OKLAHOMA CITY, September 16 2013 — The Mayweather vs. Canelo boxing event Saturday was the one must see fight of the year so far. Celebrities including Charles Barkley, Jack Nicholson, Denzel Washington and Magic Johnson were in attendance. Let’s not forget Justin Bieber’s appearance walking with Mayweather to the ring.
There was a presence that the cameras did not show. But the voices could be heard louder than Lil Wayne’s cranky non-sense rapping: The presence of the Hispanic audience.
Once Canelo Alvarez stepped into the MGM Grand Arena the crowd went wild with screams and chants with Mexican flags being waved and Mexican ballad songs blasting from the speakers. During the fight you could hear chants of “Si Se Puede” (Yes We Can) from the Canelo fans. When a small crowd of Mayweather fans started chanting “USA” the rest of the crowd quickly started booing, sending the “USA” chant into silence.
What does the booing of the USA chant signify? Does this mean a disheartening feeling for the way the U.S. portrays Hispanics with the current immigration reform? Should politicians that do not want immigration reform pass start to worry that the presence of Hispanic may affect their campaign in the upcoming elections?
Regardless of the answer, the presence of Hispanics at the boxing match means that Congress and President Obama must pick up the pace of immigration reform or face a disheartening taste of the Hispanic population not wanting to support politicians and candidates in the upcoming elections.
Mayweather may have won the fight but not the Hispanic crowd, just like politicians may face in upcoming elections. The presence of the Hispanic audience members signifies the rise of Hispanic consumers, the rise of Hispanic wealth, the rise of population that will no longer sit in the sidelines waiting for their turn to be called.
Hispanics will make their mark in the upcoming elections, as they did in the 2012 Presidential election. Therefore, Congress must get activated in passing comprehensive immigration reform and the Republican Party must realize that if a welcoming hand is not given to the Hispanic community the boos while get louder not just in the boxing matches but in the voting booths in the upcoming elections.
Give the growing Hispanic population that face immigration hurdles the chance to be able to come out and start the process to become legal U.S. residents and get the support the Alvarez had.
Or not pass immigration reform and face the loud boos that Mayweather received.