photos by Mike McGuigan
On July 21, 2007 – Philadelphia’s champion Bernard Hopkins (47-4-1, 32 KOs) comes out of the shortest retirement in boxing history to face known spoiler Ronald “Winky” Wright (51-3-1, 25 KOs)in a 12-round HBO pay-per-view bout at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The Light Heavyweight Ring Magazine title will be on the line.
I was able to attend the Philadelphia leg of the promotional tour which was held at the The Legendary Blue Horizon in North Philadelphia on May 19, 2007. While B-Hop was busy schmoozing it up with the television media (they gave this fight three seconds of publicity) I was able to talk to crafty southpaw Winky Wright for an interview that will stand the test of time. There is a lot of public chatter about this fight.
The 35-year-old Wright of St. Petersburg, FL hasn’t lost a boxing match in almost eight years. On the other hand, the 42-year-old “Executioner” is fresh off of the biggest upset in recent memory when he defeated Antonio Tarver.
Here are Wright’s thoughts on a couple burning questions that surround a bout the Golden Boy Promotions is charging $49.95 to watch.
Philly Keith: Winky what do you have to say to those who think this fight won’t be very entertaining?
Winky Wright: For those who want to say all I got defense but defense don’t win fights. Look at my fights, all the fighters faces are all swollen up. On the 21st it is gonna happen. You haven’t seen Bernard swollen up ….yet. You haven’t seen Bernard beaten up… yet.
Maybe he should have stayed retired. I am putting an exclamation point at the end of his career. He was the great champ but he is going down. He gotta do what he gotta do; I gotta do what I gotta do. Get PPV cause its going down.
PK: What are your thoughts on Hopkins and being in his backyard right now?
WW: This is Philly, Bernard’s home, I have no problem with that. Cherish your champion because he stood up for Philly and is respected for the kind of fights he gave and won. He made history in a respectable fight town.
All that said but he still hasn’t fought Winky Wright. He beat southpaws but not Winky Wright. He beat Tarver but Tarver is not Winky Wright.
I am here because I earned my way here, no one gave me nothing. I traveled the world and beat everyone in my way. The only ones I didn’t win was because they guys didn’t fight.
PK: Where does this fight rank among the biggest fights of your career:
WW: This is definitely not the biggest fight. My biggest fights came against Felix Trinidad and Shane Mosely. With that being said, this definitely is a big fight.
PK: How are you preparing for this fight?
WW: I have been training out in Vegas, I have a lot of different sparring partners and I am going to do what I gotta do to win like I always do.
PK: What is your prediction in this fight?
WW: A win, Winky Wright will win this fight. I take nothing away from him he was a great champion, been here for a long time but he took one fight too many.
PK: Thanks for your time, Winky!
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions you can email Philly Keith at email@example.com
Go to www.phillykeith.com for up to the minute info on the Philly boxing scene