Coming out of retirement for one more payday, Bernard Hopkins faces the undefeated Joe Calzaghe this weekend in what looks to be a pretty good match-up.
Hopkins, at one time considered the best fighter on the planet, will take on not only his opponent; but Father Time, as well.
Calzaghe, a fighter who has made his 'name' in the UK, brings an undefeated record wit his only win worth mentioning a shocking upset of an under-trained Jeff Lacy.
Certainly, we are used to fight build ups that include outlandish comments and actions. That is nothing new. But, when the fight build up causes one fighter to start to make racially questionable and possibly divisive statements, we wonder what the world of boxing has degenerated into.
Joe Calzaghe seemingly is relishing some of the words that came out of Bernard Hopkins mouth. Words that stirred controversy. Words that resulted from the sneaky tactics of the manipulative Calzaghe.
Calzaghe took a very cavalier attitude towards the situation:
"You call each other out, there's a bit of controversy," he said. "He done his little bit of controversy with his little white guy [comment], which I'm glad he said to be honest, because it created a lot publicity from that."
The comment to which Calzaghe refers?
"I would never let a white boy beat me. Never."
Certainly, the white slanted media will take every opportunity to spin this into Hopkins making uncouth racial remarks. It will paint Calzaghe as simply being a polite Briton, who just happened (through no action of his own) to be the recipient of a socially unacceptable sentiment. (Regardless of the truth in it)
But, for the keener eye. For the mind that understands exactly how the white media uses race and truth against the Original fighter. For that mind, the reality is clear.
Calzaghe wanted more money. Calzaghe, who is a virtual no name in the US, wanted to pick the pocket of one of the greatest champions of all time.
Hopkins wanted to fight. Hopkins didn't want Calzaghe to have an out.
Even with a 50-50 purse split, Hopkins could tell by Calzaghe's actions and words that the fight might still not be made.
"It came together for him because I pressured him and I said the things I said where he couldn't back out of the fight," Hopkins said of his racial comments. "He had to sign the contract after that. They tried to weasel out of everything so I gave them 50-50. I didn't have to do that. I had the leverage. If Roy Jones was in my position, he would have never gave him 50-50. The fight would have never happened."
Hopkins was forced into a position to throw down the gauntlet.
Don't let yourself be fooled into thinking that there was any racist sentiment behind the remark.
Don't allow the manipulative Calzaghe to distract you from his attempts to hi-jack the proceeds from the fight.
Don't fall victim to the mainstream media's attempts to play the race card and turn you against Hopkins.
Do watch the fight.
Hopkins later added, "You can print that. I would never lose to a white person."
And that ain't racist.