Posted On:1/15/2006 9:46pm
Taylor-Wright Fight Appears Unlikely
By NOAH TRISTER, AP Sports Writer Mon Jan 9, 7:59 PM ET
LITTLE ROCK - The much-discussed middleweight title fight between Jermain Taylor and Winky Wright is on shaky ground after negotiations appeared to have broken down Monday.
Lou DiBella, Taylor's promoter, made an offer last week that would have paid Wright about $3 million for a live fight on HBO. Taylor would have received around $4 million.
On Monday, Wright's team asked for a 50-50 split, and DiBella responded by saying the fight probably won't happen.
"We are not going to be bullied by Winky Wright's people," DiBella said.
Taylor (25-0) beat Bernard Hopkins in July to win the middleweight championship, then beat him again last month. After that first title defense, Taylor's team said it wanted his next fight to be in his home state of Arkansas — he's fought before at North Little Rock's Alltel Arena.
But the WBC ordered Taylor to make his next defense against Wright (50-3). Had DiBella's offer from last week been accepted, the fight would have probably been held in Memphis, Tenn.
If the two sides don't reach an agreement by Jan. 30, a purse offer could be held in which other promoters would have the chance to bid for the fight. But DiBella has said Taylor's team would risk losing the WBC belt, rather than accept an unfair deal.
Taylor, of Little Rock, gave up his IBF title when he fought the rematch against Hopkins instead of a mandatory IBF defense.
"We're not going to be treated unfairly due to a ratings organization's mandatory," DiBella said. "There's a chance we still might go to purse bid. We still have to figure that out. But in terms of negotiations, the negotiations have ended."
Wright's promoter, Gary Shaw, said he believes DiBella is serious when he says there will be no more negotiations.
"All he did was hurt Jermain Taylor," Shaw said. "He didn't hurt me, he didn't hurt Winky. He hurt boxing and he hurt Jermain because this is an important fight for boxing, an important fight for HBO, at a time when boxing's hurting for real good matches."
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Posted On:1/16/2006 12:58pm
Thats sad. Taylor-Wright would be a good fight. I pick Wright by decision if it happens now. Taylor's too inexperienced and Wright isn't as old and worn as Hopkins is. If it happens a year from now, Wright will have gotten older and Taylor will probably be entering his prime, so the outcome will differ.
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