The Allegedly “Racist” Remarks of Bernard Hopkins
By Geoffrey Ciani: Recently there has been a lot of hoopla over some allegedly racist comments made by Bernard Hopkins. This all happened at the weigh-in for the highly anticipated showdown between pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Junior and Ricky ‘The Hitman’ Hatton when a heated exchange erupted between Hopkins and super middleweight champion Joe Calzaghe..
Article posted on 25.12.2007
The commotion between two of boxing’s most talented pugilists started off innocently enough with each partaking in the usual banter that typically precedes the signing of any big bout. When things seemed to die down, Hopkins suddenly turned up the heat by exclaiming “I would never let a white boy beat me!” As a shaken Calzaghe looked on speechlessly, Hopkins repeated this phrase five times before the war of words came to an end. Sadly, as a result of this, cries of ‘racism’ have flooded throughout the boxing community. Are you kidding me?
This is much ado about nothing.
While it is true that if the roles had been reversed, with Calzaghe stating he would “never let a black man” beat him, there would have been an uproar from politically correct factions bitching and moaning about ‘racial slurs’. So what? This is simply a product of the times we live in, and would not have made it right nor would it have given merit to such outcries. The simple fact is, there was nothing racist about what Hopkins said, and anyone who took offense to these remarks must be suffering from some major sensitivity issues. Build a bridge and get over it.
That Hopkins and Calzaghe exchanged words at this particularly weigh-in is not the least bit surprising. The obvious reason is that Hatton and Calzaghe are both extremely popular pugilists on the other side of the pond, and it is very likely that Hatton supporters who tuned in also happen to be Calzaghe supporters. What better opportunity for Hopkins to run his mouth? This is simply a matter of pre-fight promotion, nothing more, nothing less.
As I stated in a previous article Don’t count Hopkins out against Calzaghe, Hopkins is often known for winning the mental battle weeks before an actual fight takes place. He has an uncanny ability of imposing his will on an opponent long before the festivities officially begin, and inside the ring, it is not uncommon for him to mentally beat down his opponents before beating them down physically. A vintage example of this would be when he broke the Puerto Rican flag prior to his bout Felix Trinidad, who happened to be a four-to-one favorite going into that bout.
In the end, Hopkins succeeded in the two things he set out to do:
&nbsb; 1. He did something which has already helped generate interest in the bout
2. He is already winning the mental battle against Calzaghe
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