Ivan's Blog

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Monday, May 16, 2005
Boxing--- It wasn't as exciting as last week's fight between Diego Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo, but Saturday's fight between Ronald "Winky" Wright and Felix "Tito" Trinidad was one of the more remarkable things you'll ever see in boxing, as Winky pitched a complete shut-out. It was Trinidad's second comeback fight , with the first being a spectacular KO win over Ricardo Mayorga, and it could very well be his last fight.

ESPN.com's Dan Rafael compared it to the 49ers crushing the Broncos in the Super Bowl years ago by the score of 55 to 10, but it would be hard to think of how Trinidad figuratively scored 10 points in this fight. Trinidad only landed 58 punches in the entire fight (compared to Wright's 262 punches landed), and you could count on one hand the number of those Trinidad punches that landed cleanly without being at least partially blocked.

Call me old fashioned, but I tend to prefer substance over style in sports, and it doesn't get much better than Winky Wright when it comes to substance. Just as when he fought Shane Mosley last year, Wright went into this fight as the betting underdog, against a much flashier and bigger-name opponent. And just as he did against Mosley in two different fights last year, Wright completely dominated his opponent. As the HBO announcers pointed out during the fight, Wright's style is focused on throwing shorter, quicker punches that leave him in a better position to defend. Trinidad was never able to get past Wright's stiff jab, his incredible defense, and his superior poise in the ring.

Wright stayed calm and consistent throughout the entire fight, just as he always does, as he constantly and repeatedly imposed his will on Trinidad by punching him right in the face. Trinidad could see most of the punches coming and simply couldn't do anything about it, while about two dozen punches during the fight caught Trinidad by surprise and caused his head to buckle backwards.

While Wright had a solid gameplan that he stuck to and executed to perfection, Trinidad was like a deer in the headlights. It was clear from the beginning of the fight that Trinidad figured he would just plow over Wright and overwhelm him with power. When Trinidad couldn't even reach Wright's head, much less hurt it, there was no Plan B. Trinidad simply tried in vain for the rest of the fight to land a one-punch knockout that never came. I'd be willing to bet that Wright had a "Plan B" that he could have gone to if Plan A hadn't worked out so well.

At this point, Trinidad has a rematch clause that he can activate if he so chooses, but as HBO's Larry Merchant asked, "Why would he want to?" Even if Trinidad came into a potential rematch with a less arrogant gameplan, you'll find very few boxing experts who think that a second Wright-Trinidad fight would play out any differently.

The same was true with Shane Mosley after his first fight with Winky Wright, and he eventually took a rematch only because there was no other fight for him to take. The same might happen in Trinidad's case (with the same result as Wright vs. Mosley II), or he might call it a career and retire again. In any case, it's about damn time that Winky Wright gets the respect that he deserves as one of the best boxers in the world. Wright had already earned that distinction over the course of his career, and he earned it all over again with his domination of Felix Trinidad.