So, those of you who read this blog regularly know that I’m a fan of boxing, and that I was pretty excited about a Pacquiao/Mayweather fight that was set to take place earlier this year. Mayweather, who is undoubtedly one of the best boxers of our generation was slated to fight Pacquiao, last year’s pound-for-pound best according to Ring Magazine, in March of this year.
That fight, which was predicted to break all current records on boxing match earnings, was anticipated around the world. But, it fell through after Mayweather’s camp decided that, because Manny Pacquiao is Filipino, and because the Phillipines are a good source of illegal performance enhancing drugs, that Pacquiao must prove he’s not on PEDs. As I said back in December, the basis of that accusation is racism, pure and simple; so much so, in fact, that Pacquiao filed a defamation lawsuit against Mayweather, his father, and Golden Boy Promotions.
Nonetheless, Mayweather insisted that both he and Pacquiao submit themselves to random blood and urine testing for the entire 30-day period prior to the fight back in March. Pacquiao refused — saying that he would submit to drug-testing until a week prior to the scheduled match, but that he didn’t want to allow himself to be interrupted with tests in the few days before the fight. And so, since Mayweather and Pacquiao could not come to an agreement on this point, Mayweather pulled out and the March date was given to Joshua Clottey, a fighter from Ghana who previously held the IFC welterweight championship. Pacquiao made mincemeat out of Clottey.
Then, again, there were rumours that Mayweather and Pacquiao had entered back into talks for a fight tentatively scheduled for November. But, again, Mayweather and Pacquiao could not come to an agreement over blood testing, and again, Mayweather pulled out. Pacquiao is now scheduled to fight Antonio Margarito, a disgraced fighter who claimed the WBC International Light Middleweight belt in Mexico earlier this year. If Pacquiao wins the fight in November, he will have earned yet another championship title in his seventh weight class.
In a sport that is so incredibly and historically racialized, the Pacquiao/Mayweather talks are no exception. In fact, much of the normal shit-talk that occurs between fighters to hype a pending bout have been incredibly racist — and most of it stems from Mayweather’s camp.
Yesterday, Mayweather — who was recording a live video stream on UStream — launched into an online tirade against Manny Pacquiao that was captured by Pacquiao fans and posted onto YouTube.
In the 10 minute long video clip, which edits together many different moments in the live video stream, Mayweather references many anti-Asian stereotypes and attempts to use racialized humour to emasculate Pacquiao.
Throughout the video, Mayweather refers to Pacquiao as “Poochie-ao”, which sounds like the name one might give to a fluffy little puppy. Mayweather also calls Pacquiao a “midget” — which can only refer to the stereotype of Asians being diminuitive in height, since Pacquiao is actually only 1.5 inches shorter than Mayweather. Mayweather accuses Pacquiao of not being able to speak English and even says that Pacquiao’s using a fake name: Pacquiao’s first name is actually “Emanual”, not “Manny” (‘cuz no one’s ever heard of nicknames in boxing, right — “Pretty Boy” Floyd “Money” Mayweather?).
But most gallingly, Mayweather spends about a minute and a half joking that Pacquiao can take his order for sushi and rice (shitty, Westernized sushi, at that — I mean who even eats shrimp tempura rolls except Americans?) and says that, if he were ever to fight Pacquiao, he would “cook him up with some cats and dogs”.
Mayweather’s rant is incredibly racist, and hinges entirely upon mocking Pacquiao’s ethnicity. Mayweather’s words run the gamut of anti-Asian stereotypes, and he even going so far as to confuse all Asians cultures by correlating a Filipino man with Japanese food.
I realize that Mayweather cultivates a villain persona in the boxing world, and that he’s known for his pre-fight trash-talk, but in this case, Mayweather should be ashamed. These racist taunts are infantile and bigoted; while Pacquiao is actually doing his job and fighting opponents, Mayweather is sitting on the sidelines making dumbass racist jokes.
I said it back in December and I’ll say it again: prove you’re not chicken, Mayweather. If you really think you’re better than Pacquiao, than find some compromise on the blood-testing thing, and take your shit to the ring.
And hopefully, when he finally gets a chance to, that “midget” will kick your skinny, racist ass.