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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 remains the last to hold the undisputed title at that weight. 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.
|Real name||Ronald Lamont Wright|
|Height||5 ft 10 1⁄2 in (179 cm)|
|Reach||72 in (183 cm)|
|Born||November 26, 1971|
Washington, D.C., U.S.
|Wins by KO||25|
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.
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 shotEdit
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 knockdowns 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 knockdown (which was the first knockdown) 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 knockdown, Wright would've narrowly won the fight on the scorecards (on a one-point margin): 112–111. Vasquez however, won on the three official cards: 115–110, 114–110, and 113–110; meaning Vasquez would have won regardless of whether the second round knockdown was scored a slip or not. Wright would have had to have several of the knockdowns reversed to have gotten a legitimate decision victory.
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 titleEdit
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 AmericaEdit
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.
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 & IIEdit
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.
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.
Wright vs. TrinidadEdit
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). 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.
Middleweight title shotEdit
After winning a unanimous decision over Sam Soliman in December 2005, 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. 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. WrightEdit
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).
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."
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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 recordEdit
|Professional record summary|
|58 fights||51 wins||6 losses|
|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, The Ring, and lineal 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 (Super), WBC, The Ring, and lineal 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 (Super), WBC, The Ring, and lineal 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;|
McKart disqualified for repeated low blows
|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.|
|2004||The Jury||Winky Wright||TV Series 1EP|
|2005||State Property 2||Winky Wright||Cameo|
|2006||Loren Cass||Voice 1||Feature Film|
Life outside the ringEdit
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. 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 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 linked up with marketing professionals DMC (https://yourdmc.com/) in mid 2016 to launch his career in the St Petersburg, Florida real estate market.
- Dan Rafael (June 4, 2012). "Winky Wright: 'I'm gonna call it a day'". ESPN.com.
- "Winky Wright - Lineal Junior Middleweight Champion". The Cyber Boxing Zone Encyclopedia.
- John C. Cotey (April 22, 2004). "IBF strips Wright of its title". Tampa Bay Times.
- "Boxing Note". Canoe.ca. 2004-03-13. Retrieved 2016-12-25.
- "Saturday 14 May 2005 : MGM Grand Event". BoxRec. 2005-05-14. Retrieved 2016-12-25.
- Cotey, John C (2005-12-11). "Wright wins by decision". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2009-04-08.
- "Saturday 17 June 2006 : FedEx Forum Event". BoxRec. 2006-06-17. Retrieved 2016-12-25.
- "Saturday 21 July 2007 : Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino Event". BoxRec. 2007-07-21. Retrieved 2016-12-25.
- "Winky Wright". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2016-12-25.
- Professional boxing record for Winky Wright from BoxRec
- Ronald "Winky" Wright profile at Cyber Boxing Zone
|Regional boxing titles|
Title last held byJulio César Green
| NABF light middleweight champion
February 4, 1995 – May 1996
Title next held bySteve Martinez
| NABF light middleweight champion
September 9, 2000 – October 2001
Title next held byÁngel Hernández
Title last held byJose Flores
| USBA light middleweight champion
September 9, 2000 – October 2001
Title next held byKassim Ouma
|World boxing titles|
| WBO light middleweight champion
May 17, 1996 – August 22, 1998
Title last held byFélix Trinidad
| IBF light middleweight champion
October 12, 2001 – June 2004
Title next held byVerno Phillips
| WBA light middleweight champion
March 13, 2004 – March 25, 2005
Title next held byMiguel Cotto
| WBC light middleweight champion
March 13, 2004 – March 25, 2005
Title next held byRicardo Mayorga
| The Ring light middleweight champion
March 13, 2004 – March 25, 2005
Title next held byCanelo Álvarez
Title last held byKoichi Wajima
| Undisputed light middleweight champion
March 13, 2004 – June 2004
| Lineal light middleweight champion
March 13, 2004 – March 25, 2005
Title next held byFloyd Mayweather Jr.