The rumored fight between Peter Quillin and the semi-retired Winky Wright has finally come together, but won't be on the May 5 Mayweather vs Cotto pay-per-view as previously projected. Instead, ESPN.com reports that Quillin vs Wright will be on the May 26 Showtime card headlined by Antonio Tarver and Lateef Kayode.
"I think it's a fascinating matchup," [Golden Boy CEO Richard] Schaefer said. "With Winky Wright, you have one of the biggest names in the sport and for him to come back and not take some sort of a tune-up fight, but to go into a fight with one of the top rated guys at 160 pounds in Peter Quillin, it just shows you Winky is serious about giving it another run."
Wright, 40, hasn't fought in three years, and has fought just one time in the last five, when he was pretty thoroughly defeated by Paul Williams on HBO in 2009. At that point, Wright looked like an old fighter, and all talk about him since then has been stop-and-start. He's had several fights supposedly lined up, then they didn't happen for one reason or another.
I don't think it's exactly an insult to Wright to say that Schaefer is rather grossly exaggerating when he calls Winky "one of the biggest names in the sport," considering Wright has never been what you'd call a draw. Between Wright and Tarver, you have two aged fighters, well past their primes, facing young guys with no name value to date, both of whom want whatever rub they can get off of their elders.
This show might as well be called "Tha Crossroads."
Quillin, 28, recently signed a deal with adviser to the stars Al Haymon, which makes it truly unsurprising that he's now going to head to Showtime for a fight that I'm not sure anyone wants to see. What's happening at Showtime Sports under Stephen Espinoza has now become officially and truly disturbing for boxing fans. They seem 100% committed to featuring Haymon's fighters as much as possible, as well as investing in "comeback" efforts, or attempted comeback efforts.
Just recently, we've seen Showtime put their weight behind Jermain Taylor, Paul Williams, and Andre Dirrell, and now we have Tarver and Winky on the same card. Does this really make sense to anyone? And does Dirrell even stay in their plans now that Haymon is out on his end? This network is turning down Bute vs Froch and giving us this? At this rate, Showtime will be putting Shane Mosley in main events after he loses soundly to Canelo Alvarez (if he does).
From turning ShoBox into a complete filler program to this bizarre trend of featuring way too many guys who are either done or damn close to it, the Espinoza era at Showtime is sputtering out of the gate, and is beginning to reek of Ross Greenburg, the man former Showtime chief Ken Hershman replaced at HBO after years of Greenburg making a mess. If this were 2005, Showtime would have quite a stable on their hands right now. But it's 2012.
As for the fight itself, I actually don't mind it that much, which I know isn't coming across too well right now. Winky wants to fight again, so let's see what he's got. Quillin can use a name and Winky may not be the star that Schaefer is selling here, but he's got some name value. I pretty much see it the exact way I see Tarver-Kayode. I don't hate either fight itself, I just wonder what in the hell Showtime is thinking with their new plan of attack, and I really fear where they're going right now. That's just my opinion.