Ronald Lamont "Winky" Wright (born November 26, 1971) is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1990 to 2012. He is a two-time light middleweight world champion and was the last to hold the undisputed title at that weight until Jermell Charlo in 2022.[2] In his later career he also challenged for a unified middleweight world title. He announced his retirement from boxing in 2012, following a loss to Peter Quillin.[3]

Winky Wright
Ronald Lamont Wright

(1971-11-26) November 26, 1971 (age 52)
Other namesWinky
Height5 ft 10 in (178 cm)[1]
Reach73 in (185 cm)[1]
Boxing record
Total fights58
Wins by KO25

In 2005, The Ring magazine ranked him as the world's second best active boxer, pound for pound. In 2017, it was announced that Wright had been elected as an International Boxing Hall of Fame member in the Modern Category, alongside Vitali Klitschko and Érik Morales, with the induction ceremony scheduled for June 2018.

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.

Major promoters like Don King and Lou Duva declined to work with Wright early in his career. His first promoters were the France-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. He then went on a tear during his tour of Europe, winning eight straight in France, Germany, and Monte Carlo while 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 he lost a unanimous decision in controversial fashion, with Vasquez knocking down Wright in the second, seventh and ninth rounds, and twice in the twelfth round. Wright officially slipped three times and unofficially another four times while also appearing to win all but one round on points.

On February 4, 1995, Wright defeated 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 Félix 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, to become undisputed light middleweight champion.[4]

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 Félix Trinidad.[5][6][7]

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 Félix 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).[8] 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.

Following his win over Trinidad, Oscar De La Hoya approached Wright with a $6 million offer, plus an additional $6 per pay-per-view buy above 600,000 homes. However, Wright declined the fight, "He offers everyone else $10, 15 million," Wright said, referring to the $10 million Trinidad received for fighting De La Hoya in 1999. "I ain't doing it." Wright also declined an offer to face Floyd Mayweather during that time, insisting on a 50-50 split, "Winky has everything to lose but nothing to gain," Wright's promoter Gary Shaw stated. "Mayweather has nothing to lose and everything to gain."[9]

Middleweight title shot edit

After winning a unanimous decision over Sam Soliman in December 2005,[10] 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.[11] 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 Hopkins 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).[12]

It was Winky's first loss in eight 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."

Later years edit

Wright ended a 21-month layoff when he faced former welterweight title holder Paul "The Punisher" 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 several failed attempts to stay active after the one-sided sweep by Paul 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 Martínez, who knocked out 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. Wright and 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 Martínez 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 Martínez in the future.

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.

