No Holds Barred: Charles Farrell on Mayweather-Pacquiao and the Black Code of Fighting

Photo of Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao by Esther Lin/ShowtimeOn this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with our colleague, correspondent, and award-winning boxing writer, Charles Farrell (

He is also co-editor of The Boxing Standard (

We spoke with him by phone Sunday.

Our kickoff, of course, was Saturday's mega-fight, where Floyd Mayweather outpointed and outboxed Manny Pacquiao to win a deserved unanimous decision by scores of 118-110 and 116-112 twice. Mayweather, now the holder of three major welterweight belts, increases his record to 48-0 with 26 KOs, while Pacquiao falls to 57-6-2 with 38 KOs.

Besides evaluating Mayweather's successful neutralizing of Pacquiao's offense and his greater accuracy and volume of punches landed in this fight, we discussed the art of boxing and how Mayweather's performance measured up in this category.

While Charles Farrell said he is "a real advocate of art in boxing," he added that Mayweather "fell short of art" while having a "highly efficient performance." He also said his favorite fighter today is the super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux of Cuba, whom he called a "supreme artist."

We refuted those who claimed that this fight showed that "boxing is dead" because it was not a bloody brawl with multiple knockdowns ending in one fighter sprawled on the mat.

This fight was a prime example of what Charles Farrell calls the "Black code of fighting". He explained this in depth in his recent pre-fight article "Why Floyd Mayweather Is The Last Of A Kind" (

Black code fighting is, he said, "a style that Black fighters developed starting around the turn of the twentieth century. It hit its heyday probably from the 1930s right through the 1950s. And this is a style that Black fighters developed among themselves to keep themselves healthy, to not get hurt, to be able to stay busy because they had to fight a lot to make a living. So it was a style based on efficiency, tremendous defensive skill, the ability to set traps, to lure people into situations where they couldn't do their work. It's a very subtle style."

In it, "You don't do much."

And he said, "In many ways, Floyd Mayweather is just about the last of a long line of fighters who are really proficient at it. And what we saw last night was a good example of that style of fighting."

We also discussed Pacquiao's post-fight excuses about having an injury; his absurd claim that he won the fight; how the many technical problems with the pay-per-view telecast along with the emergence of many streaming video apps will further weaken boxing's pay-per-view model; what may be next for Mayweather in what he says will be the final fight of his career; and much, much more.

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