winner of the fight between Wright and Angel Hernandez. Wright, being the winner, earned a fight with Shane Mosley. Wright was a 4 to 1 underdog against Mosley. During the fight, Wright pressed his will early on and discouraged Mosley with his size, effective jabbing and defense. Winky won a lopsided unanimous decision, unifying his IBF title with Mosley's Lineal/The Ring/WBC/WBA titles.

The rematch took place on November 20, 2004. This fight was much closer because Winky deliberately gave away some of the rounds and even dropped his hands in one round, in order to show that Mosley couldn't hurt him. Two judges scored 115–113 for Wright and one judge scored the bout a draw. Wright was awarded the majority decision, which despite Wright blatantly giving away a few of the rounds, was still a decisive victory in his favour. Soon after, Wright would vacate his titles to move up to the middleweight division to challenge Felix Trinidad.[2][3][4]

Wright vs. Trinidad[edit]

On May 14, 2005, with Wright once again playing the underdog role, he easily defeated Félix Trinidad by unanimous decision. Wright credits this fight as his greatest achievement in his career as he earned the respect and fan base of many that Felix Trinidad had behind him. Trinidad was a fan favorite and a feared power puncher and many figured he would be able to knock Wright out. But Wright's signature style defence and piston-like jab was too much for the Puerto Rican hero as Trinidad was having trouble landing punches throughout the fight (Two judges scored the fight 119–108 and one judge scored it 120–107).[5] As a result of his dominant victory over such a highly regarded opponent, many placed Wright among the top pound-for-pound boxers in the world. His victory would send Trinidad into his second retirement for three years.

Trinidad-Wright was also a WBC middleweight eliminator, giving Wright a shot at undisputed middleweight champion Jermain Taylor for his titles.

Middleweight title shot[edit]

After winning a unanimous decision over Sam Soliman in December 2005,[6] Wright faced off against undisputed middleweight champion Jermain Taylor on June 17, 2006, at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee for the Lineal/The Ring/WBC/WBO titles. In a very close fight, the match was ruled a draw. Two judges scored the bout 115–113 for each fighter, while the final judge scored it 114–114.[7] Both camps attempted at negotiating a rematch, but talks failed after neither side could agree on how to split the money—a problem attributed to Wright's insistence on parity and Taylor's reluctance to give 50 percent to a challenger.

Wright returned to defeat Ike Quartey at middleweight by a unanimous twelve round decision at St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, Florida in December 2006. Two judges scored the fight 117-110, and one had the bout 117-109, all for Wright.

Hopkins vs Wright[edit]

Wright's next fight came against Bernard Hopkins at a catch weight of 170 pounds on July 21, 2007. The bout aired on HBO pay-per-view. In the early rounds of the fight, there was no love lost as Hopkins outpointed Wright until a clash of heads (ruled unintentional) by Hopkins left a deep gash over Wright's eyebrow leading to Wright becoming the aggressor in the fight. Now fighting with a sense of urgency, Wright gave problems due to his tight defense guarding the cut and landing combinations from the outside. Hopkins seemed to stick through the pressure and land flush combinations targeting the bloody eye. Hopkins won via unanimous decision on the judges' score cards (116–112, 117–111, 117–111).[8]

It was Winky's first loss in 8 years. In the post-fight interview, Wright was asked why he took the fight. He responded by saying, "I wanted to show everybody that I'm the best fighter out there, regardless of weight. If I fight the best, then I'll be the best."

Winky Wright ended a 21-month layoff when he faced former welterweight title holder Paul Williams in a middleweight bout at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas in April 2009. Wright lost via decision. Two judges scored the bout 119-109 for Williams while the 3rd judge scored the bout 120-108 for Williams. Wright won only the 5th round on two judges cards, while the 3rd judge scored all the rounds for Paul Williams.

After a 3-year hiatus from boxing, Wright was expected to face Peter Quillin on May 26, 2012, but the date was changed to June 2, 2012 in order to satisfy the California State Athletic Commission. Quillin defeated Wright via a ten round unanimous decision. Wright announced his retirement shortly after the fight.

Later years[edit]

After several failed attempts to stay active after the one-sided sweep by Paul "The Punisher" Williams, Wright decided to get surgery on his knee during his inactivity, in the summer of 2010. Wright's most recent attempts were to get fights with Middleweight Champion Sergio Martinez, who knocked out Paul Williams, and also a 160 lb. fight with Kelly Pavlik. He, however, successfully landed a fight with contender Grady Brewer on December 11, 2009 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Winky Wright and Grady Brewer were ready and set to do battle until weeks before the fight, the promoters shut the PPV matchup down due to poor ticket sales.