Professional boxing record edit

58 fights 51 wins 6 losses
By knockout 25 0
By decision 25 6
By disqualification 1 0
Draws 1
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
58 Loss 51–6–1 Peter Quillin UD 10 Jun 2, 2012 Home Depot Center, Carson, California, U.S.
57 Loss 51–5–1 Paul Williams UD 12 Apr 11, 2009 Mandalay Bay Events Center, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
56 Loss 51–4–1 Bernard Hopkins UD 12 Jul 21, 2007 Mandalay Bay Events Center, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. For The Ring light heavyweight title
55 Win 51–3–1 Ike Quartey UD 12 Dec 2, 2006 St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, Florida, U.S.
54 Draw 50–3–1 Jermain Taylor SD 12 Jun 17, 2006 FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S. For WBC, WBO and The Ring middleweight titles
53 Win 50–3 Sam Soliman UD 12 Dec 10, 2005 Mohegan Sun Arena, Montville, Connecticut, U.S.
52 Win 49–3 Félix Trinidad UD 12 May 14, 2005 MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
51 Win 48–3 Shane Mosley MD 12 Nov 20, 2004 Mandalay Bay Events Center, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Retained WBA (Unified), WBC, and The Ring light middleweight titles
50 Win 47–3 Shane Mosley UD 12 Mar 13, 2004 Mandalay Bay Events Center, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Retained IBF light middleweight title;
Won WBA (Unified), WBC, and The Ring light middleweight titles
49 Win 46–3 Angel Hernandez UD 12 Nov 8, 2003 Mandalay Bay Events Center, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Retained IBF light middleweight title
48 Win 45–3 Juan Carlos Candelo UD 12 Mar 1, 2003 Thomas & Mack Center, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Retained IBF light middleweight title
47 Win 44–3 Bronco McKart DQ 8 (12), 2:33 Sep 7, 2002 Rose Garden, Portland, Oregon, U.S. Retained IBF light middleweight title
46 Win 43–3 Jason Papillion TKO 5 (12), 2:44 Feb 2, 2002 American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida, U.S. Retained IBF light middleweight title
45 Win 42–3 Robert Frazier UD 12 Oct 12, 2001 Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, Indio, California, U.S. Won vacant IBF light middleweight title
44 Win 41–3 Keith Mullings UD 12 Dec 16, 2000 David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. Retained NABF and USBA light middleweight titles
43 Win 40–3 Bronco McKart UD 12 Sep 9, 2000 Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort, Chester, West Virginia, U.S. Won NABF and vacant USBA light middleweight titles
42 Loss 39–3 Fernando Vargas MD 12 Dec 4, 1999 Chinook Winds Casino, Lincoln City, Oregon, U.S. For IBF light middleweight title
41 Win 39–2 Derrick Graham KO 3 (12) Mar 27, 1999 Jai-Alai Fronton, Miami, Florida, U.S.
40 Loss 38–2 Harry Simon MD 12 Aug 22, 1998 Carousel Casino, Hammanskraal, South Africa Lost WBO light middleweight title
39 Win 38–1 Adrian Dodson TKO 6 (12), 3:00 Dec 19, 1997 London Arena, London, England Retained WBO light middleweight title
38 Win 37–1 Steve Foster TKO 6 (12), 2:52 May 3, 1997 NYNEX Arena, Manchester, England Retained WBO light middleweight title
37 Win 36–1 Ensley Bingham UD 12 Nov 9, 1996 NYNEX Arena, Manchester, England Retained WBO light middleweight title
36 Win 35–1 Bronco McKart SD 12 May 17, 1996 Stock Arena, Monroe, Michigan, U.S. Won WBO light middleweight title
35 Win 34–1 Andrew Council UD 12 Mar 5, 1996 Scope, Norfolk, Virginia, U.S. Retained NABF light middleweight title
34 Win 33–1 Jean Paul D'Alessandro UD 8 Jan 6, 1996 Palais des sports Marcel-Cerdan, Levallois-Perret, France
33 Win 32–1 Young Dick Tiger TKO 9 (10) Oct 23, 1995 Great Western Forum, Inglewood, California, U.S.
32 Win 31–1 Anthony Ivory UD 12 Aug 23, 1995 La Palestre, Le Cannet, France Retained NABF light middleweight title
31 Win 30–1 Larry LaCoursiere TKO 1 Jul 25, 1995 Saint-Jean-de-Luz, France
30 Win 29–1 Leon Cessiron PTS 6 Apr 11, 1995 Palais des sports Marcel-Cerdan, Levallois-Perret, France
29 Win 28–1 Anthony Ivory PTS 8 Apr 1, 1995 La Palestre, Le Cannet, France
28 Win 27–1 Tony Marshall UD 12 Feb 4, 1995 Palais des Sports, Castelnau-le-Lez, France Won vacant NABF light middleweight title
27 Win 26–1 Ernesto Rafael Sena RTD 2 (10), 3:00 Nov 11, 1994 Club Caja Popular, San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentina
26 Loss 25–1 Julio César Vásquez UD 12 Aug 21, 1994 Jai Alai, Saint-Jean-de-Luz, France For WBA light middleweight title
25 Win 25–0 Orlando Orozco TKO 1 (8) Jun 4, 1994 Palais des sports Marcel-Cerdan, Levallois-Perret, France
24 Win 24–0 Armando Herrera KO 1 (8) Mar 19, 1994 Palais des sports Marcel-Cerdan, Levallois-Perret, France
23 Win 23–0 Tony McCrimmion TKO 5 Dec 4, 1993 Palais des sports Marcel-Cerdan, Levallois-Perret, France
22 Win 22–0 Gilberto Barreto TKO 2 (10) Oct 16, 1993 Palais des sports Marcel-Cerdan, Levallois-Perret, France
21 Win 21–0 Leon Rouse KO 1 (8) Aug 21, 1993 Salle des Etoiles, Monte Carlo, Monaco
20 Win 20–0 James Stokes KO 1 (8), 1:20 May 28, 1993 Charlotte County Memorial Auditorium, Punta Gorda, Florida, U.S.
19 Win 19–0 Eric Holland UD 8 Mar 20, 1993 Philips Halle, Düsseldorf, Germany
18 Win 18–0 Roland Commings UD 8 Jan 31, 1993 Levallois-Perret, France
17 Win 17–0 Darryl Lattimore TKO 1 (8), 2:31 Jan 2, 1993 Differdange, Luxembourg
16 Win 16–0 Carlos Santana TKO 2 (10), 2:53 Jul 30, 1992 Hyatt Regency, Tampa, Florida, U.S.
15 Win 15–0 Delfino Marin TKO 1 (10), 2:07 May 28, 1992 USF Sun Dome, Tampa, Florida, U.S.
14 Win 14–0 Mike Howard TKO 4 (8) Mar 27, 1992 USF Sun Dome, Tampa, Florida, U.S.
13 Win 13–0 Persephone Van Reenen TKO 3 (6), 1:22 Feb 28, 1992 USF Sun Dome, Tampa, Florida, U.S.
12 Win 12–0 Lennell Strohman UD 6 Dec 13, 1991 USF Sun Dome, Tampa, Florida, U.S.
11 Win 11–0 Gary McCall RTD 1 (6), 3:00 Nov 15, 1991 USF Sun Dome, Tampa, Florida, U.S.
10 Win 10–0 Glenn Major TKO 2 (6) Oct 18, 1991 USF Sun Dome, Tampa, Florida, U.S.
9 Win 9–0 Jeff Johnson UD 6 Sep 17, 1991 Marriott's World Center, Orlando, Florida, U.S.
8 Win 8–0 Edison Martinez TKO 1 (6), 1:46 Aug 30, 1991 Marriott's World Center, Orlando, Florida, U.S.
7 Win 7–0 Rocky Fabrizio UD 6 Aug 13, 1991 Hyatt Regency, Tampa, Florida, U.S.
6 Win 6–0 Lorenzo Bouie UD 6 Jul 26, 1991 Hyatt Regency, Tampa, Florida, U.S.
5 Win 5–0 Glenn Major RTD 3 (6), 3:00 Mar 29, 1991 Convention Center, Tampa, Florida, U.S.
4 Win 4–0 Stedroy Bolus TKO 3 (4) Jan 25, 1991 Diplomat Resort & Spa, Hollywood, Florida, U.S.
3 Win 3–0 Tony Graham TKO 2 Dec 14, 1990 Diplomat Resort & Spa, Hollywood, Florida, U.S.
2 Win 2–0 Christopher Conrad TKO 1 Nov 28, 1990 Hyatt Regency, Tampa, Florida, U.S.
1 Win 1–0 Anthony Salerno UD 4 Oct 16, 1990 Hyatt Regency, Tampa, Florida, U.S.

