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Last Updated: Monday, 15 March, 2004, 12:15 GMT
Introducing Winky
By Alex Trickett

Winky Wright
Boxing has been enjoying a game of "pass the title" at its lower-middle weights for the past few years.

High-profile boxers like Oscar de la Hoya, "Sugar" Shane Mosley and Felix Trinidad have taken part.

But when the music stopped in Las Vegas on Saturday, little-known Ronald "Winky" Wright stood tall as the world's first undisputed light middleweight champion for 29 years.

He comprehensively outpointed Mosley, who twice beat De La Hoya but twice lost to Vernon Forrest, who lost to Ricardo Mayorga, who lost to current undisputed welterweight champ Cory Spinks in December.

The sport owes a big debt to these two divisions.

While the big heavyweights have been ponderously circling each other, the 147 and 154lb fighters have been getting it on in the ring.

A lot of fighters ran from me - Shane was the only one who would fight
"Winky" Wright

Mosley, in particular, deserves a lot of credit for turning down 7m for a third bout with De la Hoya in favour of a glory fight against Wright.

His shock loss is boxing's gain.

But it begs one question to the average sports fan: Where did "Winky" suddenly appear from?

The truth is that he has been around for a long time.

The 32-year-old American made his pro debut in 1990, won his first major title in 1994 and has been lurking at light middleweight ever since, losing only three of 50 fights.

He uses a high defence and a stinging southpaw jab to keep his opponents at bay, and 25 career knockouts bear ample testament to the power he has coiled up in his left hand.

Sugar Shane Mosley embraces Winky Wright
Sugar Shane: Dignified in defeat

But, while Wright has long had the respect of his rivals, he has been hurt by a lack of box office appeal.

Nicknamed by his grandmother for the way he winked at the nurses from his hospital cot, the Florida-based brawler cut a less charismatic figure during his rise through the ranks.

And this cost him a succession of big money match-ups, forcing him to take a back seat to the division's glamour boys.

That, however, is all about to change.

"It's been a long time coming," said Wright after his decisive victory over Mosley.

"A lot of fighters ran from me. Shane was the only one who would fight.

"All I wanted to do was fight great fighters so when I end my career I can say I fought the best - now I can fight the Trinidads, the De La Hoyas and the (Bernard) Hopkins."

Wright's future may yet be moulded by super-promoter Don King, who was sat at ringside with Trinidad, expecting to announce the Puerto Rican's comeback against Mosley.

Now we have Winky Wright
Sugar Shane Mosley

Now the lucrative Trinidad fight could be Wright's, as could a contest with De la Hoya, who draws the biggest bucks of any man outside the heavyweight division.

The money is a bonus, but still more important is the fact that this stylish and technical fighter has been given his chance.

"It's not just Sugar Shane, De la Hoya and Trinidad anymore," said a dignified Mosley after his defeat.

"Now we have Winky Wright."

Boxing is the better for his arrival and for Mosley's attitude.

Wright stuns Mosley
14 Mar 04  |  Boxing
Mosley targets Trinidad
14 Feb 04  |  Boxing
Mosley stuns De la Hoya
14 Sep 03  |  Boxing
Wright defends title
09 Nov 03  |  Boxing

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