Winky Wright must be wondering what he has to do to pick a fight with this guy, what it takes to get him riled enough that he cocks his fists, spits in the dirt and says, “OK, Winky, let’s go.’’
Wright has already done everything but laugh in Oscar De La Hoya’s face. He’s all but drawn a line in the sand with his toe and banged on his door, asking Oscar to step outside so they can settle things.
All Winky wants is a chance to unify the junior-middleweight title. Seems like the logical next step since Winky has one-third of the title and De La Hoya has two-thirds But by now, Ronald “Winky” Wright knows it’s not about world titles, at least not anymore. Instead, it’s about revenge and redemption. It’s about bloody noses and name calling. It’s about returning to the playground a few hours later and kicking the butt of the kid who just got done kicking yours.
That’s the kind of payday De La Hoya is fighting for.
Now the WBC and WBA junior-middleweight champ following his TKO win over Fernando Vargas, De La Hoya doesn’t seem to care about unifying the title. He doesn’t care about fighting Wright, who owns the IBF title. He wants to settle something more personal. He wants that special footnote attached to his bio, the one explaining how, sure, he lost a couple of fights, but he went back later and got the last laugh, beating Shane Mosley and Felix Trinidad, who both beat him by decision earlier in everyone’s career. Who can blame him?
Of course, the timing couldn’t be better for The Oscar De La Hoya Revenge Tour.
Mosley has lost two in a row and he’s not the fighter he was. How come De La Hoya wants a rematch now? As for Trinidad, their first fight was three years ago. Why did Oscar wait until Tito both lost and retired before he started talking about a rematch?
So it's easy to understand why Wright is impatient, why he's trying to goad Oscar into a unification fight. Along with Winky’s agent, Fred Sternburg, the two have done everything they can to get De La Hoya into the ring short of committing a felony.
De La Hoya’s promoter, Bob Arum, isn’t helping Wright’s cause. He offered a lame excuse as to why his fighter wouldn’t be climbing into any boxing ring with Winky Wright standing in the opposite corner. At least not for awhile.
“As for Wright, he has to get better known,’’ Arum was quoted as saying by the Las Vegas Sun. “I’m the guy putting out the money and I’m an old man who is not looking to lose millions of dollars, so I just don’t see that fight happening at this time.’’
Wright and Sternburg had their own twist to the quote. Their translation of what Arum was saying went something like this: “Are you nuts? No way I’m putting Oscar in with Winky Wright before I pick up an easy payday against Shane Mosley!’’
According to Wright, if Arum wants him to be better known, he will “embark on a whistlestop tour throughout every major Hispanic market. New York, Chicago, Miami, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and California. I will even go to Mexico. I have defeated 44 men in eight different countries on four different continents. Do you think a little travel is going to bother me?’’
Why didn’t Arum just say that Oscar wanted revenge more than he wanted to unify a title?
Meanwhile, the rallying cry for Wright – who defended his title against Bronco McKart on Sept. 7 – has become, “Oscar, fight me. Don’t kiss greatness good-bye.’’
Apparently, the cry hasn’t kept Oscar up at night. Arum hinted they’re close to signing Mosley to a rematch.
I guess they’re telling Winky what he can kiss.