Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wright the Right Opponent?

Did Williams pick Wright opponent?
By Michael Rosenthal -

Is Paul Williams walking into a trap?

Winky Wright, Williams’ opponent on either April 11 or 18, will have at least two factors working against him in this battle of southpaws.

The former four-time world titleholder is 37 and will not have fought in 21 months, since he was outpointed by Bernard Hopkins at 170 pounds on July 21, 2007 in Las Vegas. That’s a long layoff for anyone, particularly an old guy.

Now, he’s expected to drop back down to 160 and compete with one of the most-talented fighters in the world?

If anyone can pull it off, Wright can.

The loss to Hopkins is understandable. Wright looked sluggish at 170 pounds, 10 more than his second-highest weight, and he fought with a deep cut above his eye from the third round on.

His only other blemish since losing a close decision to a young, fresh Fernando Vargas in 1999 was a draw with Jermain Taylor at 160 pounds in 2006.

The point is this: One of the best pure boxers of his era hasn’t shown signs of a serious decline. If nothing else, it will be interesting to see how much Wright (51-4-1, 25 KOs) has left.

The feeling here is that Williams (36-1, 27 KOs) will outwork Wright and win a close, but convincing decision.

Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions, Wright’s promoter, said both sides have agreed to the fight but no contracts have been signed. Las Vegas and Los Angeles are among sites being considered.

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