By Keith Idec
A fight against a younger, stronger, undefeated opponent will be well worthwhile if a victory over Peter Quillin leads Ronald “Winky” Wright where believes it should.
“I want to fight the best,” Wright said. “After I fight this fight, I want a title shot. If I ain’t getting no title shot, then it’s irrelevant — what I’m doing is not necessary because if you ain’t in it to win titles and get belts, then you’re just doing the game just for the fun of it.”
Fun definitely isn’t what motivated the 40-year-old Wright to end a three-year layoff against an up-and-coming middleweight with legitimate power Saturday night in Carson, Calif. (9 p.m. EDT/PDT; Showtime). The former junior middleweight champion picked Quillin (26-0, 20 KOs) as his opponent because Wright knows he needs to at least beat someone credible if he is to land a title shot next.
The veteran from St. Petersburg, Fla., is in no way treating Quillin as afterthought, though. Wright has beaten Shane Mosley twice and Felix Trinidad, yet fully realizes the 28-year-old Quillin is looking to validate his own status as a top 160-pound contender by beating a potential Hall-of-Famer.
“Right now I’m not even looking [at a title fight],” Wright said. “I’m not looking past June 2. June 2 is what I’m looking forward to. After that, then we could talk about all the rest of that. But I don’t want to lose focus on ‘Kid Chocolate.’ ”
The left-handed Wright (51-5-1, 25 KOs) hasn’t fought since Paul Williams (41-2, 27 KOs) completely out-boxed him in a 12-rounder in April 2009 in Las Vegas. That was one of Wright’s two fights in the past 5½ years, but he thinks his history, combined with a win against Quillin, could earn him a shot at one of boxing’s middleweight champions.
Wright didn’t exactly say he wants to fight Sergio Martinez (49-2-2, 28 KOs), the man generally regarded as boxing’s best at 160 pounds. He didn’t say he didn’t want to fight him, either.
“I ain’t calling no one out right now,” Wright said. “Whoever got the belts, that’s who I’m coming at, so no particular one person. But if you want to know who I think is best middleweight out there, it’s Martinez, for me. So it is what it is.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com.