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Paulie Malignaggi Gets Sucker Punched

By: Patrick Mascoe

Showtime Boxing has fired boxing analyst, Paulie Malignaggi because of his comments regarding the topic of racism. Malignaggi openly discussed what he saw as a clear double standard when it comes to racist rhetoric in boxing.  WBC Lightweight Champion, Devin Haney, was talking about a potential matchup with Vasiliy Lomachenko, “Listen, can’t no white boy beat me, I don’t care, on any day of the week.  I fight a white boy like 10 times, I’m gonna beat him 10 times.”  Haney followed his comments up by saying he’s not racist.  Despite what Haney may believe his comments were directed specifically at one race and his use of the term “boy” was meant to be derogatory.  

Back in 2007, Bernard Hopkins said the same thing before facing Joe Calzaghe. “I would never let a white boy beat me.  I would never lose to a white boy.” There was no backlash at the time and Hopkins was never called out for his comments.  However, he did proceed to go out and lose the fight by way of a split decision.  Malignaggi pointed out that if a white boxer ever said something like that directed at a boxer of color he would be crucified.  It’s hard to disagree with Malignaggi on this point.  

Paulie Malignaggi is a very good boxing commentator, he is not a Sociology professor.  His lens and view of society is based on his position as a former boxer and boxing commentator.   The comment that probably got him in the most trouble was his opinion that racial oppression has existed but that Haney’s comments are an example that racial oppression is exaggerated.    

Whether one agrees or disagrees with Malignaggi’s opinion, it is simply his opinion.  It is also an opinion that is shared by a number of scholars, journalists and politicians of color.  However, Paulie Malignaggi was fired because of his opinion.  It’s highly ironic when you think about it; Malignaggi was fired over controversial remarks on racism while calling Devin Haney out because of his derogatory racially insensitive comments.  Haney has never offered an apology, nor has anyone asked him to clarify his statements.   

Devon Haney has faced no repercussions for his comments, yet, the man who called him out has been fired by Showtime Boxing.  Paulie Malignaggi claimed that there is a double standard in boxing when it comes to racist rhetoric.  Again, based on what has happened to Paulie and what has happened to Devin, it is hard to disagree with Malignaggi.     

 Perhaps, Paulie Malignaggi, would still be with Showtime Boxing had he Tweeted out an insincere message stating, “I’m not racist.”   

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