Filmography edit

Year Title[13] Role Notes
2004 The Jury Winky Wright TV series; 1 episode
2005 State Property 2 Winky Wright Cameo appearance
2006 Loren Cass Voice 1 Feature film

Life outside the ring edit

Wright has appeared in music videos for Busta Rhymes' "Touch It Remix", 50 Cent's "Outta Control Remix", Jamie Foxx's "DJ Play a Love Song", and 2 Pistols's "She Got It" . 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. 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, Florida. The label consists of a talent roster which covers genres of music from rock & roll to hip hop.

Wright now has his own promotion company called Winky Promotions.

Wright married 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 his hometown St. Petersburg, Florida.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b Showtime Championship Boxing tale of the tape prior to the Peter Quillin fight.
  2. ^ "Jermell Charlo wipes out Brian Castaño to unify all four world titles at 154lbs". The Guardian. May 15, 2022. Retrieved May 15, 2022.
  3. ^ Dan Rafael (June 4, 2012). "Winky Wright: 'I'm gonna call it a day'".
  4. ^ "Winky Wright - Lineal Junior Middleweight Champion". The Cyber Boxing Zone Encyclopedia.
  5. ^ John C. Cotey (April 22, 2004). "IBF strips Wright of its title". Tampa Bay Times.
  6. ^ "Boxing Note". 2004-03-13. Archived from the original on July 31, 2012. Retrieved 2016-12-25.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  7. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 December 2010. Retrieved 17 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Saturday 14 May 2005 : MGM Grand Event". BoxRec. 2005-05-14. Retrieved 2016-12-25.
  9. ^ "Wright vs. Mayweather not dead". Tampa Bay Times.
  10. ^ Cotey, John C (2005-12-11). "Wright wins by decision". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2009-04-08.
  11. ^ "Saturday 17 June 2006 : FedEx Forum Event". BoxRec. 2006-06-17. Retrieved 2016-12-25.
  12. ^ "Saturday 21 July 2007 : Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino Event". BoxRec. 2007-07-21. Retrieved 2016-12-25.
  13. ^ "Winky Wright". Retrieved 2016-12-25.

External links edit

Sporting positions
Regional boxing titles
Title last held by
Julio César Green
NABF light middleweight champion
February 4, 1995 – May 1996
Title next held by
Steve Martinez
Preceded by NABF light middleweight champion
September 9, 2000 – October 2001
Title next held by
Ángel Hernández
Title last held by
Jose Flores
USBA light middleweight champion
September 9, 2000 – October 2001
Title next held by
Kassim Ouma
World boxing titles
Preceded by
Bronco McKart
WBO light middleweight champion
May 17, 1996 – August 22, 1998
Succeeded by
Title last held by
Félix Trinidad
IBF light middleweight champion
October 12, 2001 – April 19, 2004
Title next held by
Verno Phillips
Preceded by WBA light middleweight champion
Unified title

March 13, 2004 – March 20, 2005
Title next held by
Miguel Cotto
WBC light middleweight champion
March 13, 2004 – March 5, 2005
Title next held by
Ricardo Mayorga
The Ring light middleweight champion
March 13, 2004 – November 2, 2005
Title next held by
Canelo Álvarez
Title last held by
Koichi Wajima
Undisputed light middleweight champion
March 13, 2004 – April 19, 2004
Titles fragmented
Title next held by
Jermell Charlo