Disclaimer: This may not make any sense at all to readers, especially those who know nothing about boxing and those who know nothing about hip-hop. No rappers were harmed in the writing of this article. Picture credit goes to the photographers and morphthings.com. We don’t own the rights, ya digg!!!!
Hip Hop and the sport of boxing are forever connected. Two peas in a pod. These days there is almost always a constant presence of the two. Whether it’s management and promotions, boxers training, ring walks, in between rounds, the connection is seamless. While the two are bonded globally, the presence is deeply rooted in the black community as boxers and rappers come from similar walks of life. Sometimes the good is mixed with the bad, and the downright ugly. The good. The bad. The ugly. This narrative goes way back considering boxing came before hip hop. But as we fast forward to the present, it was inevitable that their paths would cross.
Though there were a number of black boxers in the early part of the 20th century, Jack Johnson is a fighter that helped to open the door. And to the contrary, he’s also responsible for the door being closed for several years after his reign as world heavyweight champion. In his day, to be the world heavyweight champion was essentially like having a key to almost any city in the world. Boxing was at this point the most popular sport of the modern era. This was also a time of extreme prejudice towards boxers of color. For that matter, Jack Johnson exemplified everything that exasperated prejudice towards blacks.
Not only was Johnson a hell of a fighter and champion, but he was also not scared to show it. Johnson was braggadocious and often taunted the fighters he faced along with the crowd. Given the time, this was dangerous considering blacks were subjected to extreme racial injustice. Through it all, though, he remained true to the game.
‘Iron’ Mike Tyson and Tupac Shakur had a relationship in the ’90s and prior to Tupac’s untimely death, he had been in attendance at the Tyson x Seldon fight on September 7, 1996. There are plenty of other examples from the past but it’s almost a regular thing to see a boxer walk out with an artist.
In the world of Hip Hop, you get a ton of stuntin’ (stunting). The first thing an artist does upon ‘securing the bag’ (getting money) is cop (buy) something crazy. Some boxers have followed a similar path but in both regards, you’re bound to see someone step out in a major way. Instagram has only made stuntin’ more prevalent.
We got to thinking about current boxers and who their current rap counterparts would be. I thought about style, flair, and the type of following they generated. They also had similar personalities in some regards. Maybe we got it wrong, maybe we got it right. You be the judge.
Canelo Alvarez, 53-1-2 (36 KOs) x Drake, 5 Studio Albums
You may not like it but both Drake and Canelo Alvarez are still on top of their respective games. I don’t know which individual gets more hate, but they both certainly get a lot of love. Canelo was overwhelmingly considered the fighter of the year in 2019. This was because he had a strong showing in both of his matchups, the first being an IBF, WBC, and WBA (Super) World Middleweight Unification against Danny Jacobs in May 2019. Canelo followed this up with an exhilarating knockout of longtime Light Heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev in November 2019, to pick up the WBO World Lightweight title, his fourth weight class. Drake gave us a little something with the likes of Care Package in 2019, but it’s clear that he’s in the lab brewing. Drake has started 2020 off right with the release of ‘Life is Good,” a single featuring Future. There is no question that something is in store. #whatatimetobealive
Claressa Shields, 10-0 (2 KOs) x Young M.A., 1 Studio Album
This is the perfect match because of the fact that both of these women are raw and gritty, with no filters. If you don’t know Young M.A. then you don’t know “Ooouuu,” one of the dopest tracks of the past decade, period. Now she has the opportunity to tell us her story. The self-proclaimed G.W.O.A.T., Shields, is coming off of a history-making 2019 where she became the Undisputed World Middleweight Champion after defeating then undefeated German fighter, Christina Hammer. For those that don’t know what Undisputed means, Shields ended the fight with The Ring (first time for a female), WBC, IBF, WBA, and WBO Championship belts. It doesn’t end there as Shields made even more history to start off the 2020 year by becoming the fastest boxer to pick up major titles in three weight divisions. This came about after a dominant victory over Ivana Habazin in what was the 154 pounds (Junior Middleweight) debut for Shields. It could get even more crazy and historic as the year goes on as there is talk of a crossover fight between Shields and current UFC Bantamweight and Featherweight Champion, Amanda Nunes. I’m down. As far as Young M.A., the tour is going down https://smarturl.it/herstoryvip, global!
Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford, 36-0 (27 KOs) x DaBaby, 2 Studio Albums
Neither of these dudes fuckin’ around right now! Both are bringing heat every time they turn up. Watch the throne. Bud just defeated Eij and essentially has his foot on the necks of all welterweights in the PBC ranks. DaBaby has already found himself in legal trouble to break in 2020, but there are still 300+ days left in this wonderful year. Redemption, anyone? DaBaby no doubt was the hottest in the genre for 2019 and constantly made waves. He dropped a ton of gems and even brought his family along for the ride. He also put hands on a dude in an LV store based matchup. Crawford is the meanest fighter in the world and he backs up anything he says. He closed 2019 with a gritty stoppage victory over Egidijus Kavaliauskas. He also practically made Amir Khan quit earlier in the year during their ESPN pay-per-view contest (i didn’t buy it). Crawford has been clamoring for a fight with Errol Spence, Jr., who is recovering from a DWI crash that nearly ended his life. Whether or not Spence, Jr. will be the same is a legitimate question but that aside, pretty much any PBC welterweight would be a good matchup for Crawford at this point as he’s running out of comp on the Top Rank side. Forget about crossing ponds, just fight. I’m of the impression that Crawford is down to scrap by any means. For the rest of y’all, don’t get caught with your pants down.
Regis Prograis, 24-1 (20 KOs) x Curren$y, 9 Studio Albums
For me, I’d argue no one exemplifies New Orleans rap more than Curre$y. In contrast, Regis Prograis is 100% New Orleans and it doesn’t take long to recognize such. Like his counterpart in the rap end, Prograis is tenacious and never ducking or dodging a fight. Hot August Nights, check it out! Anyway, Prograis is coming off of a major 2019 where he competed in season two of the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS). He dismantled Kiryl Relikh in the first round of the WBSS to defend his WBC (Diamond) Super Lightweight title and pick up the WBA World Super Lightweight championship. This led to a highly anticipated matchup between Prograis and Scotland’s IBF World Super Lightweight champion, Josh Taylor in October 2019. Both fighters brought their A-game in one of the best fights of the year and Taylor pulled off the Majority Decision victory. Both fighters gained new fans for their effort. Prograis is still one of the best fighters in the world and recently mentioned that he’s willing and looking to take on Terence Crawford. Spitta also blessed us with that Hot Augst Nights Forever and Plan of Attack compilation. Be on the lookout because it’s going down in 2020.
Adrien Broner, 33-4-1 (24 KOs) x Kodak Black, 2 Studio Albums
This comparison is about as fitting as any. Both of these individuals suffer from ‘foot in mouth’ disease. Equally, they seem to have and attraction to law, except on the wrong side. Both fighters spent 2019 making headlines for the wrong reasons than their actual craft. After a lackluster blowout loss at the hands of the great Manny Pacquiao in January of 2019, the next highlight of his career was him stating that he was retiring and having to settle a case for sexual assault stemming from 2018. Broner was at one point slated to take on Ivan Redkach in the latter part of 2019 but nothing ever materialized. Kodak Black, on the other hand, dealt with too many issues to address over the past year and is now serving around a four year prison sentence. Brimer has started 2020 with a new controversy as he was outed for sliding into 16-year-old Bhad Bhabie’s DM. Here’s to hoping he gets his career on track, no flockin.
Haha. More to come…..#86Boxing