“Bronco” Billy Wright steps into the Dog House: All Good Things Come to Those Who Wait! At 49 Time Has Come to Be Champ at 50!
By Ken Hissner, Dog House Boxing (Nov 28, 2014)
L-R: Bermane Stiverne, “Bronco” Billy Wright
(More photos below)
“Bronco” Billy Wright has paid his dues boxing professionally since October of 1986 which is some 28 years and 50 fights to compile a respectable 46-4 record with 37 knockouts. At 6:04 and usually around the 300 pound mark Wright has won the WBC Latino, WBC USNBC) Silver, the WBC FECARBOX, WBC Asian Boxing Council titles. “I believe I’m about to get into the WBC top rankings,” said Wright. He is currently No. 17 in the WBC rankings.
Wright wants to be the oldest fighter to win the heavyweight championship. “Big” George Foreman was 45 when he stopped Michael Moorer. Wright has won 33 of his last 34 fights dating back to September of 1993. In October of 1992 he defeated James “Broad Axe” Broad, 22-7, in Miami Beach being outweighed by 55 pounds.
“I’ll be 50 come December 10th and I will have one more fight by then,” said Wright. He knocked out Bolivian Juan Carlos Flores-Choque, 14-4-1 (13) in 0:45 of the 1st round in Santa Cruz, Bolivia on November 22nd and will return on December 6th if he can lock down an opponent.
“I’m looking to close out the year with another knockout. That will make it 5 fights in 2014, all wins coming by way of knockout. I’ll turn 50 on December 10th”. Going into 2015, I’m confident my WBC rankings will move up. I’m willing to fight any of the top contenders to get me closer to my dream of becoming heavyweight champion. The only problem is none of these guys are willing to fight me. That can all change in 2015. I’m looking to make history,” said Wright.
Except in his 7th fight his losses have been to 3 opponents who would wear world title belts. He was 12-1 after defeating James Broad when he would be defeated in back to back fights to a pair of unbeaten boxers named Michael Moorer, 29-0, and Frans Botha, 24-0.
Moorer won the WBO light heavyweight title and had 9 defenses winning the vacant WBO heavyweight title in his 29th fight stopping Bert Cooper. Wright was 12-1 and Moorer’s first non-title opponent being stopped in 2 rounds. Instead of next taking on a confidence building bout he was stopped by Botha in 5, both technical stoppages just 2 months apart. Botha’s loss was in 1993 and in 1995 Botha won the vacant IBF title but tested positive for steroids and was stripped of the title. In his next fight he suffered his first loss at the hands of Moorer. He would later win the world Foundation and Federation titles.
After an 8 month lay-off Wright would win 17 straight straight fights with 14 by stoppage until May of 1998 when he was knocked out in 1 by the former IBF champion Tony “TNT” Tucker, 56-7, who won the vacant IBF title in 1987 stopping James “Buster” Douglas, only to lose it in his next fight to Mike Tyson. He would 3 more title shot’s first at the WBC (Lewis), then the WBA (Seldon) and finally the WBO (Hide) titles losing all 3 fights. It would be in his final career fight he would defeat Wright.
Once again Wright would take 8 months off and start his current win streak that is at 16 with 13 by stoppage. In January of 2012 Wright would have his first fight outside the US defeating Harry Funmaker, 19-17, in New Zealand for the interim PABA title with a 1st round knockout ending his opponents career! In his next fight he won the vacant Latino title back in the US stopping Raymond “King Kong” Ochieng, 23-15-3, of Kenya in the 1st round. A right hand to the jaw and down went Ochieng. After another knockdown the referee had seen enough stopping it.
In November of 2012 Wright invaded South America for the first time stopping Bolivia’s Saul Farah, 41-15-3, in 2 rounds in Chile! In June of 2013 Wright was back in Chile stopping Guido Santana, 13-5-2, in 1:15 of the 1st round. Before the year was out he made to stops in Bolivia first in November knocking out Esteban Hillman Tababary, 16-10-2, of Bolivia, in 1st round, who had won his last 3 fights by stoppage.
Just 3 weeks later Wright returned to Bolivia knocking out Ricky Torrez, 20-6-1, of Bolivia in 1:20 of the 1st round. This year in February he returned to New Zealand to take on fellow American Chauncy “The Hillyard Hammer” Welliver, 55-7-5, who was 16-1-1 in New Zealand and had been living in New Zealand on and off. In the 3rd round a left hook to the right arm of Welliver who was fighting mostly southpaw cringed and looked down at his arm. “He hit me so hard in the 3rd round on my arm I looked down thinking the bone came through the skin,” said Welliver. His corner stopped it after 5 rounds.
In June, Wright had a rematch with Saul Farah, now 48-17-3, this time in Bolivia, scoring a stoppage at 1:59 of the 1st round. In September in his most recent fight it only took 1:12 to knock out Bolivia’s Julio Cuellar Cabrera, 7-3, in Bolivia. “I should be returning to the ring November 16th and fight again in December,” said Wright.
