Vivek Wallace Presents: 'OPEN MIC FAN MAIL' - Bernard Hopkins - Performance Execution or Performance Enhancement?
Every Wednesday ESB will feature a new published letter directly from hardcore fight fans just like you! 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 Raymon Santiago of Covina, CA:
Vivek, Every time I look, you seem to be discussing your thoughts on Pacquiao refusing Mayweather's blood based randomized testing up until the day of the fight, but you sat here and gave all of this praise to a man 45 years old, as if there's any thing normal about being able to compete at that level at his age. I'm completely disgusted with writers like yourself who want to question an innocent mans achievement, yet let others get away with things that are far more questionable. Bernard Hopkins hasn't looked that good or energetic since shortly after he faced Jones for the first time, and now all of a sudden you see all this energy at age 45, and no one wants to question him.
I can't call you racist because I know you aren't, but I really think it's unfair that you question one man and not another. I find it very interesting that Hopkins is Goldenboy fighter, and Goldenboy talks all this stuff about "cleaning up the sport", and supporting Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s effort to "clean up the sport", yet not once did they make it mandatory for any of their other fighters to do the testing, particularly Hopkins who is doing this type of stuff at 45 like no other fighter has been able to.. He has been in as many tough wars as Pacquiao, yet you and the media question Pacquiao for looking good at age 32, but not him at age 45. That's pathetic and it's a double standard. How can you justify that and call yourself an unbiased writer?
(RESPONSE TO LETTER BELOW)
I can see the general plight of your letter, but I think you're truly mixing apples and oranges by even making the comparison, and there are a few things I think you must realize before trying to do so. As I stated in a similar response in this past Monday's mailbag, suspicion is the primary path to truth, for with it comes either a harsh, once-hidden reality, or a permanent avoidance from the mere possibility.
When a police sees a car swerving late in the night, it doesn't matter whether that driver is sending a text message and not paying attention, or whether he has in fact had one too many low-key brewski's that evening. Both are considered a danger to those in his path, so that cop will pull the vehicle over to do his due diligence and seek the truth, which takes an examination of the facts.
In this case, I think it doesn't help that suspicions surrounding Pacquiao were created from a source that not too many people care for, (the Mayweathers); but the reality is, Mayweather asked for a test to "examine the facts" based on his personal suspicions, and like Pacquiao or anyone else, he has the right to make such a request.
As it relates to Hopkins, I think the discussion of him potentially using enhancement drugs is a bit comical, but not once have I told anyone that they don't have the right to feel that way. The reason that I find the accusations against him to be comical is for the simple fact that when you look at who Hopkins has been over the years and who Pacquiao has been over the years, it's two totally different scenario's. In Hopkins, you have a man that is not only disciplined to the point of taking extreme care of his body away from the ring, but also, you have a fighter who is defensively gifted enough to have avoided punishment while in it.
Rarely have we ever seen Hopkins take flush shots, let alone a series of them, either in a single fight or his entire career. When you have the capability to avoid punishment, it gives you this type of longevity. Years ago, George Foreman stood did something very similar, but he had taken time off from the ring, which was used quite wisely to recuperate and replenish himself, as well as in many ways, better preserve himself, as evidenced with how fresh he looked when he finally returned.
Truth is, Foreman accomplished what he accomplished as a result of hard work and sheer dedication. Hopkins has accomplished what he has accomplished as a result of hard work and dedication. The funny thing here is that truth be known, Pacquiao has probably accomplished what he accomplished as a result of hard work and dedication as well, but when a man feels he has room for suspicion and wants to "examine the facts", there's only one way to destroy any myths that could arise from his way of thinking for those who choose to follow that path.
I can't speak for Goldenboy Promotions or they're intent to "clean the sport", but just like you have the right to question Mayweather or Hopkins, Goldenboy or Mayweather have the right to question anyone else. There should be no exceptions in equality. The fundamental difference here that makes this a bigger issue for one man than all others is that each of these men would willfully take a full randomized blood based test up until the day of their fight.....except that one! So, in reality, the man who started this suspicion isn't the reason it continues to live on. It continues to live on because the only man with the power to kill it has chose to let it live. That isn't an admission of guilt. It's simply a reality that allows some to think it is.
(AS A RESULT OF OTHER OBLIGATIONS, THIS WILL BE THE FINAL INSTALLMENT FOR 'OPEN MIC FAN MAIL' UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE)
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