Welcome boxing fans to the “Warhammer’s Fighter Spotlight”, where we will give remembrance and recognition to one of the sport’s greatest. One of the greatest 154 pound champions of all time, one of the greatest southpaw fighters of all time, one of the greatest defensive fighters of all time. The extremely underrated, Ronald “Winky” Wright. Now there are so many avenues that we could explore to explain the greatness of Winky Wright, but we will explore his coming out party, the fight that put him on every insiders map, and firmly atop the p4p list, after years of hard work, globetrotting, and championships won. Let’s go back in time, back more than 10 years, to May 14, 2005, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas Nevada, on HBO PPV.
On this night, Winky Wright would move up to 160 and face the legendary, hard punching, Felix “Tito” Trinidad. This was viewed as the classic boxing style matchup, the boxer vs the puncher. Trinidad had returned after a lengthy absence to face Ricardo Mayorga, and emphatically announced his return with an 8th round TKO victory. Winky was viewed by many as just a bump in the road to a rematch with Bernard Hopkins for Trinidad. The general consensus from the boxing public, whether insider, or Vegas odds, was that Winky would fold under the power of Trinidad, and a KO victory was all but a forgone conclusion. But don’t take my word for it, here are just a few of the many quoted predictions from boxing insiders.
“This is how it is going to go down: Winky will give Tito some trouble early on. But in this fight, I feel that Tito will surprise all of his critics by showing some great footwork as well as some head movement in that ring come Saturday. It will take him a while, but as he gets acclimated to Winky’s slick southpaw style, Tito will realize that if he slips Winky’s best weapon, that right jab, and counters with a left uppercut, he can shorten the distance a great deal between him and “Winky”. Upon doing so, a patented Tito Trinidad left hook will seal the deal. Trust me when I tell you that as soon as Trinidad lands a left hook, it will be a wrap. Who has Winky Wright fought that punches as hard as Tito Trinidad? I know, Julio Cesar Vazquez, oops! Wrong. However, Wright did go down five times in that fight. Are you going to tell me that Vazquez hits harder than “Tito?” I don’t think so. So my official prediction is that Tito will make Winky STINKY! Tito by an impressive and amazing knockout in seven rounds. And I am being kind when I say seven rounds. Don’t be surprised if it is a lot sooner. A reminder to some of the doubters, this is not the same Felix Trinidad that lost to Bernard Hopkins. Thank You for allowing me to mouth off. Good night and enjoy the fight! God Bless.” Edwin Gonzalez, Saddoboxing.com
“Trinidad will have trouble early with the master boxer Wright. The undisputed jr middleweight champions’ career is at its peak after two very convincing wins over Sugar Shane Mosley. This time he has his work cut out for him, as he faces one of the hardest punchers in the history of boxing. Very few times do you see a man with such debilitating power like Trinidad. Quoting Drago’s manager in Rocky IV, “Whatever he hits, he destroys.” He has made strong men look weak with his power. I expect Wright to outbox Trinidad and win most of the early rounds, but as soon as Trinidad figures him out, he will be able to stop him. Wright has never faced someone with the power that Trinidad possesses, and he’ll be fighting at 160. Hopkins was able to handle Trinidad pretty easy, but he not only beat him with ring skills, but also with mind games. Hopkins is also a stronger guy than is Wright, so the result will not be the same. I’m picking Trinidad to stop Wright in 10.” Armando Alvarez, MaxBoxing.com
“Trinidad-Wright should be very interesting because it pits one of the best offensive fighters against one of the best defensive fighters. Trinidad showed no ring rust in his comeback fight against Mayorga. Wright totally out-boxed Mosley in their two fights last year. Trinidad’s power will be too much for Winky.” Carlos Arias, Orange County Register
“Felix showed in the Mayorga fight that he had benefited from the time away the ring. Trinidad has one of the best straight rights in boxing and with his balance, combination punching and ease at which he puts the left hook behind the right, I can see it being a difficult night for Winky. Winky’s style of fighting, in the zone, will be the undoing for him in this one. He doesn’t have the power to really get Felix’s respect and is stepping up to 160 where Felix is the real middleweight. Felix, with this win, will be one step closer to a mega fight rematch with Hopkins.” Kevin Barry, Professional Trainer
“Wright will give Trinidad problems early with his craftiness and southpaw stance. But Winky gets hit too much at this stage in his career, and he has never faced a puncher like Trinidad before. Tito’s shots will wear Winky down by the middle rounds, and he’ll cruise to a unanimous decision over a brave, but out-gunned Wright.” Kevin Beck, Fightworld.us
Now it’s not as if no boxing insiders gave the nod to Winky, a few notable names who favored him were, Al Bernstein from Showtime Sports, and Diego Corrales who was the WBO lightweight champion at the time. Regardless of the people who felt that Wright could pull off the upset, he would walk into the ring as an underdog. Felix Trinidad was an 8-5 favorite, and many fans packed the arena to see Trinidad put on another great performance and hopefully add to his 35 career knockouts.
