Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Latino boxers and gay paranoia

UPDATES to this post:
ORIGINAL post: Yesterday, the Nicaraguan news-daily La Prensa reported that there is an escalating - and homophobic - war of words and gestures being played by Nicaraguan two-time junior flyweight boxing champion Rosendo Alvarez and the Mexican pugilist and current world champ Jorge Arce as they prepare for a show-down in Las Vegas on April 8th.

According to
La Prensa, Alvarez claims that Arce instigated the exchange when he arrived in Nicaragua: "He started to say that my wife ruled over me and this is something that no man [likes to hear]. I have a good relationship with my wife. That was his error. He's getting into my personal life and I don't allow anyone to do this."

The article also says that Arce went on to blow kisses at Alvarez accross a crowded room at a promotional boxing event on Saturday night which almost led to a scuffle.

Alvarez told La Prensa: "No real macho man throws kisses at another man. Only gays do that. That's why I have no doubt that Arce is gay. But on April 8th I will make him a real man by giving him a true beating."

Arce, for his part, said that it wasn't the first time that Alvarez called him a gay man but that the allegations didn't bother him: "I found out that [Alvarez] loses his head quickly, so now he will have to deal with it because I will continue to harrass him, and once he's bothered, I will knock him out so he doesn't have to worry about these delicate things."

Of course, there's nothing new about boxers questioning each others' masculinity and, sometimes, their sexuality. The subject has even made for the gripping 2005 documentary "
Ring of Fire: The Emile Griffith Story" which was also shown on the USA cable network. But why it is still so prevalent a tactic in boxing today remains shameful.

Alvarez was not the only Nicaraguan boxer to call a future sparring adversary gay this week: Today,
La Prensa also reports that Nicaraguan boxer Ricardo Mayorga, known for his outrageous, often homophobic statements, and his tendency to smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol during press events, told a roomful of reporters gathered at a Beverly Hills press event: "This faggot won't be able to stand the rhythm [of my punches], believe me, he will fall in knock-out on May 6th."

The supposed "fag" in question? Mayorga's next boxing match rival, Golden Boxing Boy himself, Oscar De la Hoya.

To De la Hoya's credit, he was unfazed.

Interestingly, both of the Nicaraguan boxers raising the gay flag are currently represented by infamous boxing promoter Don King.


Anonymous said...

It would seem that Alvarez and Mayorga are stereotypical straight guys who when they are intimidated by another man's good looks immediately go to the "he must be gay" line. Both Arce and De la Hoya are hotties and seem to make the far less attractive Alvarez and Mayorga uncomfortable. It is an unfortunate side affect of machismo.

Blabbeando said...

Well, the original headline in "La Prensa" was "Arce is gay!" (for some reason the article has been taken off-line) but if you read further it became clear that Arce was just as complicit in making Alvarez uncomfortable by playing into his homophobia by blowing him kisses at press conferences and questioning his masculinity.

As for Mayorga - De la Hoya, De la Hoya seemed almost bored with the press conference and they probably knew they needed to play it up for the cameras. Still doesn't make it right for Mayorga to call almost averyone around him a 'fag.' (Funny thing, he once said that if he lost a boxing match he would consider himself a faggot, he indeed lost that fight so I guess even Mayorga considers himself gay).