By Jake Donovan
He’s not a renowned superstar by any stretch, but the name Winky Wright still rings out in boxing circles. The 40-year old southpaw returns to the ring on June 2, following a three-year hiatus.
The inactive stretch was part by choice and partly forced, as fights were scheduled in between but fell through due to financial issues with the event handlers. No such concerns surround Wright’s upcoming showdown with undefeated middleweight Peter Quillin, which airs live from the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. as part of a televised quadruple header on Showtime.
Wright enters the fight having not fought since a lopsided points loss to Paul Williams in April ’09, with his last win dating all the way back to a decision win over Ike Quartey in Dec. ’06.
The stretch is a far cry from his days as a pound-for-pound entrant. Wright was at the height of his career in the mid-2000s. Two wins over Shane Mosley confirmed his claim as the best 154 lb. fighter on the planet, but it was his near-shutout of Felix Trinidad in 2005 that helped his career soar to even greater heights.
Those days are long gone, to where Wright is viewed as a high profile name brought in to help enhance the career of Quillin, a rising young talent who is angling for a middleweight title shot.
Obviously Wright believes he can win. Otherwise, he’d have never returned to the ring and just stayed retired while awaiting Hall of Fame consideration in two years. Still, he’s not arrogant enough to recognize the uphill climb which lies ahead.
“The game has evolved. You can’t say what you did a long time ago is what you’re going to do now,” Wright acknowledges. “You got to train totally different, fight totally different. You definitely got to look at the individual and see how they fight. All you can do is watch the fight and see what happens.”
Still, Wright insists that there exists the strong possibility of a throwback performance.
“He’s still here,” Wright says of the pound-for-pound version that hasn’t surfaced in nearly five years. “Tune in June 2, you will see. I didn’t pick a bum to come out and fight. I picked a fighter who is undefeated who wants to prove to the world that he is a fighter. He gonna have to do that on June 2.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to JakeNDaBox@gmail.com