I was going to try and avoid talking about it at all if I could for several reasons, but the MMA community is in a bit of a tizzy regarding Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s recent comments about mixed martial arts and boxing.
If you can't or don't want to watch the video, the key quote is this:
"In boxing, we know who's dominating. Black fighters and Hispanic fighers is dominating in this sport. And this is not a racial statement but there's no white fighters in boxing that's dominating, so they had to go to something else and start something new."
The controversy stems from the fact that Mayweather is "race baiting," and it has brought up old comments from Muhammad Ali and history lessons about the roots of MMA. If you have any knowledge of the roots of MMA, you know that a lot of the sport started in Brazil and has spread across the world.
MMA, like boxing, is a very global sport. There are one of two possibilities here:
- Mayweather doesn't know what he's talking about, which is quite likely.
- Mayweather is just trying to stir the pot with controversial comments, which is also quite likely.
Do I like what he said? No, I absolutely don't. Nobody really does.
I almost want to lean toward Mayweather just not understanding what he's talking about instead of being purposely controversial, because there's so much he says that just doesn't really add up.
- Does he think MMA fighters don't run? He talks about boxers running 8, 9 miles. If an MMA fighter runs 10, is he a better athlete or man or something?
- He talks about rounds, specifically noting championship rounds in boxing (12) and MMA (5), as if there is a massive difference. In flat terms, yes. Boxing has 12, three-minute rounds, 36 minutes of action. MMA has five, five-minute rounds. 25 minutes of action. Not a huge difference. I'm not saying there's no difference, I'm saying that using that as a measuring stick is sort of dopey.
- "MMA is for beer-drinkers. Boxing is for everybody." What the hell does that even mean? Is it a class of audience thing? Is he talking about the fighters themselves? As far as crowds go, boxing is also rarely for "everybody," considering most of us couldn't afford to go to Mayweather-Marquez on September 19 even if we wanted to, and all the tickets will be sold to your everyday men like Brad Pitt and Mark Wahlberg anyway. And if Floyd Mayweather is trying to paint himself as a man of the people, that's pretty funny.
The whole issue is messy and hard to address without potentially offending someone, but sound off on it if you want to. Keep it clean, though.