Meeting Mr. Wright
By Jason Petock (June 11, 2005)  
Photo © Rick Guzman
To imply that the highly anticipated bout between Ronald ‘Winky’ Wright and Felix ‘Tito’ Trinidad which occurred on May 14, 2005 was blatantly one-sided and a definite mismatch of sorts is a gross understatement and common knowledge at this point. In the spectrum of events it was more, mainly because one man clearly dominated the other with a flawless virtuoso performance consisting of elitist boxing skills and a domineering presence in the ring that made the fight appear more like a sparring session than an actual professional prizefight. There were several instances where the competitors acted out their respective characters destined by fate as amateur vs. professional, teacher vs. student, and upstart vs. veteran, although both men were seasoned professionals. Wright fired pinpoint shots at will whenever and wherever he chose and positioned Trinidad where he saw fit in relation to his own calculated strategy.

Borrowing HBO boxing analyst Jim Lampley’s astute observation here, it was a “boxing clinic”. The events of this fight were far greater than mere description and limited appraisals by common men however. This bout was highly important and of historical relevance to the sport of boxing. It was a virtual changing of the guard once more. The happenings of May 14, 2005 brought to the forefront a world class fighter by the name of ‘Winky’ Wright who deserves more than a simple nod at this stage, and has waited patiently for this long overdue introduction and recognition. Learn and commit his name to memory Ladies and Gentlemen, because ‘Winky’ is a force to be reckoned with and is here to stay.

Wright’s performance echoes the immediate fact that there is something to say about finely honed boxing skills and a beautifully timed jab. If you doubt this statement, just question Felix Trinidad on the subject, he was on the receiving end of on of the sharpest jabs in the business for 12 of the most educational rounds of his entire career when he faced Wright. Knowledgeable trainers and boxing technicians all know that ‘everything comes off the jab’ and no one demonstrated this more than Wright did against ‘Tito’. Boxing fundamentals beat Trinidad, as did a master of his craft in the form of the southpaw pugilist Ronald ‘Winky’ Wright.

Now as Felix Trinidad contemplates his second retirement (coincidentally also after another devastating loss to a highly skillful boxer, the first courtesy of Middleweight kingpin Bernard ‘The Executioner’ Hopkins), and possibly fades off into the majestic Puerto Rico sunset, ‘Winky’ Wright dwells on the fringe of finally coming into his own and receiving the big fights and quality paydays that have eluded him for far too long.

Boxing can be a tricky business at times, with fighters rising to the top in one instance only to revel in the shadows of their former selves in the next. May Felix ‘Tito’ Trinidad find tranquility in his second retirement no matter the route he chooses. He was an honorable competitor and champion during his reign who will always be heralded for his accomplishments and commanding victories in the ring.

So what is next for the crafty southpaw Ronald ‘Winky’ Wright? He is at the pinnacle of his game right now, and after dethroning a legend that no one though he could dismantle so easily, the sky’s the limit.

The aforementioned ruler of the Middleweight division, Bernard Hopkins, could very well be a viable opponent for Wright in the future. The only wrench to contend with concerning such a proposed bout is the rumored retirement of ‘Nard in February 2006 and his title defense against rising young gun Jermain Taylor this year. Should Taylor defeat Hopkins, who knows if fans will be blessed with such a super fight between two genuine artisans as Wright and Hopkins.

Taylor is also a possible opponent as is Oscar De La Hoya. With the recent departure of Trinidad once more from the scene, Wright could take advantage of the division and its endless opportunities. This would be contingent on if there are opponents out there actually willing to risk their luck against the brilliant southpaw.

Congratulations ‘Winky’ on your superior victory over Felix Trinidad recently. There were those boxing pundits and ‘experts’ (a title used far too loosely in boxing media and sport in general; the only ‘experts’ I’ve ever seen wear gloves and throw punches) who never gave you as much as a hair’s chance at victory, but you prevailed and silenced the doubtful once more with your superb boxing skills. Your domination of once thought unbeatable and indestructible opponents shows that not only have you finally arrived but that you kicked the door wide open in the process.

In your victories you formulate a plan, execute that plan, and show the world and more importantly the ‘experts’ how wrong they can be at any given time, which is interestingly more often than not. You are a class act and a true ambassador to boxing, and we have yet to witness who you conquer next.

Boxing has a date with destiny and has just met its Mister Wright.

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