Mayweather: McGregor and Rousey are proof racism still exists in combat sports
Floyd Mayweather unloaded on the amount of racism that he believes still happens in the sport of boxing, but brought his vitriol full circle and ended up aiming it directly at UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor and former women’s champion Ronda Rousey.
Mayweather’s rant started when referencing undefeated super middleweight champion Andre Ward and how he’s not getting the respect he deserves in the mythical pound-for-pound rankings. Part of Mayweather’s claim about Ward and the treatment other fighters have received is just further proof in his opinion that "racism still exists in the sport of boxing."
Mayweather then turned his attention towards McGregor, who he says he had never heard of before a member of his entourage mentioned him recently and how the Irishman is one of the loudest and most outspoken fighters in all of combat sports.
"They say (McGregor) talks a lot of trash and people praise him for it, but when I did it, they say I’m cocky and arrogant," Mayweather told Fight Hype. "So biased! Like I said before, all I’m saying is this, I ain’t racist at all, but I’m telling you racism still exists."
McGregor has actually been routinely criticized by many of his peers for some of the more outlandish statements he’s made over the years. Former middleweight champion Anderson Silva said in 2015 that "cocky” fighters like McGregor have to be careful not to "cross the line" with their trash talk.
They say (McGregor) talks a lot of trash and people praise him for it, but when I did it, they say I’m cocky and arrogant.
— Floyd Mayweather
In many ways, McGregor picked up the baton and started running his own show while Mayweather was coming to the end of his historic career with both fighters earning a mountain of money and more than smattering of criticism from writers, reporters and fellow athletes.
Mayweather also took aim at former women’s champion Ronda Rousey when comparing her exploits both inside and outside the cage when compared to former women’s boxing champion Laila Ali.
Mayweather claims that Ali didn’t enjoy a fraction of the praise or the endorsements that Rousey received after doing less — and less impressively — than what Ali did in her career.
"Ronda Rousey, you know, I think she fought somewhere like 11 or 12 fights, which is not a bad thing," Mayweather added. "Laila Ali went undefeated and was dominating too. After Ronda Rousey fought I think 9, 10, 11 fights, it didn’t even take that long, she got all types of endorsements, movies, and everything.
"Laila Ali did the same thing in better fashion. Ronda Rousey, she’s a good looking woman when she put it on. Laila Ali is a drop-dead gorgeous woman; I mean a naturally beautiful woman and can kick ass, but you never heard (the media) saying when she had I think somewhere around 10, 11, 12 fights that she was the baddest woman to ever fight on the planet."
Ali is definitely considered one of the best women’s boxers of all time but unfortunately women’s boxing never enjoyed the same kind of success or attention that the UFC women’s division has received in recent years in large part thanks to Rousey.
Mayweather certainly isn’t backing down from his claims, however, and says that like it or not, racism still exists in combat sports.