‘Racism still exists’ in boxing, sports: Floyd Mayweather

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Mayweathers in 2007
Floyd Mayweather Jr. of the U.S., with his uncle and trainer Jeff Mayweather (R), listens during a news conference at the MGM Grand Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada May 2, 2007. Mayweather challenges WBC super welterweight champion and compatriot Oscar De La Hoya for the title at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday. Reuters/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus

Floyd Mayweather has already retired from the sport of boxing but remains outspoken with issues about sports in general and how athletes are treated. Recently, the former world No. 1 pound-for-pound boxer shared his thoughts about the surge in popularity of the newest and biggest star in mixed martial arts (MMA), Conor McGregor.

“I don’t really know the McGregor guy; never seen him fight. I heard his name actually from one of the runners that works for our company; a little kid named Ken Hopkins, he’s a runner and takes care of a lot of the daily business. Whatever we need, he takes care of. He’s a cool little kid, I like him, and he does MMA,” Mayweather said via Fight Hype.

“He told me about the guy McGregor. They say he talk a lot of trash and people praise him for it, but when I did it, they say I’m cocky and arrogant. 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." 

Mayweather also talked of bias in his own sport, boxing and mentioned fellow American boxer Andre Ward, whom Mayweather believes is being overlooked in the sport.

“I can’t believe they [Ring Magazine] got Andre Ward ranked number 4 in the pound-for-pound list, without Andre Ward losing a fight he has to be number 2. I mean, he wins his fights not in good fashion, but in great fashion, and they have him at number 4?” Mayweather added.

Ring Magazine, a highly respected boxing organisation, has ranked Nicaraguan bantamweight Roman Gonzales Russian light heavyweight Sergey Kovalev and Kazakh Gennady Golovkin, from No. 1 to No. 3, respectively, ahead of the American Ward, who is ranked No. 4.

Meanwhile, McGregor is listed as the third best fighter in the UFC, according to the pound-for-pound rankings of their official website.

McGregor, who is known to trash talk opponents in the past like Mayweather did for most of his career, was introduced into mainstream when he knocked out former pound-for-pound No. 1 Jose Aldo via a devastating knockout in just 13 seconds, the fastest ever KO in a title fight in UFC history.

While Mayweather was considered by most boxing pundits as the number one fighter during his prime, the American is not liked by most boxing fans as he's seen as too arrogant and too brash during his time in the sport.