Race Card Saturday In Vegas

Updated: April 18, 2008


Some would argue

Boxing more than

any other Sport

lives on HYPE

The Theatrics the Fighters especially in notable Bouts add to their upcoming slugfest to increase the perceived tension if not hatred between the two combatants for the delight of the audience to heighten their interest and sell tickets and HBO viewers.

Welcome to Saturday evening‘s

Marquee Bout featuring

Bernard Hopkins vs.

Joe Calzaghe

So far the Verbal Fist de Cuffs seem to be all Hopkins who either thoughtful or cynically or both is playing The Race Card in the days leading up to the Main Event. If it were totally up to Bernard Hopkins this Fight would be billed as ….

The Great Black Hope vs.

The Great White Hope

For those who care which many do not include most, but for those who care about Boxing there will be some who HOPE Hopkins description is apt and others as much HOPE it is not. The Realty is and we will be the arbiters here since you are in the Box right now – the fact is Black vs. White Bouts have an inherent appeal always have always will.

Boxing the “purest” of all Sports presents us nothing except two athletes going after each Other trying to destroy the Other. Besides their trunks a minor distraction ALL that distinguishes the two boxers are their physical traits.

What is more striking about two individual stripped to their shorts confined to a small square area of canvas roped in than the Color of their Skin. More to the point when we live in a world in which the Color of Skin is the single most important fact any individual must live their entire lives.

And of course far more intensely for those whose skin is Black. White humans can forget the color of their skin those with Black Skin never can. Or rather more accurately Whites throughout history have used their power to oppress those with Black skin.

So whether a wealthy athlete like Bernard Hopkins

is personally speaking about his upcoming Fight from a very deep well of emotion or if in the case of this Bout it amounts to a marketing theme in the end does not matter. Black and White combat be it ritualized is a theme throughout human history.

Brought to the Fight Game it can be argued is the most logical and least destructive way to deal with the tension of Black and White. We also know that both Joe Louis and Muhammad Ali to choose the two greatest examples of all that both as Ritual Fighters for African Americans and all people of Color generally ……

…… Louis and Ali had profound impacts in elevating the self confidence and the determination of other African Americans. While all their opponents were not White especially in the case of Ali their Blackness defined them in the Ring. The case can be made that the 3 Most Important Black athletes in all history are Louis, Ali and Robinson.

Let’s get back to the matter at hand

Saturday night‘s Big Fight here are

some of Bernard Hopkins words

“It’s always a race issue when its black versus white.”

“A great white hope – what is that? Why has it been so important to see a white (heavyweight) champion if race doesn’t play a part in everything from sport to politics ? I’m up for this fight for a lot of personal reasons. To me it’s a cultural fight. Ask some black athletes about culture, about competition. Don’t ask the guy in the suburbs, don’t ask the black guy who lives up there where his father is a lawyer or a judge, because he’s out of touch. Go to Martin Luther King Boulevard – they’ve got one in every American city – and there’s guys like me living there. Ask them what B-Hop said, and what he means.”

And then this from Hopkins ….

” I’m just letting you know about where I come from and what goes on in the gym when one walks through that door wanting to be a fighter. The reason you came here is because you wouldn’t be accepted anywhere else.”

“I’m not saying it’s right, but it is what it is. When Venus Williams plays any other ethnic group, it’s a huge story. And believe me there’s a lot here rooting that she loses and a lot here rooting that she wins. The American people still have problems with certain things they just can’t get over with.”

And some more ….

“Are y’all idiots, man, or do you just want me to say it? I have something that was given to me on the day of my birth: courage to say what others won’t say. Martin Luther King had that, Marcus Garvey had that, Gandhi had that.”

Sure seems like more

than a marketing ploy

with Bernard Hopkins

and if you care watch

for yourself Saturday

night on HBO for

a price of course

Black vs White