clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Mayweather says praise for Rousey and McGregor shows 'racism still exists'

Retired boxing star Floyd Mayweather Jr. alleges that there are racially-based double standards when it comes to reaction to his trash-talking ways, as opposed to that of UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor.

Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Floyd Mayweather Jr. says he's retired after beating Manny Pacquiao and Andre Berto to close out his career a perfect 49-0, with 26 knockouts. He's retired before, but let's just pretend he really means it this time and 2015 was his final year in the ring.

Since beating Oscar De La Hoya in 2007, Mayweather has been boxing's biggest draw, and stands to date as the most-watched fighter in PPV history. With his popularity has come his significant share of detractors, whether it's allegations of him ducking other top boxers in their prime for "easier" matchups, potential covered-up PED useflaunting his wealth, perceived "boring" style, or his widely known domestic violence history, reasons for hating Mayweather aren't in short supply.

In a recent interview with FightHype, Mayweather talked about the current state of boxing, and made the case that racial bias is a major factor in P4P rankings, as well as media coverage and treatment of certain fighters compared to others.

You gotta really look at things like this, when Bernard Hopkins was a middleweight trying to fight Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley, and Felix Trinidad, they [the media] said he was calling out smaller guys. When the guy Triple G does it, they don't say shit. Once again, I'm not racist; I'm just saying racism still exists. Do I think that they're trying to get Andre Ward beat? Absolutely! Andre Ward, if you're reading this article, if I was you, I wouldn't move up to 175 pounds to fight the guy, Kovalo [Sergey Kovalev], if that's his name, because I really don't know his name. I know he's a light heavyweight. Andre Ward is a 68-pounder and I think he should continue to dominate at 168. This is what I think should happen. You know, everybody keeps talking Triple G, so I just started taking notice probably last year. If this guy Triple G is so tough and so bad, you know, from what they say, then let him go up and fight Andre Ward. Once again, these guys in boxing [media], not me, are rating this guy, Triple G, super high. He's good with a stationary target in front of him. When he's fighting a guy that's straight up and down with no special effects, is he good? Absolutely! But do I think that Triple G can beat Andre Ward? Absolutely not! Easy pickings! It's going to be very, very, very easy for Andre Ward.

I'm very, very close friends with Antonio Leonard, a guy who works with Andre Ward. I'm trying to find out who's working on Triple G's side because I'm close enough with Antonio Leonard to tell him, "Antonio Leonard, you guys should make the fight with Triple G. You guys should make that fight happen." I just look at certain things like this, if Andre Ward was my fighter, you know, I'm not here to speak bad about anyone, but he would have never fought on BET. I don't have anything against the BET network. I love BET. I will always love Black Entertainment TV, but we're talking about as far as boxing, and if we're just talking about as far as boxing, I don't think BET is a good look. It's just not a good look. Like I said before, if Andre Ward is over there doing business with HBO, then why didn't they ask Triple G, "Are you going to move up and fight Andre Ward?" They never ever asked him that. Why? They'd rather see Andre Ward get beat than see Triple G get beat. I'll say it again, I'm not racist, but racism still exists.

By the way, Andre Ward has fought 1 time in 2+ years (the aforementioned tune-up fight vs. Paul Smith on BET), so maybe that's why you haven't heard a peep about him for so long. That unsuccessful contract dispute with his former promoter definitely didn't help matters.

Anyway, those comments put into context the MMA aspect of his interview. In his opinion, Laila Ali didn't get the same "baddest woman on the planet" moniker that former UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey did, and also believes that racism is a reason for UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor getting praised for being a trash-talker, while he ends up with the "arrogant" label.

But you look at things like this, Ronda Rousey, you know, I think she fought somewhere like 11 or 12 fights, which is not a bad thing. Laila Ali went undefeated and was dominating too. After Ronda Rousey fought I think 9, 10, 11 fights, it didn't even take that long, she got all types of endorsements, movies, and everything. Laila Ali did the same thing in better fashion. Ronda Rousey, she's a good looking woman when she put it on. Laila Ali is a drop-dead gorgeous woman; I mean a naturally beautiful woman and can kick ass, but you never heard them [the media] saying when she had I think somewhere around 10, 11, 12 fights that she was the baddest woman to ever fight on the planet. And what's so crazy, I don't really know the McGregor guy; never seen him fight. I heard his name actually from one of the runners that works for our company; a little kid named Ken Hopkins, he's a runner and takes care of a lot of the daily business. Whatever we need, he takes care of. He's a cool little kid, I like him, and he does MMA. He told me about the guy McGregor. They say he talk a lot of trash and people praise him for it, but when I did it, they say I'm cocky and arrogant. So biased! Like I said before, all I'm saying is this, I ain't racist at all, but I'm telling you racism still exists.

By the way, here's that one time Floyd Mayweather said these things about Manny Pacquiao in 2010:

I'm on vacation for about a year, about a year," Mayweather said. "As soon as we come off vacation, we're going to cook that little yellow chump. We ain't worried about that. So they ain't gotta worry about me fighting the midget. Once I kick the midget ass, I don't want you all to jump on my d---. So you all better get on the bandwagon now. ... Once I stomp the midget, I'll make that mother f----- make me a sushi roll and cook me some rice."