As soon as news came through last week that Hennessy Sports had won the purse bids to stage one of the most anticipated domestic matches of the year – Darren Barker v Matthew Macklin – the consensus amongst those who know even a little about boxing politics was that European champion Macklin would suddenly go a different route. In saying that, I doubt very much Macklin’s alternative opposition was considered by anyone – one of the best boxers of his generation, Ronald ‘Winky’ Wright – or that Macklin would sign, as is being reported in America, a multi-fight deal with Golden Boy Promotions.
Wright has not fought since April 2009 when he lost a wide points decision against Paul Williams. The proposed non-title bout will, according to GBP boss Richard Schaefer, take place on April 9th at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas, as part of the undercard to Juan Manuel Marquez versus, perhaps, Erik Morales.
“The winner clearly is set up for a middleweight world championship fight,” Schaefer told Dan Rafael of ESPN.com. “For each guy this is an extremely important fight.
“I think the story here is that you have Matthew Macklin, who has worked himself up the rankings and put together a pretty impressive streak of wins and now is considered one of the best contenders from Europe, so for him this is a big step up.
“A win over Winky Wright will make him a serious contender for the one of the world titles.
“For Winky Wright to come back and fight against an opponent like Matthew Macklin shows he is serious about coming back. If he wins, he’s in line for one of the middleweight world titles. Winky understands this won’t be an easy fight, but he also knows if he wins, he is perfectly positioned. Winky didn’t want just a tune-up fight.”