Vivek Wallace Presents: 'OPEN MIC FAN MAIL' : Bernard Hopkins' Pacquiao Comment - Matter of Race or Reality?
Every Wednesday ESB will feature a new published letter directly from hardcore fight fans just like you! For those fight fans who don't like what the average boxing scribe has to say, there's only one way to get your point across.....SOUND OFF! Each letter will be published with a response from boxing scribe Vivek Wallace. Send all 'Open Mic Fan Mail' letters to firstname.lastname@example.org, and remember to keep content short and concise, and profanity free. Today's segment comes from Carlo H. from Brooklyn, NYC:
Article posted on 24.11.2010
I've been an avid fight fan for decades, but I have never witnessed anything like I did when I read Bernard Hopkins' recent coments.. A few years ago we all remember him saying he "would never lose to a white-boy", and we all know how that turned out. You would think that was enough, but apparently, he needed to do something stupid again to put his name in the media circle to build up his fight with Pascal in December. I think Manny Pacquiao has been magnificent, and he literally earned the respect of people here in America by putting together performances that were exciting enough for them to want to tune in again. You have said on occasion that he's the "closest thing the sport has seen to Mike Tyson, since Mike Tyson", and I would agree.
I have watched him for years, but over the past 2 years I've really paid him close attention, and I was shocked to hear the statement of Bernard Hopkins, because I don't think Pacquiao is afraid of any man. Black, yellow, white, green, a freakin' blue smurf......it doesn't matter! I don't see anyone in the sport within any close weight range that would cause him any fear, so why would Hopkins say that? I decided to do a little research and I noticed that there aren't many African American's on his resume, but to say that he's afraid of them is a pathetic attempt from a man who I once respected, but now find to be pathetic, as well. I know you're always one to seek out the logic in things. I would love to hear what the hell you have to say to create logic for this crap! Do you agree that his comments were racially motivated? Because I can't think of no other way he could logically find room to make this point!
(RESPONSE TO LETTER BELOW)
The unfortunate thing is that this has become so inflammatory, when in reality, it doesn't need to be and doesn't have to be. I can see how some took offense to his statement, but lets digest the facts on the table before we allow ourselves to walk away hungry, seeking a truth that was already placed before us for consumption. The reality here is two-fold:
Some can logically argue that Pacquiao has never really faced a perennial figure in the sport of African-American descent because there were none who were champions or within his divisional path to become champion during his rise. While that theory holds a bit of weight, the reality is, the reason he never crossed paths with some of the potential African-American opponents that were within reach is because there was a plan carefully crafted which kept him clear of those slick fighters like them. Murad Muhammad, former manager to Manny Pacquiao, once went on record (with FightHype.com) stating "See, I started all of this, and I knew what I was doing by keeping Manny Pacquiao away from African-American fighters". That one statement tells a grand story that cuts to the fabric of many issues.
Most will look at Pacquiao today and comment on him being a smaller guy, but Nasim Richardson once said "the biggest trick Pacquiao ever did was convince people that he was a small man, and he'll keep beating the s**t out of people who think he's a smaller man"! He went on to say "people thought Mike Tyson was small. He was a short heavyweight, but short and small aren't the same thing"!
That statement couldn't be any closer to the truth, because as we sit here wondering how this "small" guy beats up so many big guys, the reality is that this seemingly small fighter was ordered to remain that size (in the past) in an effort to be amongst a group he was more dominant against, while staying away from potentially dangerous and slick fighters closer to his real size like (at the time) the prime Shane Mosley's, Joan Guzman's, Zab Judah's, and Floyd Mayweather's of the world. This was an admission made by the man who engineered Pacquiao's career in the U.S. from the beginning who did what he felt he had to do to keep his cash cow producing 'milk'. The plan was well crafted, and has lived well beyond that man's existence in Pacquiao's world.
The focus of Pacquiao's career has shifted to potential steroid use, but the reality is that Pacquiao has probably never touched the stuff a day in his life. He was ordered to continue to fight small, which is supported by statistics that show him entering the ring at the same weight he does at this point in his career, some 4 to 5 years ago. Being an intelligent promoter, it's very possible that Bob Arum continued to keep this 'weapon' at a lower weight class, while allowing his bigger workhorses like Cotto and Margarito to establish themselves as champs in the welterweight ranks. When Pacquiao cleared that smaller level of competition and the welterweight well began to run dry, the directive was given for him to go north for greener pastures.
We hadn't heard much about this alleged plan to avoid African-American fighters until Pacquiao decided to face David Diaz, the WBC lightweight champion, rather than Nate Campbell. We can obviously identify Pacquiao as a man who looks to break history and collect titles, yet despite strong odds at defeating Nate Campbell, the fight was never given consideration as Top Rank targeted the man with one title, rather than the undisputed champion who held three. This plan from a former pilot of Pacquiao's career sheds light on why, which is how trainer John David Jackson's name appeared in the news over a year ago making the same statement Hopkins has recently caught scrutiny for.
The best example of this plan can be seen in the fact that Manny Pacquiao entered the ring at 144lbs on November 6th, 2006 against Erik Morales; the same year, (April 8th, 2006), Floyd Mayweather jr. entered the ring weighing a mere 146lbs against Zab Judah. A difference of two pounds after full hydration FOR BOTH MEN! Had this avoidance plan not been implemented, one has to wonder would we not have already seen a highly coveted fight that we may now never see?
Back then, there were no cares about steroids or negotiation leverage, but as the old adage states, "if it ain't one thing it's another"! Bernard Hopkins has crossed the line about race in the past and isn't quite the ideal messenger, but this one time, he may in fact be on to something.......and it all started with a statement from the horses mouth! No question.....Pacquiao is now more than deft enough to face anyone of any color, and knowing this really makes it very interesting to narrow down the reasons for this proposed fight not happening. If he isn't using steroids (which most of us believe is the case), could the reason we haven't seen this proposed showdown be part of Bob Arum's hidden "Chick-Fil-A" plan to "SAVE THE (cash) COW"? Just something to ponder, ladies and gents!
(Vivek Wallace can be reached at email@example.com, 954-292-7346, YOUTUBE (VIVEK1251), TWITTER (VIVEKWALLACE747), SKYP (VITO-BOXING), Myspace, and FaceBook).
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