By Rick Reeno
BoxingScene.com was advised by a source close to the camp of Winky Wright (51-4-1, 25 KOs), that IBF middleweight champion Arthur Abraham (27-0, 22 KOs) is still the frontrunner to become Wright's first opponent since a decision loss to Bernard Hopkins [catch-weight of 170-pounds] in July of 2007. The fight would take place on January 24 on HBO.
Abraham became ill last Saturday and was forced to postpone his mandatory defense against Raul Marquez to November 8. Considering the new November date and the upcoming December holidays, there is some concern from Wright's camp that a fight with Abraham will not happen. According to the last conversation that was held with HBO, the network was still pushing for Wright to fight Abraham. At the present, the network's position has not changed.
Other factors can come into play to prevent a Wright-Abraham encounter. Like Abraham's desire to fight Kelly Pavlik in early 2009. On the flipside of that, Pavlik is hoping to fight the winner of Joe Calzaghe-Roy Jones Jr. in early 2009.
It was also revealed to me that Wright would like to take a tuneup fight on November 29 in Puerto Rico, co-promoting the event with his own company, Winky Promotions, and having Miguel Cotto as the other co-promoter [Miguel Cotto Promotions]. A tuneup fight may not become a reality due to a clause in Wright's HBO contract for the January TV date. The clause blocks him from participating in any fight 90-days prior to HBO date.