Winky Wright Earns No. 1 Spot; Guaranteed A Shot At Taylor’s Middleweight Championship

By Francis Walker
Updated: December 12, 2005

Winky Wright

NEW YORK — It is official. Ronald “Winky” Wright is the new No. 1-ranked challenger for Jermain Taylor’s world middleweight championship. Wright (50-3, 25 KOs) defeated Sam Soliman (31-8, 12 KOs), via unanimous 12-round decision in an interesting WBC title elimination bout on Saturday in front of 4,682 at the Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, CT.

Wright , who has two victories over Shane Mosley, and a win over the great Felix Trinidad, was clearly better than Soliman. Both fighters threw over 1,800 punches combined.

It is anticipated that Wright will fight Taylor for the WBC/WBA and WBO championships at 160 pounds. Taylor, on Dec. 3, retained the middleweight titles with a close, but convincing 12-round decision in a rematch against Bernard Hopkins. Taylor wrestled the middleweight championship from Hopkins with a split decision in July.

Taylor-Wright, hands down, is the best middleweight title fight that can be made. But it won’t happen right away. Taylor had an exhausting year chasing a fight with Hopkins, who defending the middleweight crown 21 times in 10 years. Taylor plans on defending the middleweight title in his hometown of Little Rock, Arkansas before accepting Wright’s challenge.

“I want Jermain as soon as possible,” Wright declares.”

It probably won’t be until the summer or early in the fall until Taylor meets Wright.

Against Soliman, Wright defeated an opponent who has never been knocked out and has not lost a fight in more than four years. Soliman survived several brutal onslaughts in the early rounds from Wright, a polished southpaw (left-handed) fighter with solid boxing skills. Wright staggered Soliman in the tenth round, but appeared too tired to press for a knockout victory.

Wright settled for a decision win on the three judges’ scorecards that read 117-110, 115-112, and 115-113.

“He was very awkward and he came to fight. Now I want Taylor as soon as possible.”

Although Soliman threw 1260 punches, he only landed 176. Soliman never hurt Wright, who threw only 652 punches, but landed 300. Wright had Soliman hurt several times during the fight but couldn’t finish his foe. Wright was never recognized as a knockout artist anyhow.

Miranda Challenges Taylor

As highly regard Middleweight contender, Edison Miranda watched the Taylor/Hopkins fight Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada, he told anyone that would listen that he would beat Jermaine Taylor.

Later at the post fight press conference when Jermaine Taylor said he would make his next defense against a top 10 or 12 opponent in his hometown of Little Rock, Arkansas, the undefeated Miranda stated “I’ll fight him (Taylor) anywhere, including in his hometown. He will be no problem for me.” The confident Miranda is ranked #4 in the WBO, #7 in the IBF and #9 in the WBC and believes no one can beat him. He insisted that he was ready to take out Jermaine Taylor in his hometown.

Since Saturday’s fight Miranda has told anyone that would listen that he wants Taylor and he wants him now. 24-0 with 21 KOs, Miranda, a 24-year-old native of Buenaventura, Colombia, has gone 4-0 since relocating to the United States in 2005. In his last bout, on October 21st, Miranda stopped 18-1 Sherwin Davis in the third round.