Winky Wright, left, connects with a left to the face of Ike Quartey, of Ghana, during their middleweight match on Saturday.AP Photo
TAMPA, Fla. — Winky Wright can’t predict his future. He just hopes it includes a fight against Oscar De La Hoya.
“We definitely want Oscar,” the former world junior middleweight champion said after winning a 12-round unanimous decision over middleweight and longtime friend Ike Quartey on Saturday night.
“He’s got to fight Floyd Mayweather and I’d love to have the winner of that just to prove I am one of the best fighters of the decade.”
De La Hoya, co-promoter of the Wright-Quartey matchup, is scheduled to face Mayweather for De La Hoya’s 154-pound title next May. By beating Quartey, Wright also is in a position to keep pursuing a rematch with middleweight champion Jermain Taylor, who retained his titles in June with a draw against Wright.
“Jermain or whoever wants to fight, I’m willing to fight,” said the 35-year-old Wright, who has been unable to arrange a second fight with Taylor, who will defend his crown next Friday against Kassim Ouma.
“Boxing is not baseball or football. It’s great for me to have my career for as long as I have — 16 or 17 years. ... I’m blessed. I want to make the most money I can and when it’s time to quit, it’s time to quit.”
Wright’s request for a 50-50 share of the purse for a rematch have been rejected by Taylor’s camp, which is insisting on a 60-40 split.
Regardless, Wright (51-3-1) felt a dominant performance against Quartey (37-4-1) reiterated he’s still one of the best boxers in the game. He knocked down his old friend in the second round and won easily on the cards of all three judges.
For a time, he looked like he might even be able to get his first knockout in more than four years. Wright threw a career-high 1,011 punches, landing 269, while Quartey connected on 174 or his 642 punches.
“I was definitely trying to close the show, but he’s a tough fighter,” said Wright. The victory capped a special night for Wright, a St. Petersburg resident fighting on home turf for the first time since 1992. His homecoming drew an announced crowd of 13,825, raising the prospect for another return.
“I would love to end my career here, my last fight,” Wright said. “It would be a homecoming, but also a going away party.”