"Bob ain't want to deal with Golden Boy when it came to Winky, but he was willing to deal with Golden Boy when it came to Bernard. He didn't want to give Winky-Pavlik, but he wanted to give Bernard-Pavlik. Once again, I'm not taking nothing away from Bernard, he's a great fighter, as is Winky. Bernard was coming off of a loss to Calzaghe and everybody thought he was done and he was old and that's the only reason they took Bernard. They looked at it like they were going to beat a legend; he's old and right for the pickings. They know Winky is a technical fighter, just like Bernard. Winky would've done the same, if not worse, to Pavlik and that's the same reason Oscar don't want to fight him and nobody else. They'd rather just not mess with him because it's too difficult," stated Damian Ramirez, close friend and senior advisor for Winky Wright, as he talked about Team Pavlik's unwilling to face Wright. You don't want to miss what else he had to say in this explosive interview as Ramirez reveals why it's been an uphill battle to find an opponent for Wright, who plans on returning to the ring on December 4th, despite being a bigger PPV star than fighters like Manny Pacquiao.
PC: What's good Damian? I hear you have some things to get off your chest?
DR: I just want to basically say that everybody was amazed by what Bernard did to Pavlik, and I'm taking nothing away from Bernard he's a great fighter, but I always said that Pavlik was a one-dimensional fighter man; one-dimensional with power. He is a 1-2 fighter and that's why they found every excuse in the world not to fight Winky when he was coming up and Wink tried to give him a fight.
PC: Are you not buying the talks that they should have kept him at middleweight?
DR: You could say that it did, but it didn't because you have to understand that he's a person that struggles to make 160 supposedly. He's always wanted to go to 68 and before the fight, he was comfortable and everything else. Everybody looks for an excuse. No fighter is going to say that I got my ass whooped and this and that. If that's the case, then look what Winky did. He went up to 170 and had nowhere near the trouble. Bernard ain't handle Winky nowhere near like that. The fight was a close fight. They say he won a unanimous decision, it is what it is, but I know Wink was out of shape at the time, but look what he did being a 154-pounder. You have Pavlik who is a natural 168 as it is, 68-70, you know every fighter goes up 2 divisions out their weight so to say he was out of his weight class is a crock of shit because he would've beat Bernard.
PC: How close, if close at all, did you get to making the Pavlik-Wright fight happen when it was being discussed?
DR: There's another crock of shit as far as that goes because Bob ain't want to deal with Golden Boy when it came to Winky, but he was willing to deal with Golden Boy when it came to Bernard. He didn't want to give Winky-Pavlik, but he wanted to give Bernard-Pavlik. Once again, I'm not taking nothing away from Bernard, he's a great fighter, as is Winky. Bernard was coming off of a loss to Calzaghe and everybody thought he was done and he was old and that's the only reason they took Bernard. They looked at it like they were going to beat a legend; he's old and right for the pickings. They know Winky is a technical fighter, just like Bernard. Winky would've done the same, if not worse, to Pavlik and that's the same reason Oscar don't want to fight him and nobody else. They'd rather just not mess with him because it's too difficult. They want to take the easy fights with the big names because they figure they could walk through Bernard and hit him with a big shot and he was going to fall because he couldn't deal with Pavlik's power.
PC: Also, Pavlik had 2 wins over Jermain Taylor and Taylor had beat Hopkins twice.
DR: Jermain is basically a one-dimensional fighter as well, but he has more of an arsenal than Pavlik. Pavlik is like what they used to say about the Klitschkos. They're 1-2, 1-2; right in front of you and they're like robots. The same thing with Pavlik. He was a 1-2 fighter with power in both hands and a great resilience to take punches. Other than that, we all know man a boxer beats a puncher 7 days a week and 24 hours a day.
PC: Pavlik and Jermain fought twice, Bernard and Jermain fought twice, but Winky has faced Hopkins only once and Taylor once and you guys say Pavlik didn't want the fight. Why do you think none of these cats are revisiting Winky for rematches?
DR: Because they know fighting him is a losing situation. Let me explain something to you, the boxing politics is funny man. There are 3 ways of getting out of a fight! 1) You overprice yourself, 2) you just say you don't want the fight because the guy is dangerous or 3) you make all of the excuses in the world and say the guy is overpricing himself. At the end of the day, Wink is willing to fight the best and I would say right now, there are only 3 guys in their division that is willing to do that: Bernard Hopkins, Shane Mosley and Winky Wright and you might as well throw Roy Jones Jr. in there too. He's another one that has never ducked anyone. You have 4 classic old school throwback fighters with balls, which men are supposed to have. Everybody else is picking fights and they looking at money and saying this guy doesn't sale. All you have to do is look at Winky's resume and past history on PPV. Look at the Bernard Hopkins-Pavlik PPV or even when they fought Jermain and then look at when Winky fought Tito. They're going to say, "It was Tito." If that's the case, then Pacquiao is supposed to be a big star, how come he didn't hold his own against David Diaz? They're going to use the excuse that nobody knew who David Diaz was. Okay, well if that's the case, why the fuck you put it on PPV? If you knew nobody knew him, then why the fuck charge the boxing fans $49.95 for some bullshit fight for a fighter nobody even knows who the fuck he is?
