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Any boxing fans here? Who wins a Taylor-Wright fight? MBM

Taylor-Wright showdown in the works

By Chuck Johnson, USA TODAY

One of the most anticipated bouts in the coming year is Jermain Taylor's mandatory defense against Ronald "Winky" Wright for the undisputed middleweight title. It's going to happen, but the question still is when.
Ronald Ronald "Winky" Wright, left, is in line to fight Jermain Taylor for the middleweight championship.

Lou DiBella, Taylor's promoter, plans to meet next week with Gary Shaw, the promoter for Wright, in response to a directive from one of the major sanctioning bodies that negotiations for a Taylor-Wright title fight begin immediately.

"We're going to go over the possibilities, and I have a good feeling we'll be able to work something out," DiBella said Thursday. "I've spoken with HBO already, and I agree with them that it's not a pay-per-view fight right now. It needs to be built up. And even if it's not a pay-per-view fight, HBO would have to put up extraordinary licensing fees. The fight is not as big as it needs to be right now. It needs time to grow."

Earlier this week, WBC President Jose Sulaiman ordered the Taylor and Wright camps to begin negotiations for the mandatory title defense. If no agreement is reached, a purse offer (open to the highest bid by any promoter) will be held Jan. 20 in Mexico City, and Taylor will be guaranteed a 60-40 split of the prize money.

DiBella reiterated his plans for a Taylor homecoming fight in Little Rock against a lesser foe before taking on Wright's mandatory challenge sometime next year.

DiBella said it only makes sense for Taylor to fight an easier opponent after two tough fights against Bernard Hopkins, including a unanimous decision in the rematch two weeks ago.

"Jermain is coming off two pay-per-view fights against a guy who's the hardest to hit and the hardest to look good against," DiBella said. "Now we're supposed to take the next guy in line in that category? They would put me in the promoter's hall of shame if I did that."

Last Saturday, Wright entrenched himself as the top contender with a unanimous decision against Sam Soliman, and immediately revved up his campaign for a shot at Taylor's crown.

"Everyone knows that after every fight, I have always asked for another big fight," Wright said. "No breathers for me. I only want the biggest fights against the best fighters because I am a competitor and I believe a champion should act like a champion. Now we are going to see who the best middleweight really is, Jermain Taylor or me."

The jury is still out on Taylor after two close fights against Hopkins, but fight fans also expected more from Wright in his win against the awkward Australian Soliman, leaving some to doubt whether the Taylor-Wright fight has reached its ultimate marquee value.

"Certainly, Winky's performance did not make it bigger," DiBella said. "But we're not giving up the WBC belt, so we're going to try to get something done. If Gary (Shaw) and I can come up with a game plan for some time next year, I'm sure the WBC will accommodate us. At this point, I'm not foreclosing any possibility."


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Fight fan here! tfro Taylor is still green. Jermain has lots of flaws in his defensive stance & still does not have 12 round conditioning. He barely won his last two fights; both fights could have gone to Hopkins just as easily, they were that close. Wright is just as good a technician & defensive fighter (if not better) than Hopkins and in his prime.

I'm glad the WBC is forcing this fight (for once - they are doing something right). HBO & DiBella were hoping to stall & freeze Winky out (Don't get me started on HBO & their bias for their contract fighters - like Taylor). Winky would beat Hopkins and will dominate Taylor.
Memphis to host Taylor-Wright bout

March 3, 2006

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- The June 17 fight between middleweight champion Jermain Taylor and Winky Wright will be held in the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tenn.

DiBella Entertainment, Gary Shaw Productions and Prize Fight Promotions announced the location on Friday.

"Memphis has illustrated clearly that it is a boxing town and the FedEx Forum is one of the finest arenas in the country," Lou DiBella, Taylor's promoter, said. "We look forward to the Southern hospitality in June."

Wright promoter Gary Shaw said the match will be "the most important fight" in the 160-pound division.

Taylor, of Little Rock, said he was pleased the fight could be held so close to home.

"Having held my last training camp there, and it being just two hours from Little Rock, Memphis is like a second home to me," Taylor said. "I can't wait to perform in front of my fans from Arkansas and my adopted hometown fans in Memphis. It's going to be a great night."

Taylor (25-0) won a decision over champion Bernard Hopkins in July for the middleweight titles, then won a second decision against Hopkins in December.

Wright (50-3) has a left-handed stance that many boxers find troubling. He has a long track record of victories against top-level fighters, including Shane Mosely and Felix Trinidad.

The fight marks the fifth consecutive year Memphis will host a top boxing event, dating to Lennox Lewis' knockout of Mike Tyson in 2002.

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