You're speaking of a different erra when talking of Dempsey and Marciano. When civil rights were a big issue and open racisim was common. The country hadn't yet begun to disown it's past in reference to slavery and the treatment of minorities. I think people identified with Cooney and Mancini because they were different than everyone else at the top. White americans, that could fight. The same is true with Tiger Woods. Part of the reason he stood out was because he was a black man in a white dominated sport. The williams sisters were black women in a white dominated sport. They aren't even the best players..but in female tennis(and maybe even tennis over-all) they are the most well known and marketable. The same with Yao. He's not the best basketball player, but he's different and that pulls in fans. We are dealing with a different generation of white folks. I don't believe that this generation assigns much value at all to the color of anybodies skin. It's not fair or accurate for anyone to suggest that Kelly Pavlik is only blowing up because he's the next "great white hope". He's different, he's a class act, and he fights with heart and skill. The fact that he's white only makes him stand out amongst his fellow boxers at the world class level. That was the point of me posting this. Because, in the past, people have suggested that he only gets support because he's a white guy.