Would a black boxer stand a better chance against Manny Pacquiao than his most recent competition?
Bernard Hopkins believes so. And while boxing fans wait -- and wait -- for Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KOs) and Floyd Mayweather Jr. to finally agree to terms for a fight, Hopkins is asserting that a black fighter's style would give Pacquiao more of a challenge than Antonio Margarito was able to muster against Pacquiao on Saturday night, according to a story on Fanhouse.com.
And Hopkins -- who said he's voicing what other black fighters and fight fans are thinking but reluctant to say -- is wondering why Pacquiao hasn't fought Mayweather "or any other top-notch black fighter," according to the report.
"Floyd Mayweather would beat Manny Pacquiao because the styles that African-American fighters -- and I mean, black fighters from the streets or the inner cities -- would be successful," said Hopkins, according to Fanhouse.com. "I think Floyd Mayweather would pot-shot Pacquiao and bust him up in between the four-to-five punches that Pacquiao throws and then set him up later on down the line."
Pacquiao fought and defeated Joshua Clottey of Ghana
earlier this year, but Hopkins discounted that win, saying "Clottey is 'black,' but not a 'black boxer' from the states with a slick style."
The Pacquiao and Mayweather camps have twice tried and failed to set up a fight between the two, despite predictions it would become the most lucrative bout ever. The first set of talks broke down in part over disagreements about Olympic-style drug testing.
Pacquiao adviser Michael Koncz strongly denied that Pacquiao is ducking anybody of any color or background, according to the report.
"The selection of opponents for Manny has nothing to do with race, creed or color," Koncz said, according to the report. "It's all about business. And they can cry all that they want. It's all about economics, now, with Manny's career.
"We have the luxury of doing that because Manny has proven to the world that he's got nothing left to prove. If there are any boxing people out there who doubt him, then, to hell with them," Koncz said, according to the report.
Bob Arum, who promotes Pacquiao, said he has heard that argument before, according to the report. He also denied Pacquiao is ducking anyone.
"I have heard that, yes. A lot of people don't articulate it. But a lot of people, in effect, hint at it," Arum said, according to the report. "But you're absolutely correct, and there is no argument there. The notion that he would not fight an African-American fighter is ridiculous."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.