James Hawley was 6-0 as a middleweight, but last week he got K-O’ed for punching down while laying flat on his back in his bed. It was a TIkTok video that took him down, an answer to a question in which he revealed himself to be both a homophobe and a transphobe.
Hawley, however, said in an Instagram post that he couldn’t be those things, because he has “friends who are gay and a cousin who is gay,” and also claimed to be the victim of abuse by “members of the gay public.”
On July 22, British boxing promoter MTK Global dropped Hawley like a hot potato for what he said in the now-deleted video, in which someone asked him if he supported LGBTQ rights. Here’s his response:
“I, 1-thousand, 1-million percent do not agree with this stuff. Listen, I can understand girls get with each other all the time at parties and all things like that.
“I don’t care, not a problem. I’d want them to get with each other in front of me.
“But boys on the other hand, and transgenders, there’s something seriously wrong with you. What in the earth makes you want to change your gender and get fucked in the ass?
“What is up with you dirty cunts? I feel sorry for your families.”
Hawley, 21, deleted the video following a swift backlash, but as everyone knows, nothing is ever permanently erased from the internet. Our thanks to RuPaul’s Drag Race U.K. contestant Baga Chipz:
(Offensive video) Today’s Scum is no other than “pro boxer” and really hard man James Hawley. Homophobic Filth. What a hard man. Report the Low life. What an absolute piece of dirt. pic.twitter.com/W7hdWwbDE0— Baga Chipz (@ChipShopBird) July 22, 2020
MTK Global, which also represents WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, WBO super-middleweight king Billy Joe Saunders and former two-weight world ruler Carl Frampton, issued a statement in releasing Hawley, apparently without a meeting.
“The boxing community is about respect and unity and MTK Global prides itself on its community focus and inclusive ethos,” the company statement said. “It has always been our mission to make boxing accessible to all, embracing individuality and being a safe space where community can express themselves and support one another.
“MTK Global does not in any way condone or support the views that were shared in any way, nor will these comments ever be considered as acceptable from any of our fighters hence the decision that was made by management.”
The boxer posted a video on Instagram, saying that he “understands” and “empathises” with the company’s decision, in an apparent effort to unring the bell MTK Global had rung.
He added that his TikTok did not reflect his views on LGBT+ people, but were said out of “anger” after he was inundated with inappropriate messages from “members of the gay public.”
Here’s what else he told his 12,200 followers:
‘I never meant anything by it and I’m sorry to who I offended.’
“Last night I’d hit a brick wall, and had enough of all the messages and disgusting, disturbing images that I was being sent by a few members of the gay community and I lashed out and said a few things I didn’t mean.
“I have friends who are gay and I have a cousin who is gay – I never meant anything by it and I’m sorry to who I offended.
“At the same time, how would you like it if members of the gay public on a day-to-day basis sent you inappropriate videos and messages, basically abusing you.”
British drag cabaret performer Jolene Dover captured his video before Hawley deleted it:
Yesterday professional boxer #JamesHawley responded to a question “do you support the LGBT community” instead of either ignoring the question or just saying yes he went on a viral tirade. This is his “apology” video after being let go from his management pic.twitter.com/0wkb9LXskc— Jolene Dover (@jolenedover) July 22, 2020