Bernard Hopkins Says Pacquiao Ducking African Americans & Mayweather Would Beat Him
Bernard Hopkins has never been one to remain tight lipped about anything, especially when it relates to African Americans and the sport of boxing. In a recent interview with Fanhouse, Hopkins questioned Manny Pacquiao’s reluctance to face an African American in the ring and whether or not Pacquiao could beat Mayweather. Hopkins firmly believes that a top level African American fighter would pose problems for Pacquiao and that’s the reason we haven’t seen the Filipino in the ring with one as of late.
“Maybe I’m biased because I’m black, but I think that this is what is said at people’s homes and around the dinner table among black boxing fans and fighters,” the 45-year-old who fights Jean Pascal on December 18th said. “Most of them won’t say it [in public] because they’re not being real and they don’t have the balls to say it.”
Hopkins explained that there is something embedded in the style of an African American boxer that would give Pacquiao fits in the ring.
“But I do think that a fighter like the Ray Leonards or anyone like that would beat a guy [like Pacquiao] if they come with their game,” said Hopkins. “Listen, this ain’t a racial thing, but then again, maybe it is. But the style that is embedded in most of us black fighters, that style could be a problem to any other style of fighting.”
Hopkins believes that Mayweather possesses the very tools that would make a fight with Pacquiao easy.
“That’s why Floyd Mayweather would beat Manny Pacquiao because the styles that African American fighters — and I mean, black fighters from the streets or the inner cities — would be successful,” Hopkins said. “I think Floyd Mayweather would pot-shot Pacquiao and bust him up in between the four-to-five punches that Pacquiao throws and then set him up later on down the line.”
Pacquiao recently earned his 8th world title in an unprecedented eight weight classes with a stunning 12 round demolition of Antonio Margarito last Saturday night. Negotiations for a megafight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. have stalled twice and the hopes of that fight coming together have yet to improve. But Pacquiao’s camp promises that race has nothing to do with who Pacquiao chooses to fight next.
“I would say to hell with all of those guys who are talking,” said Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz. “Manny has done more than anybody in boxing than anybody has ever imagined. He has the right to select his opponents. These black fighters, you know, we’re not prejudiced. We don’t care if they’re black, green or blue.”
Top Rank Promotions CEO Bob Arum dismissed Hopkins notions that Pacquiao is afraid to fight an African American and says that Pacquiao’s next bout may be against one — whether or not that’s Mayweather is out of his control.
“We’re looking for African-Americans to fight,” Arum said while naming fighters like Andre Berto, Devon Alexander and Timothy Bradley as potential suitors. “I would think that it is likely that Manny will fight an African-American in his next fight, whether it’s Floyd Mayweather, Shane Mosley or somebody else.”