On November 16, 2010, it surfaced on the internet that Wright's grandmother, Mary Dorsey, had died on November 3. When asked to give his thoughts on what had happened, Winky credited his grandmother for everything he had accomplished during his boxing career, in which he primarily stated that he wouldn't have been world champion if it wasn't for her. After the new year of 2011, Wright came out and gave his side and strategies to the Super Fight between Shane Mosley and Manny Pacquiao. During the interview, he also stated that he'll be coming back to fight on April 9 on the undercard of Marques-Morales against Matthew Macklin. Although it was not a title fight, both fighters have hopes that with the win over each other, they would have a shot at the Middleweight Champion Sergio Martinez at 160 lbs. Once again, weeks before the PPV the fight had to be canceled due to an injury to Winky's right hand.

Shortly after the showdown between Bernard Hopkins and Chad Dawson was made, it was stated that Dawson would not be working with trainer Emanuel Steward and instead would work with his previous trainer John Scully. Wright, being a good friend of Dawson's, offered to help him on his upcoming fight while getting him into physical shape. He stated in a brief, short interview, "No, I'm not a trainer and I'm not training Dawson. The fighting part of my career isn't even over, why would I want to start training? I'm just there to give advice and pointers to Dawson. Help him prepare for Hopkins and his dirty tactics. Hopkins is a dirty fighter." In an October interview, he stated that he will once again be coming back stating, "The junior middleweight division is full of people that call themselves champions when they ain't fought nobody. I'm coming back to take what's rightfully mine." He also stated that he'd made a mistake with just coming back and taking on a fighter like Paul Williams. He confirmed that he's going to take a couple tune-up fights hoping to grab one by December. He also, in the interview, he expressed interest in fighting WBA Light Middleweight Champion Miguel Cotto, WBC Light Middleweight Champion Saul Alvarez and The Ring Middleweight Champion Sergio Martinez in the future.

Life outside the ring[edit]

Wright has appeared in music videos for Busta Rhymes' "Touch It Remix" (feat. Mary J. Blige, Missy, Rah Digga, Lloyd Banks, Papoose, DMX) 50 Cent's "Outta Control Remix" (feat. Mobb Deep) Jamie Foxx's "DJ Play a Love Song" (feat. Twista) and 2 Pistols's "She Got It" (feat. T-Pain). He also appeared briefly in the cult hit State Property 2 along with Dame Dash and Beanie Sigel.

Wright has previously entered into ventures and endorsements with brands such as Reebok, Vitamin Water, Rocawear, State Property and 2(x)ist men's underwear among many others[citation needed]. Through these partnerships, Wright has appeared in television commercials and ad campaigns around New York City and in Men's Fitness, Men's Health, VIBE and VIBE VixeN magazines.

He currently owns an independent record label, Pound 4 Pound Records, also based in St. Petersburg. The label consists of a talent roster which covers genres of music from rock & roll to hip hop.

Winky now has his own promotion company called Winky Wright Promotions.

Winky Wright got married to Sayquana Barney on August 1, 2009. Winky often participates in charity events, in which he also has his own charity event called Winky Wright Foundation which gives him the opportunity to give back to the community. He currently resides in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Winky Wright has recently been spotted in the Michael Jordan 10th Annual Celebrity Invitational Golf Tournament with other stars like John Smoltz, Ken Griffey Jr., Penny Hardaway, Larry David, among others.

Professional boxing record[edit]

