Ronald "Winky" Wright Announces Retirement from Boxing

June 6, 2012

Following a tough decision loss to Peter "Kid Chocolate" Quillin this past Saturday night, former junior middleweight champion and longtime middleweight contender Ronald "Winky" Wright has decided to retire at the age of 40.

"Part of being a boxer is knowing when to call it quits," said Wright. "It's time for me. I did what I set out to do and that was to be great and become a world champion. I have a lot of great memories from my career and will still support this great sport which I have dedicated my life to. I want to thank all of the people who helped me along the way and especially the fans that supported me all of these years."

Wright retires as one of the premiere defensive fighters of his era. A tough southpaw who often frustrated his opponents, Wright was at his best blocking punches with his arms and keeping his opponents at bay with a solid right jab.

"Winky Wright is a class act in and out of the ring and if you wanted to see what true skill was, you watched him fight," said Oscar de la Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions. "I congratulate him on his amazing career. I know we'll be seeing him in the Hall of Fame very soon. Winky, it was an honor to watch you in the ring and to promote some of your fights."

A true throwback fighter who competed around the world while taking on all comers, Wright (51-6-1, 25 KO's) thrilled fans in the United States, France, Germany, Argentina, South Africa and England over the course of his nearly 22-year career, showing off the finer points of the sweet science every time he stepped into the ring.

After building his reputation on the international scene, the only place where he could get anyone to fight him, Wright finally got his first shot at a world title in August of 1994, when he lost a decision to WBA Super Welterweight World Champion Julio Cesar Vasquez.

Undeterred, Wright ran off nine consecutive victories and then defeated Bronco McKart in May 1996 to win the WBO Junior Middleweight World Title.

Wright defended the belt three times before suffering a loss to Harry Simon in 1999. Two fights later he made his HBO debut and lost a highly controversial decision to Fernando Vargas.

The resilient Wright soon won another title in 2001, defeating Robert Frazier for the IBF 154-pound title. For the next six years, no one touched Wright as he earned a place on the pound-for-pound list by unifying the junior middleweight titles while defeating the likes of Sugar Shane Mosley (twice), Felix Trinidad, and Ike Quartey.

After a 2007 loss to Bernard Hopkins, Wright fought sporadically, losing in 2009 to Paul Williams and this past Saturday night to Quillin.

As was his custom, Winky went out fighting, in one instance walking down Quillin in a ninth round rally after getting hurt earlier in the fight.

"Winky is the consummate athlete, but more importantly a man of character, trust and a great parent," said Jim Wilkes, Wright's attorney and long-time friend. "In a world of indulgence, he has never smoked a cigarette or had a drink of alcohol. He is a great friend and I look forward to his adventures to come."

Wright now looks forward to the day he will be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Until then, he'll spend his time with loves of life: His wife Pie, his children, nieces, nephews, and the golf courses of the west coast of Florida.

By Staff of The Daily Sports Herald and news services

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