It is hard to rebound from what you’re born into. We don’t know how we got here and we didn’t choose our slots in life, all we can do is make the most of it. In Atlanta it was reported in a study that one out of three students at undeserved schools through out the city had experienced post-traumatic stress disorder and that is just the people that report. That stat I would guess would be fairly similar to most schools in similar atmospheres.
Enter Karim Mayfield, a native of the Fillmore district of San Francisco, CA. I have never really been there, but the way I view from the outside looking in is to create an image for the reader is sort of a west coast version of Harlem with a blend a social justice, major focus on monetary gains, drug addiction and severe poverty all existing in one neighborhood. It is the neighborhood that birthed JT Tha Bigga Figga, Fillmore Slim, and San Quinn, but Mayfield has become beloved, because he made it to HBO, major premium TV and never turned his back on the people who were around him from the beginning.
“People say it is hard to keep it real, I just don’t understand that, why would you change?” Mayfield said candidly on Friday night at World Class Boxing Gym in San Francisco, CA. Mayfield is a superstar in San Francisco, CA to quote Ramon Matthews, “People ask two questions in the gym when they first come in. How much is the gym? Then, where does Karim Mayfield train.” In a weird way, the national disdain or mockery of Mayfield that has formed over the last year has made the Bay Area embrace him more as the Bay Area as a whole always feels mocked or belittled by the rest of the country and feel as though it is “us vs. them” anyway and that Mayfield is just getting hate, because of the region he is from, the Bay Area.
It is this back story that frustrates Mayfield when it comes to Adrien Broner. “He is down talking the people he came up with from high school and younger. It wasn’t just one or two people, it was everyone who didn’t make it.” Mayfield finished the last quote with finger quotes as he clarified that you could be spiritual and still be broke as he feels Broner is not spiritually rich.
“You said you made it. It’s not about what you made, you’re unhappy. You have people who quote unquote didn’t make it who are happy and content, you didn’t make it.” The deeper undertone is that Broner seems to embody actions and behaviors that annoy Mayfield on a deeper level. Broner and Mayfield have been compared off similarities that are clear and present. Let me list them. Both are young black men who connect with intercity neighborhoods and have dabbled in rap. The sad fact is race is a tricky topic even today and that this country was built on slavery and most people, let alone fight fans, do not look at how deep race can effect one’s perception or experience of life. This is often thought of as a privilege or lack of privilege.
Karim Mayfield’s frustration with Adrien Broner saying he is not a real one over and over seemed to me more a frustration with Broner’s attention seeking behavior that sometimes plays to racial stereotypes and affects more than just himself. Broner at times wants to depict the image of being a drug dealer, but I would be hard pressed to find a drug dealer who wouldn’t sit down and talk to a young man about why would you want to continue you in illegal funds when you are making legal tender. It seems disingenuous as though Broner is now living out a childhood fantasy while neglecting some of the aspects that catapulted him to stardom, i.e. boxing.
Mayfield is not without flaws, he is on a two fight losing streak and he didn’t look great in either fight. The Thomas Dulorme fight was filled with a circus surrounding the whole fight week. It was a close fight , but one that failed to do what I feel it was designed to do, which was to present a fun, engaging fight. In that bout, Dulorme held Mayfield from over the top of the head in a John Ruiz jab and grab type fashion that if it was amateur wrestling it might have been ruled stalling. The Emmanuel Taylor fight, neither fighter looked good to be honest as it was just sort of a flat fight. Mayfield rebounded in November in San Francisco, CA, but if Mayfield wants to continue to fight on the elite level he needs that big win on the big stage in order for his talk to match his actions.
Mayfield explains “I have never been battered, bruised or beat up in any of those fights.” Which is a valid point the fights were 6-4, 5-5 type fights that seemed to slip away due to lack of activity in certain key points. Mayfield explains frustration as he wishes he hadn’t tried to use the Chris Algieri type style for Taylor and more of his own bullying style but expresses he still feels he won the fight.
In the end, Mayfield explains he wants to bully Adrien Broner around the ring for negative statements that he made about hip hop legend 2Pac. For Mayfield, this line went too far as he has a relationship with the Shakur family and 2Pac means so much to so many people. Mayfield feels Broner’s words were just flat out disrespectful. In the end, Mayfield had some choice words for Broner “You not a real one, you learned everything from WorldStar, MTV, and BET. I see right through you.”