51 Wins (25 KOs), 6 Losses, 1 Draw[9]
Res. Record Opponent Type Round,
Time
Date Location Notes
Loss 51-6-1 United States Peter Quillin UD 10 2012-06-02 United States The Home Depot Center, Carson, California
Loss 51-5-1 United States Paul Williams UD 12 2009-04-11 United States Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
Loss 51-4-1 United States Bernard Hopkins UD 12 2007-07-21 United States Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada Fight at 170-pound catch weight.
Win 51-3-1 Ghana Ike Quartey UD 12 2006-12-02 United States St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, Florida
Draw 50-3-1 United States Jermain Taylor PTS 12 2006-06-17 United States FedEx Forum, Memphis, Tennessee For Lineal/WBC/WBO/The Ring middleweight titles.
Win 50–3 Australia Sam Soliman UD 12 2005-12-10 United States Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Connecticut WBC/IBF middleweight eliminator.
Win 49–3 Puerto Rico Félix Trinidad UD 12 2005-05-14 United States MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada WBC middleweight eliminator.
Win 48–3 United States Shane Mosley MD 12 2004-11-20 United States Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada Retained Lineal/WBC/WBA(Super)/The Ring light-middleweight titles.
Win 47–3 United States Shane Mosley UD 12 2004-03-13 United States Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada Retained IBF, & won /WBC/WBA(Super)/Lineal/The Ring light-middleweight titles.
Win 46–3 Mexico Angel Hernandez UD 12 2003-11-08 United States Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada Retained IBF light-middleweight title.
Win 45–3 Colombia Juan Carlos Candelo UD 12 2003-03-01 United States Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada Retained IBF light-middleweight title.
Win 44–3 United States Bronco McKart DQ 9 (12),
2:33
2002-09-07 United States Rose Garden, Portland, Oregon Retained IBF light-middleweight title.
Win 43–3 United States Jason Papillion TKO 5 (12),
2:44
2002-02-02 United States American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida Retained IBF light-middleweight title.
Win 42–3 United States Robert Frazier UD 12 2001-10-12 United States Fantasy Springs Casino, Indio, California Won vacant IBF light-middleweight title.
Win 41–3 United States Keith Mullings UD 12 2000-12-16 United States Lawrence Convention Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Retained NABF/USBA light-middleweight titles.
Win 40–3 United States Bronco McKart UD 12 2000-09-09 United States Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort, Chester, West Virginia Won NABF & vacant USBA
light-middleweight titles.
IBF light-middleweight eliminator.
Loss 39–3 United States Fernando Vargas MD 12 1999-12-04 United States Chinook Winds Casino, Lincoln City, Oregon For IBF light-middleweight title.
Win 39–2 United States Derrick Graham KO 3 (12) 1999-03-27 United States Jai Alai Fronton, Miami, Florida IBF light-middleweight eliminator.
Loss 38–2 Namibia Harry Simon MD 12 1998-08-22 South Africa Carousel Hotel & Casino, Temba, North West Lost WBO light-middleweight title.
Win 38–1 United Kingdom Adrian Dodson TKO 6 (12),
3:00
1997-12-19 United Kingdom New London Arena, Millwall, London Retained WBO light-middleweight title.
Win 37–1 United Kingdom Steve Foster TKO 6 (12),
2:52
1997-05-03 United Kingdom Nynex Arena, Manchester Retained WBO light-middleweight title.
Win 36–1 United Kingdom Ensley Bingham UD 12 1996-11-09 United Kingdom Nynex Arena, Manchester Retained WBO light-middleweight title.
Win 35–1 United States Bronco McKart SD 12 1996-05-17 United States Glen Stock Arena, Monroe, Michigan Won WBO light-middleweight title.
Win 34–1 United States Andrew Council UD 12 1996-03-05 United States Scope Arena, Norfolk, Virginia Retained NABF light-middleweight title.
Win 33–1 France Jean Paul D'Alessandro UD 8 1996-01-06 France Levallois-Perret, Hauts-de-Seine
Win 32–1 Nigeria Young Dick Tiger TKO 9 (10) 1995-10-23 United States Great Western Forum, Inglewood, California
Win 31–1 United States Anthony Ivory UD 12 1995-08-23 France La Palestre, Le Cannet, Alpes-Maritimes Retained NABF light-middleweight title.
Win 30–1 United States Larry LaCoursiere TKO 1 (?) 1995-07-25 France Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Pyrénées-Atlantiques
