By Scoop Malinowski
Astute ring observers understand the influence of Al Haymon and Floyd Mayweather on boxing has not been entirely productive or positive for the integrity and image of the sport on the public.
Haymon has been called a megalomaniac who wants to monopolize and control the sport, without making the best fights that the fans and media want to see, and rather interestingly, at least one former boxing champion has expressed disgust about the direction the sport of boxing has been going in the last five years.
In an interview with Greg Leon at Boxing Talk, the recently elected Hall of Famer Winky Wright, called out some dirty dealings he does not approve of. “Lately I’ve been getting back into boxing,” said Wright, the former Junior Middleweight kingpin who retired from boxing in 2012. “But I was turned off a little bit by it at the end because it was so political and so controlled by one person, it wasn’t fun for me anymore.”
Of course, it’s most likely Wright was fingering Haymon. Because there are no other suspects or figures in boxing who could justly be accused of wrecking boxing for personal self interests like Haymon and his vehicle, Mayweather.
And it’s also interesting that Leon refused to ask Wright to name the subject of his allegation. Boxing Talk site has shown a pattern of shying away from ever discussing Haymon, whose shell promoter Lou DiBella is a significant contributor to the site via interviews and interviews of his fighters.
But it’s a stunning allegation for a Hall of Famer to take direct sharp criticism at an obviously powerful boxing figure and to actually verbalize that this figure has too much control of the sport and was sucking the fun and excitement out of the sport via his controversial dealings and business practices.
Wright, who fought an impressive catalog of world champions in his 22 year pro career, including Julio Cesar Vazquez, Bronco McKart, Fernando Vargas, Shane Mosley, Felix Trinidad, Harry Simon, Bernard Hopkins, Paul Williams, Jermain Taylor, Keith Mullings, Ike Quartey and Julio Cesar Candelo, finished with a pro record of 51-6-1 (25 KO’s).
Wright, now 46, also took a shot at Mayweather, who was praised and rewarded for his boring, defensive style by TV network executives, which contrasted with the theme of his own career.