Winky Wright takes care of business and Ike Quartey in Tampa
The bigger, stronger, younger Ronald “Winky” Wright (51-3-1, 25 KOs) had the homecoming everyone at the St. Pete Times Forum expected Saturday night by totally dominating the smaller, weaker, older Ike “Bazooka” Quartey (37-4-1, 31 KOs), in a fight broadcast by HBO.
The former welterweight champion Quartey, 37, wearing red, green and yellow trunks, ate right jabs all night long, and looked light years away from the fighter who stood so tall in the welterweight division in the mid-1990s. On this night, Ike threw 642 punches over the 12 round bout, landing 174 of them for a 35% connect total. Winky, 35, in light blue trunks, fought as only Winky fights, with a tight defense, perfect concentration and that baffling southpaw stance, and fired off 1001 punches, of which 269 landed for a 38% connect total.
The victorious Wright was credited with two knockdowns in the bout, both of which were questionable, much like the referee in the fight, Frank Santore Jr., the official responsible for the specious calls. The three judges sitting ringside scored the bout 117-110, 117-110 and 117-109, all for Winky Wright.
After the fight, when asked about his increased offensive output against Quartey, Wright said, I was trying to close the show. Ike’s a tough fighter. He’s tough as nails. He’s got a great chin. Hey, he’s durable. But I wanted to do much standing and delivering to show the crowd that I can punch. Winky then said that Quartey is a Great friend, great guy. I didn’t want to hurt him bad.
Wright did say that he’d next like to the fight the winner of De La Hoya/Mayweather, who he said he hopes, but doesn’t necessarily assume, will be De La Hoya. “I want the winner of my co-promoter and Floyd Mayweather. Oscar is the only great champion I’ve not fought.”
In televised undercard action, former IBF super middleweight champion Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy (22-1, 17 KOs), in his first fight back since his brutal, one-sided defeat at the hands of Joe Calzaghe in March, barely squeaked out a 10 round majority decision over Ukrainian Vitali Tsypko (19-2, 10 KOs). In a fight where Lacy was expected to come out like gangbusters and make a big statement, he controlled the action early, but Tsypko came on enough in the second half and did enough to have maybe have won the bout. But the judges scored it 95-95 and 96-94 twice for Lacy.
Larry Merchant, summing up Lacy’s below par performance Saturday night, said, Lacy was rated a little higher in the echelon than he belonged, but once he went up against a marquee fighter, that is Joe Calzaghe, we saw where he stands.