By Ben Thompson | December 30, 2015

"I can't believe they 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...I truly believe that racism still exists in the sport of boxing," stated retired undefeated former pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather, who shared his thoughts on the current state of boxing as 2015 comes to an end. You don't want to miss what he had to say. Check it out!

BT: Floyd, with 2015 coming to an end, I wanted to check in with you to get your take on the current state of boxing.

FM: Well when I really sit back and think about the sport of boxing right now, you know, Showtime is an unbelievable company. I'm saying that because Showtime stepped to the table and gave me the biggest deal in sports history, but I'm not going to sit on this phone and be biased. I had a very, very good relationship with HBO, but sometimes, just like relationships, people can outgrow one another. You know, you got guys like Jim Lampley, a guy that don't know a right hook from a left hook, never fought one amateur fight in his life, right. When I was with the company, HBO, he praised me, but when I made a smart business decision for me and my family, what did I get? Scrutiny! Once again, it's crazy, this guy Jim Lampley has never thrown one punch in his life, but got his own boxing show and is making up his own lists. Well, if you got a list called the Gatti list, I need to know what the Mayweather list is. Every fighter that's in boxing should try to take the Floyd Mayweather route.

I mean, another guy, Max Kellerman, all these guys, because y'all watched a bunch of VHS tapes and DVD tapes, that don't mean y'all know about boxing. That don't mean that y'all know about boxing at all. Paulie Malignaggi, he's a good commentator and he's a boxer. Antonio Tarver, he's a good commentator and he's a fighter. Even though Bernard Hopkins is with Golden Boy, he's a good commentator. George Foreman, Andre Ward, those are good commentators. I can't believe they [Ring Magazine] got Andre Ward ranked number 4 in the pound-for-pound list. Even though the guy that's ranked number 1 pound-for-pound right now [Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez], you know, you can't argue about that, but 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? They got some guy ranked number 9, I don't really know his full name, so I don't want to be disrespectful, but they got a Japanese guy ranked number 9. They got Andre Ward number 4, and this guy that's ranked number 9, we don't even know who he is. I truly believe that racism still exists in the sport of boxing.

BT: Obviously you're probably the best example of a successful African American in the sport, so I'm not sure people are really going to understand what you mean when you say that racism still exists. Can you elaborate on that or give an example of what you mean?

FM: You gotta really look at things like this, when Bernard Hopkins was a middleweight trying to fight Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley, and Felix Trinidad, they [the media] said he was calling out smaller guys. When the guy Triple G does it, they don't say shit. Once again, I'm not racist; I'm just saying racism still exists. Do I think that they're trying to get Andre Ward beat? Absolutely! Andre Ward, if you're reading this article, if I was you, I wouldn't move up to 175 pounds to fight the guy, Kovalo [Sergey Kovalev], if that's his name, because I really don't know his name. I know he's a light heavyweight. Andre Ward is a 68-pounder and I think he should continue to dominate at 168. This is what I think should happen. You know, everybody keeps talking Triple G, so I just started taking notice probably last year. If this guy Triple G is so tough and so bad, you know, from what they say, then let him go up and fight Andre Ward. Once again, these guys in boxing [media], not me, are rating this guy, Triple G, super high. He's good with a stationary target in front of him. When he's fighting a guy that's straight up and down with no special effects, is he good? Absolutely! But do I think that Triple G can beat Andre Ward? Absolutely not! Easy pickings! It's going to be very, very, very easy for Andre Ward.

I'm very, very close friends with Antonio Leonard, a guy who works with Andre Ward. I'm trying to find out who's working on Triple G's side because I'm close enough with Antonio Leonard to tell him, "Antonio Leonard, you guys should make the fight with Triple G. You guys should make that fight happen." I just look at certain things like this, if Andre Ward was my fighter, you know, I'm not here to speak bad about anyone, but he would have never fought on BET. I don't have anything against the BET network. I love BET. I will always love Black Entertainment TV, but we're talking about as far as boxing, and if we're just talking about as far as boxing, I don't think BET is a good look. It's just not a good look. Like I said before, if Andre Ward is over there doing business with HBO, then why didn't they ask Triple G, "Are you going to move up and fight Andre Ward?" They never ever asked him that. Why? They'd rather see Andre Ward get beat than see Triple G get beat. I'll say it again, I'm not racist, but racism still exists.

When I sit back and think, it's so many good fighters out there that they don't talk about. They don't talk about Terence Crawford, Nicholas Walters, Gary Russell, Leo Santa Cruz, Sharif Bogere, Richard Commey, Kell Brook, Keith Thurman, Erislandy Lara, Jermell Charlo, Jermall Charlo, Badou Jack, Andrew Tabiti, Danny Jacobs, Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, Errol Spence, Timothy Bradley, Andre Ward, Adrien Broner, I mean, he's still a fighter with a lot of personality, Demetrius Andrade, James DeGale, Adonis Stevenson, Deontay Wilder, but you know what? I know why they not talking about these fighters. Because the majority of these fighters are black or affiliated with me and Al Haymon. Al Haymon, we couldn't choose a better guy for boxing. Al Haymon should've been around from the beginning. Al Haymon is a manager, not a boxing promoter. Al Haymon cares about a fighter's well-being. He genuinely cares about fighters. You know, we sit down and we talk about different fighters and how we want the best for them always. Me and Al Haymon working together, communicating, that's the reason why the money is like it is in the sport of boxing, because of me and Haymon working together. To be honest, I'm just being honest, these guys are overpaid. These fighters are overpaid. These young fighters should be thankful.

But you look at things like this, Ronda Rousey, you know, I think she fought somewhere like 11 or 12 fights, which is not a bad thing. 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 them [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. And what's so crazy, 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. 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.

[ Follow Ben Thompson on Twitter @fighthype ]

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