Meet Cruiserweight Contender Junior Wright
December 9, 2014
What happens when you pair a 3 time Golden Gloves champion and 12-0 Cruiserweight contender with an aspiring impersonator? You get Junior Wright, Chicago’s finest Cruisweight prospect. A full time employee at Home Depot while balancing a professional boxing career, we had a chance to get to know Junior a little bit better while he was at training camp with Light Heavyweight Titlist Adonis Stevenson.
Who is Junior Wright?
I’m Junior Wright, full time worker at Home Depot and a professional boxer. And I also want to work on being an impersonator as well.
You’re training with Adonis Stevenson for your next fight. Tell us what a day in training camp is like?
It’s completely different from whatever I’ve ever been used to. I’m really used to working all day and training at night. It’s good because there are no distractions, I’m focused on just one thing and that’s being the best at what I enjoy doing.
How is training with Adonis and what types of things have you learned from him?
What I like about Adonis Stevenson, is he’s one of those guys that’s got a lot of different tricks but he doesn’t show you all of them. He’s real good at figuring out people round by round, he knows how to break people down, he’s taught me a couple of things along the process. Like ways to move my head, stay in position to throw punches and catch guys. My timing’s gotten a lot better since I’ve been with him.
Any music you’re listening to right now, and while you train?
Um, sometimes, I listen to different types of songs, I don’t have a specific kind of song I like when I’m in the gym.
Favorite Chicago artists?
Chicago artist? I don’t really have a favorite. Probably Chief Keef? I like Lil Herb, I think he’s from Chicago?
If you could choose one ring walk song, what would it be?
I actually like that one We Will We Will Rock You song, I kinda like that.
Who is part of your team?
First and foremost my coach Rick Wilson. Pete George who trains with Adonis. My boy Lloyd Sims. Steve Clemente he co-manages, and my main man Dmitriy Salita.
Where in Chicago are you from and tell us what your upbringing was like?
I live in Evanston, that’s like the burbs compared to Chicago. I’ve always been like a suburban kid more or less. But Chicago’s nice man, the windy city. I like working out at the beach, I like going to the beaches, and the malls and everything, it’s a very nice city for anyone who comes to visit, you know?
Why do you fight and when did you know you wanted to become a fighter?
It’s the weirdest thing. True story. I played this video game Knockout Kings 2003, I played it and liked it and was like man I wanna box for real. I was actually drinking for the first time. I got real drunk, I must’ve been like 15-16? And was like “I wanna try boxing.” My boys were like “you’re just drinking, you don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s not as easy as you think.” But I was pretty good at the game, and was just like “I wanna try it, I wanna try it.” So long story short, a video game got me into boxing. My friend sent me to this gym, and I kept doing it because I wanted to show him I could do it. And I ended up sticking around. To this day I don’t even know what made me continue to do it .
You’re a 3 time Gold Gloves champion-how does the amateur and golden glove fight world differ from professional?
Without the headgear I feel like I’m a lot quicker. That’s the only difference. The punches do hurt more, the rounds are longer, and I feel quicker. I feel like I can breathe better without the headgear also.
If you could describe your fighting style in 3 ways what would they be?
Aggressive, Counter puncher, Knockout puncher.
Who are some of your role models and why?
It’s funny I don’t really have any role models, I’m my own role model. I never really had a role model, I just would say I’m my biggest role model and the negativity around me. The video game was my role model I guess? And my motivation to prove people wrong.
Which fighters, past and present would you want to fight and why?
I’ve always wanted to get a piece of a guy like Guillermo Jones, the Polish cruiserweight what’s his name? He beat Chekhov. Doracek? Nathan Cleverly, Tony Bellew, those are the guys I want to get my hands on. They’re dangerous guys.
The Cruiserweight division has been largely overlooked in the past-what about you can bring more limelight and exposure to the division?
In America I could because there aren’t a lot of Cruiserweight here, they’re all in Europe. In our division, me going up against Europeans would be like Mayweather going up against Hispanics. Cruiserweight is real popular in Europe. These guys often start at Heavyweight as amateurs and move down to Cruiserweight. It’s not as popular in America but I think if I do pretty good, I could bring some interest into the Cruiserweight division just because of my exciting style.
Tell us a little bit about Steve Bujaj and what your last fight with him was like.
Yeah he’s actually out here with me. We don’t say nothing to each other, the build up is still there. I learned a lot from that fight, you know, to assert myself a lot more. In the last round I kind of tired myself out and got caught with some shots and couldn’t get out of the way. I might have been mentally tired because he got me with a good shot and he just came with the momentum and put it on me. I also learned that I should conserve my energy more. I kind of have an Aaron Pryor style, I just like to go after guys you know? And don’t even give them a chance to do or think about anything.
Why should the boxing world fear you?
Well…I don’t know how to answer that. because I hit really really hard? But everyone does. Maybe my conditioning and I don’t go down easy.
Tell us a little bit about your next fight.
All I know is that it’s gonna be in Detroit, we don’t have an opponent yet. I just prepare myself for the worst that can happen to me and go from there.
Why should a casual sport fan start following you?
I’m charismatic, I like to joke around, and you know how guys do impersonations and mock people? That’s something I have a passion for. I always wanted to do things like that. I just like to entertain people really.
What would you say your best impression is?
Well…I don’t know. Some people say I can do a Mike Tyson pretty good. (Breaks out into Mike Tyson impression).