PC: When the fight between Winky and Pavlik was talked about, it appeared a lot of fans wanted to see that fight. When you see a fight like that not get off of the ground, but they could make a De La Hoya-Pacquiao fight, from a boxing fans standpoint, how do you feel about that?
DR: The boxing fans always lose. It's like when you see the news and they say the market is doing bad and the economy is going to fall apart. So what that does is get everybody nervous. When the public believes the economy is real bad and it's going to fold and it is bad, but it's the same thing with boxing man. You get writers out there that write the best thing they know how to write and half of them don't know shit. They write what they hear from he-say, she-say because none of them is at that bargaining table or the middle of the negotiation to hear both sides. It's a shame because the boxing fans are going to lose out. You telling me that if Tito let's just say a fight with Oscar, and a fight will never get made because the writers will make the excuse and say, "The fight is not getting done because Winky is a boring fighter. He's not a selling fighter and it's not a blockbuster fight." But Winky did the highest rating of all PPV's in 2006. Before Jermain Taylor fought Winky, he never did the higher ratings. He had never reached 2.0 or 2.3. He fought Winky and did the highest ratings HBO has had in 5 years. Even today, HBO hasn't had a higher rated regular HBO boxing show as they did when Winky fought Jermain. When Winky fought Quartey right after the Jermain fight, his ratings were still high, but when Jermain fought Spinks and Ouma, his ratings dropped to a 1.2. So all I'm saying is look at the stats man. Fuck what people are saying about the styles. Look at the stats! He sells tickets. Wink doesn't have to buy the arena out to make it look like it was sold out, because I know there are a few people that have been doing that. They don't have to buy the tickets out or have a broker come in and buy them and say the event sold out in 30 minutes.
PC: They can't really blame an Oscar fight not happening based on styles because he was seeking a fight with Sergio Mora at one point.
DR: There you go. And you can't say Pacquiao is a major star because he's never done the PPV's that Winky has. It's like when you're looking for a job. They look at your resume and say, "what have you done," and then they look at the next mans and they're gonna take the best man for the job. Don't say that Pacquiao is a star. Yeah, he's big in boxing, but out of Bob Arum's own mouth, he's not a star in the United States, just in the Philippines. So what does that say? Winky is a star all over. He's a star overseas and he's a star here. This is another example, he is the first athlete, and when I say athlete, I mean not just boxing, I'm talking baseball, basketball, Lebron James and Michael Jordan, but he's the first athlete to ever have ringtones and wallpapers. We didn't go after the company; the company came after us. Now why did they come after him?
I'm going to be real with you, he's not an Oscar De La Hoya. He's not doing numbers like that, but I hate when I hear people say, "Oh, he's a boring fighter." Well, where did these numbers come from? Here is another example that will squash all that shit. If they say, "Winky is not a great fighter" and "if he fought Oscar, it wouldn't sale," and this is the last I'm going to talk about Oscar because that's never going to happen and deep down inside, we know why Oscar is never going to fight him Let's just leave it at this, if they say Tito is the one that did the buys for that PPV when him and Tito fought and Tito is not supposed to be a blockbuster sellout like Oscar is, what do you think Winky and Oscar would do? Because Tito and Winky had no storyline. It was basically 2 of the best fighting each other. What do you think they would do when the storyline is Winky has beaten everybody Oscar lost to? There are so many storylines with that. Let's just give a Winky and Oscar fight a bad number and say it did 500,000 buys and now you add the storyline to it and the right promotion and what do you think it will do? Look at Mayweather's PPV numbers without Oscar. What has he done? Winky has done more PPV's than Floyd Mayweather. The only big PPV he did was when he fought Oscar. Oscar is going to carry this PPV, not Pacquiao, because the fans know. Let's get back to Pavlik because Oscar is like every poor man wishing he's going to hit the lottery tomorrow; it ain't going to happen.