Win 29–1 France Leon Cessiron PTS 6 1995-04-11 France La Palestre, Le Cannet, Alpes-Maritimes
Win 28–1 United States Anthony Ivory PTS 8 1995-04-01 France La Palestre, Le Cannet, Alpes-Maritimes
Win 27–1 Guyana Tony Marshall UD 12 1995-02-04 France Beziers, Hérault Won vacant NABF light-middleweight title.
Win 26–1 Argentina Ernesto Rafael Sena RTD 2 (10),
3:00
1994-11-11 Argentina Club Caja Popular, San Miguel, Tucuman
Loss 25–1 Argentina Julio Cesar Vasquez UD 12 1994-08-21 France Jai Alai, Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Pyrénées-Atlantiques For WBA light-middleweight title.
Win 25–0 Venezuela Orlando Orozco TKO 1 (8) 1994-06-04 France Palais Marcel Cerdan, Levallois-Perret, Hauts-de-Seine
Win 24–0 Armando Herrera KO 1 (8) 1994-03-19 France Levallois-Perret, Hauts-de-Seine
Win 23–0 United States Tony McCrimmion TKO 5 (?) 1993-12-04 France Palais Marcel Cerdan, Levallois-Perret, Hauts-de-Seine
Win 22–0 Colombia Gilberto Barreto TKO 2 (10) 1993-10-16 France Palais Marcel Cerdan, Levallois-Perret, Hauts-de-Seine
Win 21–0 United States Leon Rouse KO 1 (8) 1993-08-21 Monaco Salle des etoiles, Levallois-Perret, Monte Carlo
Win 20–0 United States James Stokes KO 1 (8),
1:20
1993-05-28 United States Punta Gorda, Florida
Win 19–0 United States Eric Holland UD 8 1993-03-20 Germany Philips Halle, Düsseldorf, Nordrhein-Westfalen
Win 18–0 United States Roland Commings UD 8 1993-01-31 France Levallois-Perret, Hauts-de-Seine
Win 17–0 United States Darryl Lattimore TKO 1 (8),
2:31
1993-01-02 Luxembourg Differdange, Luxembourg
Win 16–0 United States Carlos Santana TKO 2 (10),
2:53
1992-07-30 United States Hyatt Regency, Tampa, Florida
Win 15–0 United States Delfino Marin TKO 1 (10),
2:07
1992-05-28 United States Sun Dome, Tampa, Florida
Win 14–0 United States Mike Howard TKO 4 (8) 1992-03-27 United States Sun Dome, Tampa, Florida
Win 13–0 United States Persephone Van Reenen TKO 3 (?) 1992-02-28 United States Sun Dome, Tampa, Florida
Win 12–0 United States Lennell Strohman UD 6 1991-12-13 United States Sun Dome, Tampa, Florida
Win 11–0 United States Gary McCall RTD 1 (6) 1991-11-15 United States Sun Dome, Tampa, Florida
Win 10–0 United States Glenn Major TKO 2 (6) 1991-10-18 United States Sun Dome, Tampa, Florida
Win 9–0 United States Jeff Johnson UD 6 1991-09-17 United States Marriott World Center, Orlando, Florida
Win 8–0 Colombia Edison Martinez TKO 1 (?) 1991-08-30 United States Orlando, Florida
Win 7–0 United States Rocky Fabrizio UD 6 1991-08-13 United States Hyatt Regency, Tampa, Florida
Win 6–0 United States Lorenzo Bouie UD 6 1991-07-26 United States Hyatt Regency, Tampa, Florida
Win 5–0 United States Glenn Major TKO 4 (6) 1991-03-29 United States Tampa Convention Center, Tampa, Florida
Win 4–0 United States Stedroy Bolus TKO 3 (4) 1991-01-25 United States Diplomat Hotel, Hollywood, Florida
Win 3–0 United States Tony Graham TKO 2 (?) 1990-12-14 United States Diplomat Hotel, Hollywood, Florida
Win 2–0 United States Christopher Conrad TKO 1 (?) 1990-11-28 United States Hyatt Regency, Tampa, Florida, United States
Win 1–0 United States Anthony Salerno UD 4 1990-10-16 United States Hyatt Regency, Tampa, Florida Professional debut.

Achievements[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Bronco McKart
WBO Light Middleweight Champion
May 17, 1996 – August 22, 1998
Succeeded by
Harry Simon
Vacant
Title last held by
Félix Trinidad
IBF Light Middleweight Champion
October 12, 2001 – April 19, 2004
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Verno Phillips
Vacant
Title last held by
Koichi Wajima
Undisputed Light Middleweight Champion
March 13, 2004 – April 19, 2004
Titles fractured
Vacant
Preceded by
Shane Mosley
WBC Light Middleweight Champion
March 13, 2004 – March 5, 2005
Vacated
Succeeded by
Javier Castillejo
Interim Champion promoted
WBA Light Middleweight Super Champion
March 13, 2004 – March 20, 2005
Vacated
Succeeded by
Travis Simms
as Champion
The Ring Light Middleweight Champion
March 13, 2004 - March 20, 2005
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Saúl Álvarez

Filmography[edit]

Year Title[10] Role Notes
2004 The Jury Winky Wright TV Series 1EP
2005 State Property 2 Winky Wright Cameo
2006 Loren Cass Voice 1 Documentary

References[edit]

External links[edit]