THURSDAY NIGHT UPDATE: Scroll to end of story to see Mayorga response to his homophobic Tweets. Follow Woods on Twitter @Woodsy1069 (http://bit.ly/goiHb2).
Ricardo Mayorga is maybe the best trash talker in the boxing business, if you don't dismiss him from contention because he frequently engages in crude talk bordering on the utterly vulgar.
In the last couple days, Mayorga has gone from pushing the envelope to going way over the line as he's been baiting MMAer BJ Penn on Twitter, taunting the Hawaiian master in what looks like an attempt to lure the UFC fighter into a boxing match.
The 37 year-old Mayorga (29-8-1), last seen in a boxing ring on March 12 losing a reasonably close decision to Miguel Cotto, got cooking on May 21. He promised that he'd knock out young gun Canelo Alvarez if and when they scrap in September, then taunted Floyd Mayweather for posting pics of himself on various social networking sites.
“You loves guys and beat up women,” he wrote to Mayweather, and tens of thousands of strangers.
He then moved on to ribbing Din Thomas, an MMA fighter who was slated to fight Mayorga last year before the tussle was scrapped because Mayorga's promoter Don King got an injunction to stop the clash. Mayorga then promised he'd slaughter a chicken named “Pavlik” but not before he'd make it drink a beer, playing on Pavlik's battles with the bottle. He next aimed his mud at MMAer Nick Diaz, who has been flirting with a fight with boxer Jeff Lacy, before getting into more questionable territory.
Mayorga said “”MMA is for maricons,” maricon being a nasty Spanish term for a gay person.
Mayorga mixed in the occasional bon mot, lauding Bernard Hopkins as a “true legend.” It seems like Mayorga is more inclined to compliment you if you are far out of his weight class…
On May 22, he stepped up the snarly. He called White a “bald puto,” termed James Toney a “fat hippo,” and slammed MMA as a sport created by homosexuals. “Boxeo is for real men,” he wrote.
I confess, Mayorga sometimes makes me giggle. But the anti-gay stuff, dismissing MMA as a sport for “maricons,” that material isn't kosher. He may be posturing, he may be clowning, it may just be hype…but it's hurtful to the people who train in the sport and more so, to gay people.
Listen, I don't wear a “Political Correctness” badge. Kobe Bryant was recently fined for using a nasty slur, and to an extent, I defended him, because to me, I examine your intent. If someone is using a term out of habit, out of ignorance, I'm prone to cut them some slack, frankly. But I suggest maybe Mayorga should examine his motives, and his speech patterns, and his mindset. I'm pretty damned sure there are one or two gay mixed martial artists who could crank and yank the boxer into a pretzel, and snap his arm in two if they tussled, by the way.
Please, anyone who follows me on Facebook, for instance, knows my language can get salty, and I'm not afraid to ream, for example, hypocritical politicians who stand up for the top 1%, the richest of the rich, their “base” while the rest of the have nots wallow in an economic quagmire. These are the wretches we in the media should be roasting. We get in a tizzy over incidences like the Kobe situation, and more recently fellow hoopster Joakim Noah for calling a fan a f****t, while allowing politicians in a position to influence rules and regulations, and religious leaders, in a position to influence their followers to be respectful of non heteros, free reign to spread their bias and hate-speech.
There are times when, yes, I think we could all take a step back, get some perspective, and stop being so darned sensitive. I'm Irish, and don't take offense at “Irish are alkies” cracks. But some cultures, some segments of the populace I think deserve an extra level of sensitivity. With some chuckleheads in positions of power demeaning gays by maintaining that they “choose” their “deviant” lifestyle which the schmucks argue will land them a spot in Hell, I think it is incumbent on the rest of us to combat that idiocy, and do what we can to change attitudes.
To his credit, BJ Penn didn't get into the gutter with Mayorga, even after Mayorga wrote on May 25, “I challenge you like a man. we fight mma gloves, knees, kicks, elbows – no rolling on ground like mmaricons- you have cojones?”
Penn cooly answered on May 23: “Your wasting your time looking for a payday with me…we will see who the real fighter is when I see you!!”
White, gearing up for Saturday's UFC 130 at the MGM in Las Vegas, didn't take the bait, save for a quick blast dismissing the boxer as a “punching bag.”
TSS asked White if it's possible we'd see Penn, who is by the way a solid boxer, with a smooth, steady jab, and excellent balance and footwork, which could translate well into the ring from the cage, fight Mayorga in a boxing ring. White's response?
“No! Mayorga is looking for a payday.”
White agreed with TSS that Mayorga is doing himself no favors showing bias against homosexuals on Twitter.
“Yes, he is a Hispanic macho man,” White said, and that brings up a good point. Mayorga grew up in some serious slums in Nicaragua. He and five siblings lived with his mom and dad, who beat Ricardo with a belt often, in a one-room residence, with a dirt floor.
His attitude, his hardness, doesn't come from nowhere. There's a reason for it. But that doesn't mean he can't learn, understand that his trash talk can go over the edge, from amusing antics to something darker. I'm not expecting a kinder, gentler Mayorga in the future. But I'd love to see him back off on the “maricon” talk; he can be edgy, and amusing, without going there.
UPDATE: On Thursday night, Mayorga addressed this issue. “A lot of people have called Ricardo and said his comments have hurt the gay community in the MMA world. Ricardo apologizes for any pain caused-insists all the talk was done for promoting both sports, not his intention to hurt the gay community.”
It is unclear who handles his account, and sent out this message. But nevertheless, I'm happy that some good has come of this whole kerfuffle.
WOODS ON TWITTER. http://twitter.com/#!/Woodsy1069 Please don't follow me if you think it's OK to be biased against gay people, or use the Bible as a shield for your hate. Thanks.