Winky has an eye on Tito
By Tom Gray (March 5, 2005) 
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Trinidad versus Wright is one of the most attractive match ups of 2005. Both guys are polar opposites as fighters and for that reason there could be some tremendous action on display at the MGM Grand on May 14th. Will Wright impose his boxing skills on the heavier handed Trinidad? Will Tito smash his way through Wright’s high held southpaw guard? This fight, more than any other in recent memory, is very difficult to assess.

The best we can hope for is a great mix of styles that ultimately create a classic fight. Initially my pick was Trinidad, simply because he looked so awesome in blasting out Ricardo Mayorga. However, after having another look at Tito’s last fight, it became more apparent that El Matador was merely a mobile punching bag for the ex-champ. Who in the hell hangs their chin out for Felix Trinidad? I’ll tell you who does: a professional athlete who is crazy, drag races, smokes, drinks and basically jumps two weight divisions to get battered. With all respect, that isn’t what Ronald 'Winky' Wright is about.

Winky has been waiting for his moment in the sun for a long time and he gets it against a legend. Despite two impressive wins over the fading Shane Mosley, he needs this win to convince himself and the boxing world of his greatness. I picked Wright in both of his fights against Mosley and never had the slightest doubt that he would win. Mosley was a fading force, despite his controversial rematch win over Oscar De La Hoya, and he looked terrible at 154lbs. Trinidad promises to give Wright a far more difficult time, because he is bigger, stronger and fresher than the Los Angeles native.

The fact that this is Wright’s first significant fight at the middleweight limit shouldn’t make any difference to the outcome, because Wright is a massive junior middleweight. Another intangible is Wright’s southpaw stance, which has given quality opposition fits throughout his tenure as champion. The main southpaws that Tito has come up against are Hector Camacho and Pernell Whitaker. Neither of these ex-champions had the strength to keep Trinidad at bay, although Whitaker had his moments. One feels that Wright could give Tito more problems, simply because he is comparable in terms of strength.

The man who developed the master plan for defeating Felix Trinidad was none other than Oscar De La Hoya. The Golden Boy had never looked better; his movement was beautiful and he punched in sharp clusters which bewildered Trinidad. I gave De La Hoya seven of the first nine rounds, with Tito sweeping the last three, when Oscar went for a nine minute jog. Regardless of your opinion on the outcome of that bout, it was very instrumental when Hopkins squared off against Trinidad. Hopkins employed similar tactics over the entire duration of the fight, but also outfought his opponent when it was called for. I think that Wright can cope with Trinidad’s strength, but he will have to use some movement to offset Tito’s rhythm and the Floridian is no Willy Pep. If Trinidad sees a high guard and a stationary target, he will simply try to blast his way through it.

One gets the feeling that Winky will still have plenty of answers though. He may not use the entire ring, but he knows how to present angles and he can slip punches beautifully. There were times when Mosley had the look of a man who was struggling with a crossword, and every time he guessed wrong, a letter bomb (Wright’s jab) blew up in his face. It is also worth remembering that this is the first time in years that Trinidad will have to employ a serious game plan and make it work for him. Mayorga was an open book before the first bell, whereas Wright is more of a secure combination safe. Also, Tito’s lay off could still be a problem, even though he has had a comeback fight. In 1970, Muhammad Ali had a very successful comeback fight against Jerry Quarry, but turned in a career worst performance against Oscar Bonavena in his next outing.

The common opponent between the two is none other than 'Ferocious' Fernando Vargas. Wright lost a controversial decision to 'El Feroz' in 1999, whereas Trinidad gave Vargas his first defeat in a classic dual in December 2000. Trinidad was far more effective and knocked Vargas down five times, culminating in a twelfth round knockout. Some people feel that Vargas was never the same after that fight, which was also the consensus when Tito inflicted similar damage on David Reid. Vargas recently predicted that Tito will have a cake walk against Wright, but I really doubt that will be the case. This won’t be easy for either fighter.

When I add everything up it is very hard to pick a winner. I think it will be close and competitive all the way through and both guys will provide world class action in Vegas. If someone held a gun to my head then I would go for Tito, with great trepidation. I think the crowd may push Trinidad on to a memorable victory, but if Wright simply out pointed him, then I wouldn’t be surprised.

It is one of those fights where you just have to place your money and make your choice... everything will come out in the wash
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