Despite the fact that Winky was the undisputed champion at 154, and had dominated “Sugar” Shane Mosley twice prior to facing Trinidad, he still had yet to fully get the respect he deserved. On this night, Wright would cement his name in the history books, and would shoot to the top of the pound for pound list, with one of the most dominant, and impressive showings in pay-per-view and boxing history.
If you’re a boxing trainer and your fighter or your teaching style is of a defensive nature, especially with the high guard. There may not be a better fighter, nor a better teaching example than that of Winky Wright, and his high guard defensive masterclass of Tito Trinidad. Wright neutralized every single aspect of Trinidad’s game plan, he took his power, and he took his soul on this night! Wright turned Trinidad into a human bobble head doll. For those fans out there that disrespect the significance of the jab, and consider it an afterthought behind power shots. I challenge you to watch this fight and find a way to downplay how important and devastating a power Jab like Wright’s can be.
From the opening bell it was evident that Trinidad was out of his league. Wright would take the center of the ring, employ his high guard, and jab Trinidad to death. It was as if Wright’s arms covered his entire body from face to his belt line. Trinidad had zero answers for the problems that Wright would present. Trinidad would get multiple warnings for punches below the beltline. Not because he was using dirty tactics, nor was he deliberate in his actions. He tried desperately to find purchase with body shots on Wright, as his high guard was impenetrable, yet he could only find elbows and hips.
Winky Wright won every single round of this fight. 12 rounds of pure domination, and to make matters worse, Trinidad was deducted a point finally in the 9th round for his repeated low blows. You must watch this fight if you have not seen it, if you have I challenge you to watch it again as it gets worse with each viewing. There is literally one single bright spot for Trinidad during the entire 12 rounds. In the 4th round Trinidad unleashes a tremendous combo to both the head and body. Wright seems stuck in place and in his high guard. Upon closer inspection, Wright blocked all but maybe one punch, lowered his guard, smiled, then proceeded to unleash his own combo. Rocking Trinidad’s head on multiple occasions, and effectively ending any notions in Trinidad’s mind that he could mount a comeback.
Saying that Wright won all 12 rounds is just not enough. That simply does not explain the total domination that was on display this night. The compubox punch stats make you do a double take, as there is no way these numbers can be right. Total Jabs Landed, Wright 185 out of 588 at 31%, Trinidad 15 out of 327 at 5%. That is not a typo folks, you definitely read that correctly. Many fights end with both fighters landing a total amount of punches in this range, and this number only accounts for Wright’s jabs!
I know what you may be thinking, the total punch stats have got to be better, you’re guessing that it was nothing but power punches that Trinidad landed. Nothing wrong with that line of thinking, but you’d be dead wrong. Total punches landed, Wright 262 out of 756 at 35%, Trinidad 58 out of 557 at 10%. Winky out landed Trinidad by 204 punches! Trinidad landed in the single digits in every single round. 58 punches over 12 rounds averages out to 4.8 punches a round, so we’ll bump it up to 5. Wright averaged 21.8 per round, and I won’t even bump it up, there’s no need. Complete and utter domination is an understatement.
Ronald “Winky” Wright is far too often an afterthought when it comes to mentioning the greats of this sport. The southpaw who was born in Washington D.C. but started his boxing apprenticeship in St Pete Florida, deserves to have his name mentioned with the best. Wright had a great career and fought some of the best the sport had to offer, and was avoided by many more. If you’re not well versed in the career of Winky Wright, this fight is a perfect place to start. You’ll not only come away impressed, I’d wager you’ll be heading to YouTube to find Wright’s most notable fights to get a better understanding of how underrated this cat truly is.Contact the Feature Writers