Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hopkins: Pacquiao Should Fight African-Americans. Arum: Bring on Mayweather

By Tony Mangia

Manny Pacquiao still can't get any respect.  Just days after pummeling Antonio Margarito, Bernard Hopkins comes out and says that Pacquiao wouldn't be so good if he faced more African-American fighters.

Bob Arum, Pacquiao's promoter, today said he is giving Floyd Mayweather "a couple of weeks' to announce his availability to get into the ring with his fighter and, according to the Philippine Star, if Mayweather doesn't respond, Arum said Pacquiao will look for another opponent.  So there!

Meanwhile, Hopkins, the 45 year-old light heavyweight, says the African-American style of fighting would be hard for Pacquiao to adjust to and wonders if there is a reason why the Filipino boxer hasn't faced one significant black fighter?  "He hasn't faced any top-notch black fighter," shrugged Hopkins.

There was one black fighter last year. That one fighter was Joshua Clottey (from Ghana) and Pacquiao thoroughly beat him in a unanimous decision last March.  Hopkins has dismissed Clottey by saying that the Ghanaian is "black" but not a "black boxer from the states with a slick style."  Most observers of the fight would agree that Clottey had no style at all and didn't even deserve to be in the ring that night, but what's Hopkins' underlying point?  Is he saying Hispanic boxers can't fight as well as African-Americans?

While Hopkins verbally bashes Pacquiao, the Filipino smashes opponent's faces and wins titles.  Sure Pacquiao fought other Filipinos and Asians early in his career and devoured Mexican fighters over the last decade, but look at the weight classes he was in.  He has won ten titles in eight weight classes--HIS weight classes.  Ask Margarito if he looked into the mirror yet after Saturday's beat down--and he gave up seventeen pounds to Pacquiao!

This all leads to the $64 million question:  Is it still possible Pacquiao (52-3-2) will fight Floyd Mayweather?  Arum has laid the cards on the table...again. Who else is there--Shane Mosley?  He's an African-American but, even with Hopkins' race-baiting, that match-up won't generate enough hype.  After Margarito's poor showing, most fans won't be willing to spend big money for another sparring session.  What they do want is "Money."

Here we go again (sigh) more talk of the "Fight-of-the Decade."  Wasn't that last decade anyway?  Could Hopkins, who is a partner of Golden Boy Promotions (which has contracts with both Pacquiao and Mayweather) be priming the pump for the fight everyone wants?

While Mayweather (41-0) pushes around security guards and wrangles in domestic and criminal courtrooms and Pacquiao talks about settling into politics, Hopkins may be setting the tone for making the big fight happen--make it a race thing.

Hopkins says it isn't racial, but what else could it be?  The Executioner didn't mince words when he said,  "Floyd Mayweather would beat Manny Pacquiao because of the styles of the African-American fighters--and I mean black fighters from the streets or inner cities."  Last time I checked, Pacquiao didn't exactly grow up in a penthouse suite, but Hopkins may have a point.  Tough neighborhoods (white, brown or black) breed fighters--kids who must scrap for food, clothes and respect.

The great Italian and Irish fighters in the 40's and 50's came from rough and tumble backgrounds.  Now, after they assimilated into the mainstream, they're scarcer than plaster-of-paris in Margarito's hand wrap last Saturday. 

Let's be real. Pacquiao hasn't ducked anyone and he can only fight who's available, worthy and in his weight class.  Arum defended his fighter and questioned the talk about him steering clear of foes of a certain color. "I've heard that, he said,  "The notion he would not fight an African-American is ridiculous.  The selection of an opponent has nothing to do with race, creed or color." 

Two times before, both Pacquiao's and Mayweather's camps have tried to set up the big fight only to have it squashed by drug-testing demands and refusals--mostly by Mayweather's camp.  Maybe Hopkins is re-building interest for the match-up by tossing around fightin' words  like, "I think Floyd Mayweather would pot-shot Pacquiao and bust him up."  Fight fans might say to Hopkins, "Just tell Floyd to put up or you shut up!"

One question does remain.  Is Mayweather physically and mentally ready to face Pacquiao?  While Money steps in and out of courtrooms, Pac is hopping into boxing rings.  Money has a January date in a Las Vegas court and he is looking at serious jail time if convicted--a scenario which could either speed up or wipe out any potential fight.  The drama continues.


  1. Bernard Hopkins is a racist and always will be. He made National headlines when he fought Joe Calzaghe and said "I will never lose to a white boy." The white boy then beat the black boy convincingly. Black fighters just don't have the impact they did years ago. Spanish and white fighters have taken control in the boxing world and MMA. I can't remember the last black boy to hold the heavyweight title. Whites have held the title for years.

  2. cotto, hatton and margarito all have defeated african americans! who's left on the menu for pacman? puerto ricans, brits and mexicans!

    dont believe me? go check wikipedia.

    and who are the best heavyweights now? its no african american but a brit and 2 ukrainian brothers!

    african american boxers arent that good anymore.. most are spoiled with money and their foolish blings. sad reality. im just pissed with guys like mayweather and roy jones! bunch of fools!

    miss the good old days of ali foreman leonard and frazier. those are damn good black boxers!!!