Winky Wright Beats Mosley Again Proving Old Adage

BY Frank Lotierzo ON November 20, 2004
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It's the oldest and most accurate and true saying in boxing, need I dare even say it again?  Yes, it must be repeated again on this occasion, "Styles Make Fights," and some fighters just match up with other fighters, regardless of who or how great they are.

Although it was much closer and more fiercely contested this time, Winky Wright 48-3 (25) retained his WBA and WBC Junior Middleweight titles by winning a 12-round majority decision over Shane Mosley 39-4 (35) in their rematch. The fight was pretty much what most observers expected. Wright was his typical consistent self, and Mosley was busier and more purposeful then he was in their first meeting. However, in the end it was the strength and southpaw style of Winky Wright that was the difference in what was a very close fight.

In the rematch it was evident that Mosley just has to fight so much harder to be effective against Wright, than Wright does against him. Wright basically keeps his chin down and holds his hands up with his elbows tucked in tightly and steps to Mosley behind his jab, scoring and pushing him back and out of punching range. Mosley has to move and try to set Wright up with head feints, while keeping his hands in Wright's face in an attempt to nullify his offense.

The record says Wright is 2-0 against Mosley in two title fights. Usually when fighter-A is 2-0 versus fighter-B, most would routinely assume that fighter-A is the better fighter. Personally, I don't think that's the case regarding Wright and Mosley. If it was just the record that you saw and not the two bouts between these two, I can certainly see why that assumption (Wright being the better fighter) would be made. However, after watching Wright and Mosley in the ring for two fights and 24 rounds, that's not what I see.

After watching both fights, I don't come away thinking Winky Wright is definitely a better fighter than Shane Mosley. What I see is Wright's build and body structure, along with him fighting out of a southpaw stance, are what give Mosley fits. Wright simply throws long and straight conventional right jabs and straight lefts. Mosley throws more of a pawing jab to set up his pot-shot right hand and left hooks. Anyone who knows boxing is aware that straight punches get to their intended destination first. And when they land they nullify shorter compact hooks, the type that Mosley often throws.

Since Mosley is most effective when either going to Wright's body, or throwing multiple short choppy left leads to get his right hand in, he is at a disadvantage. Remember, body punching leaves a fighter more exposed and vulnerable to getting hit in return. This is because in order to punch to the body, a fighter has to be close to his opponent. The other obstacle Mosley faces is that because his jab is short and compact, along with his right hand being more arching and choppy, he has to move in towards Wright.

When the fighter with the shorter arms has to try to beat the fighter with the longer arms to the punch, he's in trouble. By Mosley having to go to Wright and try and beat him on the outside, he makes it easier for Wright to hit him flush and hard. That takes a toll on any fighter, which is most likely why Mosley, despite being in great condition, lost the ninth and tenth rounds on my card.

In most scenarios, it's the fighter with the longer reach that wants the fight to be on the outside. When the fighter who is presumed to be the better inside fighter has to actually win outside before he can even get inside, he has more than his work cut out. In most match ups, the fighter who is the swarmer and needs to be inside to be effective doesn't have to do it by winning outside, like Mosley has to against Wright. Usually the swarmer gets inside by pressuring his opponent, cutting off the ring and attacking him low. That's not Mosley's style or who he is as a fighter.

Fighter's like Frazier, Duran, and Chavez had to be inside to set up shop and do their business. They didn't have to win outside first in order to do so, like Mosley needs to against Wright. Basically, Mosley has to be Thomas Hearns outside so he can work his way inside, and then transform into Duran or Chavez inside. Think that doesn't take a lot out of a fighter mentally and physically?

In a rematch between the world's premier junior middleweights, Winky Wright defeated Shane Mosley for the second time retaining his WBA and WBC titles. Did he really prove that he was the better and more skilled fighter? Not in my mind. What he proved is that he has the body type and style to be effective fighting against Shane Mosley. There are probably more than a few outstanding junior middleweight's in the world that Mosley would handle easier than Wright would. However, as long as Wright holds the title, Mosley can't get it.

Mosley fought like a real champion against Wright and once again showed heart. There is nothing else he could've done to change the outcome. This fight was much closer than the first on. That was because Mosley fought for it so hard and wanted it so badly, but there's nothing he can do against Wright that will change it enough for him to come out on top.

The fight itself was action packed, and it was evident that both fighters respected each other. And the scorecards reading 114-114 and 115-113 twice was not only correct, but a true reflection of what took place in the ring. The only one who was off was HBO's Harold Lederman who had it 117-111 and 9-3 in rounds. It's an outrage that he scored the 12th round for Wright, a round that was beyond a doubt Mosley's.

I had the bout even after 10 rounds. I split the 11th and 12th rounds, giving Wright the 11th and Mosley the 12th for a total of 114-114.  The best scenario for Wright was either a narrow win or a draw. The best scenario I saw for Mosley was a draw.

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