Bernard Hopkins Says Race A Factor In Upcoming Fight

posted April 17, 2008 04:03:00 PM CDT | 34 comments

When Bernard Hopkins barked the now infamous statement at Joe Calzaghe Ill never let a white boy beat me! many thought his play on race was a bit foul. But it did bring together one of the biggest fights in both boxers careers.

On Saturday, April 19th at the Thomas & Mack arena in Las Vegas, boxings living legend, Bernard Hopkins (48-4-1 32 KOs) meets The Pride of Wales Joe Calzaghe (44-0 32 KOs) for Hopkins Light Heavyweight Championship. There is a lot on the line for both boxers. Calzaghe will make his first appearance in America while Hopkins may be making his last appearance ever.

But for Hopkins, he sees this fight as something bigger than his legend in the sport of boxing.

Im up for this fight for a lot of personal reasons. For me its a cultural fight, Hopkins said at a media roundtable Wednesday afternoon in Las Vegas. (If you dont know what I mean) ask some black athletes about culture and competition, dont ask the guy in the suburbs or the black guy whos father and mother are a judge and a lawyer because hes out of touch. Go on Martin Luther King blvd in every American city. Theres guys like me living there. Ask them what I mean. The bottom line is that its in your face and you have to deal with it.

After being challenged by a British reporter if this fight is a race issue, Hopkins elaborated on his position.

Its always an issue of race when its black vs white, he stated. Through history, weve dominated this sport so much that (the media) has wrote about when we are going to see a great white hope. So what is that?

A few reporters were seen leaving the roundtable after B-Hops comments.

Some of you are running, he joked. Be brave and tell me Im wrong. Ill be fine with that. But then Ill come back with facts and your own literature stating why it was so important that we see a great white champion if race doesnt play a part in sports and politics.

I have the courage to say what others wont, he continued while explaining that many black athletes do not address race issues in sports today. Martin Luther King had that. Marcus Garvey had that. Ghandi had that. Malcolm X had that. Jim Brown had that. You are dealing with a modern day legend.

Hopkins vs Calzaghe takes place Saturday April 19th from the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas NV. The fight can be sign on HBO with coverage beginning at 6:45pm PST/9:45 EST.

HipHopDX will bring you fight updates live from ringside. For more on Bernard Hopkins, check out his feature by clicking here.

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