Friday, June 27, 2008

:boxing: Decade's Best...So Far (2007 Edition) :: Boxing's Pound-4-Pound (Top 10) ::: #7 and #8

And now, #7 and #8...

*All record information comes courtesy of Boxing Records Archive.

7. Ronald “Winky” Wright

Overall Record (as of 2007): 51-4 (by KO: 25-0)
Decade Record (as of 2007): 12-1-1 (by KO: 1-0)
Notable Wins: Bronco McKart (2000, 2002 – UD, DQ), Shane Mosley (2004 (twice) – UD, MD), Felix Trinidad (2005 – UD), Sam Soliman (2005 – UD), Ike Quartey (2006 – UD)
Notable Losses: Bernard Hopkins (2007 – UD)
Notable Draws: Jermain Taylor (2006 – On points)
Championships: Light Middleweight (WBA, WBC, IBF, USBA, NABF)

Ronald, or as many have known him as, “Winky”, Wright is a defensive technician that may not have been blessed with great punching power, but was at least born with long enough arms that have given him a good edge in employing his craft. He is also an accomplished, smart boxer who has frustrated many opponents and made himself a target to be avoided. He managed to shut down Shane Mosley and beat him twice in 2004 before finally getting the recognition that had escaped him for so long in a now-legendary performance against Felix Trinidad in the following year. The ease with which he defeated and embarrassed the powerhouse and former middleweight champion (basically by feeding him a steady diet of jabs and the occasional power shot or combo) shocked many, perhaps eclipsing Bernard Hopkins’ own mastery of the pugilist in 2001. Wright would draw against Hopkins conqueror Jermain Taylor in a controversial fight, which dredged up similar memories of his disputed 1999 majority decision loss against Fernando Vargas and left the fighter very bitter afterwards. His anticipated match-up against Bernard Hopkins in 2007 was not a standout effort from either at the upper weight of light heavyweight, but the latter eked out the decision win. Though he lost, he fought as well as he could at that level, and as his previous fights showed, he was willing to fight the top opposition and fight his fight to (mostly) his advantage. And as a defense-minded fighter, that isn’t an easy task.

8. Shane Mosley

Overall Record (as of 2007): 44-5-0-1 NC (by KO: 37-0)
Decade Record (as of 2007): 11-5-0-1 NC (by KO: 6-0)
Notable Wins: Oscar De La Hoya (2000, 2003 – SD, UD), Fernando Vargas (2006 (twice) – TKO10, TKO6), Luis Collazo (2007 – UD)
Notable Losses: Vernon Forrest (2002 (twice) – UD (twice)), Ronald “Winky” Wright (2004 (twice) – UD, MD), Miguel Cotto (2007 – UD)
Notable “No Contests”: Raul Marquez (2003 – NC3)
Championships: Welterweight (WBA, WBC, IBA), Light Middleweight (WBA, WBC, IBA)

Shane Mosley was one of the most furious and feared forces in boxing at the beginning of the decade: a fast and powerful fighter that had boasted one of the highest KO win records around (as well as on this list). Moreover, as was the case in 2003 as it was in 2000, he is the only fighter that can genuinely claim to have the great Oscar De La Hoya’s number, with two decision wins over him. Despite his accomplishments, however, his record as of 2007 hasn’t been stellar. The most glaring statistic comes from his unsuccessful avenging of losses in rematches, first with Vernon Forrest, who can genuinely claim to have Mosley’s number and to be the first person to have handed him both a loss and to send him down to the canvas, and again with Ronald “Winky” Wright. Additionally, his most recent bout, against the hot up-and-comer Miguel Cotto in 2007, also resulted in a loss. In spite of this, he lost to top-notch competition and fought much better in said rematches, giving Forrest and Wright a harder outing the second time around. All three fighters were not exactly ideal matches for him, either, and he did well in hanging with Cotto at age 36 than most younger fighters had had. His willingness to go the rough route and his better showings in rematches helped earn him his spot on the list.

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