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Wright's offer wrong for Arum
By JOHN C. COTEY
Published July 18, 2006
Winky Promotions hasn't wasted any time making its first big move since joining forces with Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions, announcing via e-mail Monday that it has formally offered Top Rank chairman Bob Arum $1.5-million for WBO welterweight champion Antonio Margarito to fight St. Petersburg's Winky Wright.
"I am ready, willing and able to give Antonio Margarito a chance for a megafight where he can prove to the world what he is all about," Wright said in a statement.
Arum, reached just minutes after the e-mail was sent, said "We haven't gotten an offer. I have nothing in the office."
But he said the offer was "totally inadequate and we wouldn't even consider it."
Arum offered Wright $4-million to fight Margarito earlier this month, which was declined.
Winky Promotions and GBP are in essence offering Margarito the money to fight, while they would take over the promotion, probably meaning they think Wright would make more than the $4-million Arum offered for the nontitle fight.
"We believe that this is a fair offer for Top Rank and Antonio Margarito," De La Hoya said. "It is an opportunity for Antonio to get not only a big fight but also the biggest purse of his career."
Arum said there is no way he would step aside and let another promotion handle Margarito.
"Not even remotely."
Arum and De La Hoya have had a frosty relationship after years of working together, and this isn't likely to thaw it out.
LACY LOOKING: While buddy and stablemate Wright was making waves with his new company, St. Petersburg's Jeff Lacy was still awaiting word on his future.
Talks for a fight with Antonio Tarver appear all but dead, with the Tampa light heavyweight apparently nixing the bout for a number of the same reasons that always sabotage fights - money, money and money.
Though promoter Gary Shaw said he had an informal deal with Tarver promoter Joe DeGuardia, the fight remains of little interest to the fighter.
"To be honest, I just don't think he wants to fight," Shaw said.
Lacy's original return date of Oct. 7 may now be in jeopardy of being moved to the first weekend in November. He already has been turned down by Peter Manfredo of the Contender TV show fame, and will begin chasing down another opponent today.
SUGAR IS SWEET: Looks like Wright will no longer have to deal with people asking him about scheduling a rematch with 154-pounder Fernando Vargas, after the former champion was pummeled and knocked out by the resurgent Shane Mosley on Saturday night.
Vargas, a shell of the once promising champion he was back in 1999 when he beat Wright in a disputed decision, should think about retiring, or fighting at middleweight. But he is damaged goods after losing all four of the biggest fights of his career.
Mosley, meanwhile, said he will go back to 147 pounds and might be in line for a big fight (and bigger payday) against Margarito or Floyd Mayweather, who is waiting on a fight with De La Hoya that might never come off.
"He has earned the right to fight me," Mayweather told the New York Times. "Mosley's been ducking me for 10 years now. I've been chasing Shane Mosley forever. I can't keep chasing the guy. I just want to beat the best fighters out there. People talk about me fighting Antonio Margarito next. Antonio Margarito is not a household name. It's about business. We need guys who can generate pay-per-view numbers."
Mayweather turned down $8-million to fight Margarito.
FREE PPV: HBO will show Mosley's dismantling of Vargas at 10 p.m. Saturday preceding the Arturo Gatti-Carlos Baldomir welterweight fight live from Atlantic City. HBO2 will show it Sunday (8 a.m., 5:30 p.m.) and July 25 (11 p.m.).
If you can't wait, the Mosley KO can be viewed on YouTube. It's devastating and well worth the time to search it out.