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Ronald “Winky’ Wright – Shane Mosley II.

mosleyvwright Ronald “Winky’ Wright – Shane Mosley II. It may have escaped the attention of some – some of you may even be scratching your head at the title of this article – that in the furore over Tszyu-Mitchell II and Morales-Barrera III, one other significant sequel has been grossly, nay,

criminally overlooked: Ronald “Winky’ Wright-“Sugar’ Shane Mosley II. Yes, on the 20th of this month, with the WBA light middleweight title on the line, Mosley and Wright will again cross swords. Check your calendars if you don’t believe me! Although bewildering that a fight of this magnitude is perceived as a relative afterthought, it at least goes some way to disproving the notion that our sport of choice is in rapid decline, what with November serving up the aforementioned bona fide super fights. With that in mind, I’ll get back to the focus of this piece, as the fight in question has received little in the way of coverage, despite being merely two weeks away.

Ronald “Winky’ Wright, the curiously popular southpaw from St. Petersburg, Florida, is currently enjoying his tenure at the top of the food chain. Having gone about his business surreptitiously for the vast majority of his fourteen year pro career, Wright now sits atop the tree with the likes of Bernard Hopkins and Floyd Mayweather Jr., recognized as one of the best pound for pound boxers in the world. So likable and deserving is Wright, even Mosley could not find it in himself to begrudge “Winky’ his recent success, instead doing what is most rare in boxing: being gracious in defeat. Whether Wright remains at the very top, though, depends entirely on his upcoming rematch with “Sugar’. Mosley, once regarded as one of the best pugilists in the business, has just one victory from his last five outings, looking decidedly unconvincing at light middleweight in the process. Like Wright, he is one of boxing’s nice guys, making his recent sub-par performances all the more difficult to digest. I personally want only the best for both of these gentlemen, so much so that I was almost disappointed to see them matched up again; however, I did say “almost.’

Their first fight, “though entertaining, appeared almost a mismatch, with Wright dominating and ultimately winning a lopsided points decision. Mosley simply did not look comfortable at any point during the fight, noticeably exhausted long before the fight’s conclusion and apparently lacking the power to hurt his eventual conqueror. “Winky’, of course, is hardly a soft touch, but he couldn’t have looked less threatened had he been in with a flyweight. On the contrary, Mosley was shaken several times throughout the course of the bout, this despite Wright’s distinct lack of a concussive punch. All evidence, therefore, suggests that Mosley can’t cut it at light middle, his only win in the last five being a very hotly disputed decision over Oscar de la Hoya. Whether Mosley still has it in him to spring a surprise remains to be seen. The smart money is, of course, on the reigning champion pulling off another unanimous points win.

What should happen if Mosley does pull off an upset is unclear right now. Obviously, it would go some way to redeeming what has been a horrendous few years for the California native. Having almost fallen into “journeyman’ territory, Mosley will need to show much greater consistency should he topple Wright. On the other hand, Wright will be looking to move up to middleweight in the hope of challenging Bernard Hopkins and Felix Trinidad in what could be the final chapter of his career. But whatever the outcome, the fight should make for very interesting viewing, much more so than its modest coverage would suggest. I just hope both of these veritable gentlemen are able to move on to much greater things, regardless of the outcome.

James MacDonald can be reached at ac009b5460@blueyonder.co.uk

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