World WBA Super and IBF champion Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins says he gets no respect “Because I’m Black” in a recent interview! It never mattered with Muhammad Ali who was probably the most recognized person in the world and well liked!
Hopkins also said if his name was Augustine, Marciano, Rubenstein it would make a difference. Well, there was a black Jew named Sammy Davis, Jr., who was well liked.
Hopkins referred to Larry “the Easton Assassin” Holmes who Ali nicknamed “Peanut Head!”. “When Holmes lost (to Michael Spinks) for the first time he said Marciano couldn’t wear my jock strap. The people (white) would never let him forget that”. Some 25 years later his “apology” was “that cost me a lot of endorsements. What I meant to say is he couldn’t walk down the same sidewalk I do”. I wrote after hearing that “you are right Holmes. You would be in the gutter and Marciano on the sidewalk!” One of my first stories was “Two Wins That Haunt Holmes”. Holmes got his ass kicked by Tim Witherspoon and Carl “The Truth” Williams and got the decision. Both had about 15 fights and he told Don King “no more young lions”.
After Hopkins beat Kelly Pavlik in Atlantic City he came back to talk to the press. First thing out of his mouth was “tonight I won and the next winner will be Obama”! I yelled out “I hope not!” When it came time for questions I put my hand up and stood up and this blond handling the press points to me and motions to sit down. Hopkins should have said “no, let the man have his say” but didn’t. I was going to say “like Holmes you both are like Rodney Dangerfield, saying “I get no respect!” Holmes and “Smokin” Joe Frazier were very jealous of Ali and George Foreman. Ali and Foreman could make money in and out of the ring. Holmes and Frazier had problems getting endorsements. Holmes even tried selling his autographs when he got inducted into the IBHOF and was told he couldn’t do that there. He got up and left.
I recently gave ring announcer Mike Mittman a Marciano doll a friend got at a flea market and asked Mike to give it to Holmes who was doing the broadcast that night with him at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, PA. He said “are you serious?” I said “well I’m not giving it to him.” Mike gave it to Holmes and he accepted it.
Mike had introduced Holmes saying “the man with the most title defenses and who held the title the longest… (“I’m thinking Joe Louis is alive?”) and he finished saying “Larry Holmes!” I was pissed that he disrespected one of the best if not the greatest heavyweight that ever lived.
The next show I told Mike and his son Steve who was announcing that night if they gave the same introduction for Holmes I would yell “Joe Louis”. I asked “does Holmes always tell you how to introduce him?” He said “sometimes”. I told them to just say” he’s a Hall of Fame champion.” So Steve starts the introduction for Holmes and says “and the man with the best jab in the history of the heavyweight division (and I yell Ali! Ali!) The boxing director of the PA commission was quite upset with me. BUT that is why Holmes is as disliked as he is due to his arrogance and his “Rodney Dangerfield” impression “I get no respect.”
What it boils down to is Hopkins brought on a lot of his own criticism when he said things like “no white boy is going to beat me” prior to the Joe Calzaghe fight. Guess what? You got it, Calzaghe beat Hopkins back in 2008 improving his record to 45-0. He then defeated Roy Jones, Jr. and retired at 46-0.
I always thought out of respect (because he was Italian) Calzaghe didn’t want to break Marciano’s 49-0 record.