Johnny Nelson opens up on boxing being a ‘leveller’ when it comes to racism

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‘Once you step through the ropes, the best wins… it doesn’t matter what colour you are’: Johnny Nelson opens up on boxing being a ‘leveller’ when it comes to racism and the Black Lives Matter movement

  • Johnny Nelson believes that boxing is a ‘complete and utter leveller’
  • Former British cruiserweight champion believes ‘talent and skill is everything’ 
  • Nelson was speaking about Black Lives Matter on The Gary Newbon Sport Show 

Former British cruiserweight champion Johnny Nelson believes that boxing is a ‘complete and utter leveller’ when it comes to race.

Addressing the issue of racism in sport, the 53-year-old insisted that ‘it doesn’t matter what colour you are’ when you enter the ring.

Speaking on The Gary Newbon Sports show with Jewson, he said: ‘With boxing it’s the only sport where it’s a complete and utter leveller. Once you step through the ropes the best wins, it doesn’t matter what colour you are. 

Former boxer Johnny Nelson has been speaking on this week's Gary Newbon Sports Show

Former boxer Johnny Nelson has been speaking on this week’s Gary Newbon Sports Show

Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder lock horns during their title bout in Las Vegas this year

Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder lock horns during their title bout in Las Vegas this year

‘That’s number one. The politics and foolishness that happens outside the ring stays outside the ring. Colour has nothing to do with it. Talent and skill is everything.’

Nelson also went into detail about what he believes the Black Lives Matter is highlighting across society, and how it can help to challenge the issue of racial discrimination.

‘My point is this, I understand the message that’s trying to be put across. I could easily brow beat you about what’s happened in history, what’s happened in the past. 

‘I can give you many examples of racism, of what’s happened to me or people I know in my lifetime, not even going back to yesteryear. I can give you many, many stories. it’s been done over and over again.

Anthony Joshua lands a right hook square on the face of Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia

Anthony Joshua lands a right hook square on the face of Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia

Joshua addresses demonstrators at a Black Lives Matter protest in Watford in June this year

Joshua addresses demonstrators at a Black Lives Matter protest in Watford in June this year

‘This has been happening for the last 10, 20, 30, 40 years. And what difference has it made? We’re still having the argument. 

‘The difference that needs to be made is this, let’s talk together, let’s have uncomfortable conversations so I see the world through your eyes and you see the world through my eyes. 

‘And that’s the only way we can move forward, it’s about educating the youngsters coming through.

Nelson celebrates lifting the WBO cruiserweight world title in Rome over Vincenzo Cantatore

Nelson celebrates lifting the WBO cruiserweight world title in Rome over Vincenzo Cantatore

‘Nobody’s born racist, it’s about what they inherit from their parents or their grandparents or what they see on TV or what they’re taught. It’s about education. 

‘Education is the key. Even now a lot of people feel uncomfortable with it. I understand the frustration of black lives matter, why wouldn’t a white man say: “what about white lives”, why wouldn’t a Chinese man say “what about Chinese lives.”

‘Black Lives Matter – as well. That is it. That makes it so simple and so palatable to people to think “alright, now i’m listening.” If i keep ramming black lives matter down your throat you’re going to switch off and think “yeah what about me”.’

Johnny Nelson was speaking about Black Lives Matter on The Gary Newbon Sport Show with Jewson 

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