By Keith Idec
As Chad Dawson nears the completion of training camp for his Oct. 15 fight against Bernard Hopkins, he’s thankful to have another southpaw who has fought Hopkins by his side.
Ronald “Winky” Wright has helped head trainer John Scully prepare Dawson for the biggest fight of his career, a 12-round HBO Pay-Per-View main event at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Wright (51-5-1, 25 KOs) lost a 12-round unanimous decision to Hopkins (52-5-2, 32 KOs, 1 NC) in July 2007, but he walked away from that bout with some invaluable information about how Hopkins operates.
“We’ve got Winky Wright here, who’s been in the ring with Bernard,” Dawson said. “He knows all the dirty tricks, everything he’s going to try to pull, and he’s advising me on all of those things. And he’s keeping me aware and keeping me alert.”
Wright won’t work Dawson’s corner on fight night, but he’ll cheer loudly from a ringside seat for Dawson (30-1, 17 KOs, 1 NC). The former junior middleweight champion from St. Petersburg, Fla., expects the 29-year-old Dawson to take the 46-year-old Hopkins’ WBC light heavyweight title.
“I just think that Chad is a very good fighter, a very good boxer,” Wright said. “He’s tougher than a lot of people give him credit for. People want to doubt him, like he’s a quitter, and I’ve never seen him quit in a fight. I’ve always seen him have a good heart, and he’s a tough kid. And I just came here [to Bushkill, Pa.] to try to help him, to instill in him to fight his fight. Don’t let Bernard drag him into the dirty tactics and different things.”
Wright, 39, lost pretty handily to Hopkins (117-111, 117-111, 116-112), but he hardly feels as though Hopkins is unbeatable, especially at such an advanced age.
“Chad is a great boxer — quick hands, quick feet, youth,” Wright said. “Bernard is a very crafty, smart fighter. And people want to make it seem like he’s this great magician. He’s not. He’s just a hard worker, and he tries to get in your head and out-smart you.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, NJ., and BoxingScene.com.