Keith Thurman breaks down the history of boxing for those possibly NOT in the know of the sport.
This weekend, the biggest fight of the summer is happening in Las Vegas between boxing legend Manny Pacquiao and Welterweigh Champion Keith Thurman. But the African-American Polish and Hungarian boxer has some views to share on boxing…
CelebNSports247.com reports that Keith Thurman, 30, points out how boxing has always posed blacks against whites and now, this fight is the American against the Filipino.
If you ask Keith Thurman how he feels about racism being a huge part of selling a boxing match, he points out how boxing history plays a huge part in racism.
Thurman said, portraying zero malice or hyperbole in his voice:
If you really understand the history of boxing, then you do understand that boxing has always been a racist sport.
Saturday night’s fight in Vegas has world title implications.
The Vegas fight has an opponent who represents an entire country and millions of people, so once again promoters are using racism to fuel ticket sales, on-demand orders and betting.
Being that Thurman is a black man and an “American” in this fight, he reps the U.S.A. while Manny Pacquiao, 40, reps the Philippines.
As Thurman pointed out with his statement, racial conflict has always been a marketing ploy to drum up interest in prizefights, playing up differences in skin color and ethnicity to make it easier for audiences to choose sides.
This is common practice for the world of boxing. Take for instance English fighter Daniel Mendoza was marketed as “the Jew” during fights in the late 1700s.
But Thurman points out to TheUndefeated:
It’s always the African versus the Puerto Rican, the white versus the black, the Russian versus the American, the Cuban versus the Puerto Rican, the Mexican versus the black, or the Mexican versus the white.
A brief History of Racism in Boxing:
Black fighters, from Jack Johnson to Louis to Muhammad Ali to Mike Tyson to Floyd Mayweather, have evoked a false fear and hatred from white audiences based entirely on the fighters’ skin complexion.
It has spilled over into domestic violence incidents for certain boxers like Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather.
In 1910, Jack Johnson agreed to the fight Jeffries only to “make an effort to reclaim the heavyweight championship for the white race.” Instead, Johnson knocked out of Jim Jeffries, which led to riots and multiple deaths.
Then, Muhammad Ali’s refusal to be inducted into the U.S. Army and his association with the Nation of Islam made him one of the most hated men in America.
In more recent years Domestic Violence help to instill fear:
Next, Tyson was called “an animal,” “a monster,” “a savage” and “evil incarnate” during his heyday throughout the 1990s. All thanks to researcher Neil A. Wynn noted in his article “Deconstructing Tyson: The black boxer as American icon” was published in The International Journal of the History of Sport.
In 2017, Mayweather’s fight against Irish UFC fighter Conor McGregor continued the tradition of racialized fight promotion. Selling the fight as the Irish man vs the black American. McGregor was hungry to take down Mayweather, but in the end, Floyd won the battle in the ring.
Most recently, Mexican-American Andy Ruiz Jr. beat Anthony Joshua in the ring and and won the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles. But once again it was sold as the black man vs the Mexican.
When you think about it, boxings racist ways are disturbing. We’re NOT surprised fans haven’t realized how prevalent racism drives the sport.