Life wasn’t easy growing up for Wright who was in an orphanage, had his first job at 12. He had his first amateur fight at 15 beating one of former middleweight champion Gene Fullmer’s fighters. As a professional Fullmer would train Wright in his first 7 fights until he lost for the first time. Wright wouldn’t fight again for 3 years. He had 2 other times of inactivity 3 wins after losing to Tony Tucker he would be retired for almost 8 years.
From April of 1999 until February of 2007 he was inactive. He came back and won a 6 round decision over Cornell Davis, 3-7-2, coming in at a career high of 298. It would be another 55 months before stopping Octavius Davis, 2-9-1 in 2 rounds in North Carolina while tipping the scale over 300 for the first time at 305.That was in September of 2011. He decided to return 5 weeks later scoring another 1st round stoppage over Bridger Bercier, 4-6, in Idaho. He scored 2 knockdowns.
KEN HISSNER: I understand you were brought up in an orphanage and started boxing at 15. Who was your first trainer?
BRONCO BILLY: Jim Young of Salt Lake City, UT. He is still coaching and developing fighters. Great coach.
KEN HISSNER: I have four all-time favorite fighters and Gene Fullmer (former world middleweight champion) is my No. 4. How did you get him to train you as a professional?
BRONCO BILLY: I met Gene Fullmer at the Golden Glove championships. And when I knocked the national champion down in all three rounds and lost a split decision that Gene and everyone there heavily booed. Gene asked if I wanted to fight as a pro. So I signed with Gene and Marv Jenson, who was Gene’s manager. We had our pro debut at the Sahara Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on a Roger Mayweather undercard.
KEN HISSNER: From 1999 to 2007 you retired. What brought you back?
BRONCO BILLY: I like to finish what I start and truly believe in my ability and potential to achieve my dream of becoming champion of the world. And in accomplishing this we will have a platform to be there at all levels for so many more.
KEN HISSNER: Tony Tucker, Frans Botha, Michael Moorer and Dave Yonko were the only 4 to beat you? Who was the toughest or was it another opponent that was?
BRONCO BILLY: Each fighter has a toughness that is unique to them. Big George (Foreman who he sparred with) is a very powerful puncher. Moorer is a very sharp puncher. Frank Bruno (sparred) is a very strong. It is difficult to say that on any given day who may be tougher than the other. I respect all fighters.
KEN HISSNER: How did you come about fighting in Chile and Bolivia in South America?
BRONCO BILLY: One thing always leads to another. I have fought in many places around the world and plan in fighting in many more.
KEN HISSNER: Do you have a favorite heavyweight champion?
BRONCO BILLY: George Foreman in his second career, Lennox Lewis and Rocky Marciano.
KEN HISSNER: Do you consider beating James “Broad Axe” Broad one of your best wins?
BRONCO BILLY: James Broad may he rest in peace. He was an amazing fighter with a too familiar ending boxing career for too many fighters. Not all fighters but some is too many. This is part of my quest by becoming heavyweight champion. We can change how it ends for fighters. To be there for them when boxing is your life and one of your true loves. There is a commitment and sense of responsibility for the fighters who have paved the way and kept boxing the magnificent sport it is. James Broad and many others deserved a better ending.
KEN HISSNER: Frans Botha is still fighting. If a match between the two of you could be made would you take it?
BRONCO BILLY: I was in Las Vegas for a WBC convention and talked to Botha about a rematch. He said “you are too big now”!
KEN HISSNER: At age 49 what do you feel is the main reason you are still able to compete today at the level you do?
BRONCO HISSNER: Personal choice!! To get up every day and persevere against the odds and to accomplish what most are unwilling to attempt. I am driven for reasons that are for the betterment of others. Fighting for others is as important, or more important than fighting as for myself.
KEN HISSNER: Is 2015 your goal to fight for a world title?
BRONCO BILLY: Yes!!! 100%!
KEN HISSNER: Of all the places, 3 countries and 20 states that you have fought in what was your favorite place?
BRONCO BILLY: Each city and country I have been fortunate enough to travel to has been such a great experience. Every place is special and my favorite for different reasons.
KEN HISSNER: Winning your next fight in December would get you up to 47 wins. If you got to 50 wins in 2015 would you be ready to retire or would it take a championship fight?
BRONCO BILLY: I am fighting and working to become heavyweight champion and defending the title. That may be 50 wins. It may be 60 wins.
KEN HISSNER: It took me awhile to track you down but it was worth it. I want to thank you for taking the time to answer these questions.
BRONCO BILLY: I am grateful to you. It’s a privilege to have so many choices in our lives. Life is remarkable. Thank you for taking time so I could share a little.
Please send all questions and comments to Ken Hissner at: Kenhissner@gmail.com
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