Pavlik's people will say they offered Winky the fight, but they made an offer for him to not take the fight. People will say, "if he could of beat him, he would've taken the fight, beat him and then got more money in his next fight." How long is Winky going to have to keep hearing that in his career? How much fucking longer can he keep doing that. I remember when we fought Quartey and Bernard Hopkins himself came into the locker room and said, "You know something man, you done beat the best and fought everybody. It's time to get paid for what you do." That's from Bernard Hopkins man. How long did Bernard have to go and fight for less money than he deserved until he hooked up with Oscar. What the fuck Winky gotta do because if you look at his career, he's always taken the short end of the stick. He beat Tito, he was supposed to get paid in his next fight and they came to him with some bullshit, "Ah, Jermain is the champion." It's always a fucking excuse and it's only with Winky. It's not about crying a sad song. It's just stop bullshitting the fucking fans. Stop bullshitting the public with this shit that they're talking about. Arum don't want Pavlik nowhere near Winky. I tell you right now after that Bernard fight, Pavlik fighting Winky is just as farfetched as Oscar fighting Winky right now after what they saw what Bernard did to him. And then you got the fighter himself, Pavlik, saying he has to go back to the gym and learn how to deal with lateral movement. The fighter himself is telling you that he can't deal with a technical fighter. If you look at Pavlik's resume, who the fuck has he fought? All he has fought is punchers that are right there in front of him. Jermain had him, but Jermain has never left the amateurs as far as the way he throws punches. If Jermain would've been a little more calm and relaxed the way he was in the 2nd fight, Pavlik would've never got up and that would have been the end of the Great White Hope. They'll come at you and tell you they offered Winky a Pavlik fight when Wink was the champion. The honest thing is, you know and I know and every fighter will tell you that they're not looking to go backwards. At the time, they were trying to get Pavlik to fight Winky he was a nobody. Winky was the undisputed junior middleweight champion. He went up to middleweight and did what he did to Tito. You give me one fucking fighter that, when he was at that status, he wanted to go backwards? Why the fuck I'm going to fight Pavlik? That's like telling Floyd Mayweather when he's on top of his game to go and fight the #1 contender. Floyd would look at you like, "For what nigga? I've already done that." I will be the first to say Pavlik's name was thrown to him about 2 or 3 times, but at the time, what was Winky to gain by beating Pavlik? Pavlik don't have a fan base now after beating Taylor and Miranda and all of them. By the way, Miranda is another fucking overrated bum. He beat all of these one-dimensional fighters and he still don't have a fan base. Pavlik has always been overrated. It's like Bernard just said in the interview, what the fuck does Top Rank have?
PC: Do you hold any grudges with the networks for putting on some of these fights and not having Winky involved in over a year?
DR: I'm not upset with the networks because I've been in this game long enough. I've been in this game for 20 years. I've seen this happen. Fighters come and go and when they have no more use for you, they let you go. As far as Winky goes, he's always been the spoiler. When Winky was given the opportunity and first of all, we gotta thank Roy Jones. Without Roy, Winky would have never been on HBO. Mind you, Winky is the only champion that has always fought his #1 contenders over and over again when he was champion. Nobody was forced to do that. He did it for many years. The game is a political game. When Richard Schaefer told me that Bernard was on the list for the Pavlik fight when the situation with Winky wasn't worked out, I told him to take that fight. He said to me, "You think Bernard beats him?" I told him Bernard would tear a hole in his ass. This guy is a nobody. My only problem with the network is you have Emanuel Steward, who is a fucking veteran who has become a political poem; they took Roy Jones off of the air, but Roy Jones was the only one that stood there and told it like it is. You know why George Foreman is not on the air? Because he told it just like it is. You got Emanuel Steward saying Pavlik needs to go to 160 because there is no one there that could beat him. Steward was one of Winky's biggest fans so how the fuck you don't even mention Winky's name?
PC: Winky has not even been mentioned lately man and that is a bit surprising.
DR: They don't want to. It's an uphill battle with him man. Right now, we're looking to fight December 4th. It's going to be a little tune-up fight, nothing big, nothing major, just to keep him busy, and then we want to come back with him in February. Every time he's gotten an opportunity, it was to knock him off and get him out of the way. The same thing that's happening to Winky right now is the same thing that happened to Bernard Hopkins early in his career before he joined up with Golden Boy. Bernard used to question the system and he got blackballed. He was the Barry Bonds of boxing. As soon as he joined up with Golden Boy, now they gotta cater to him. They gotta listen to him. Like he said, as long as you keep winning, they gotta fucking listen whether they like it or not. I have all respect for Richard Schaefer. He's an honest man, straight-up guy and I can't say nothing negative about him. If anybody said anything otherwise, I would be the first one to be an advocate for him because when he says he's going to do something, he does it. His back is against the wall too when he can't force another promoter to step up and say put your guy in with Wink. Wink is the Barry Bonds of boxing right now. The fans are asking for him, but what could he do. At this point in his career, what does he have to keep doing? Keep fighting regular guys and ranked guys? The networks won't even take that. He's not destitute or broke. The man don't drink, go to clubs or none of that shit. Now you see why they didn't want to put Pavlik in there with him.
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrLouis1ana ]