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Why did Floyd Mayweather refuse to be interviewed by veteran reporter Larry Merchant?

Miguel Cotto v Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Miguel Cotto v Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Vinayak
ANALYST

Rarely have we seen Floyd Mayweather lose his cool while interacting with non-fighters. However, veteran reporter Larry Merchant has found himself embroiled in feuds and beef with a number of fighters, including Floyd Mayweather.

'Money's qualms with Merchant are rooted in the journalist's reluctance to offer Mayweather credit where it's due.

Following a fight back in 2017, Floyd Mayweather had just emerged from a shocking 4th-round KO win over Victor Ortiz. Mayweather's triumph over Ortiz marked his 42nd win over the course of his storied career.

Many regarded the win as a rather controversial decision. However, it was what happened during the post-fight interview that caught the attention of the fans.

"You know what I’m gonna do cause you never give me a fair shake, you know that? So I’m gonna let you talk to Victor Ortiz. I’m through. Put someone else here to give me an interview. Talk to Victor Ortiz! HBO needs to fire you. You don’t know shit about boxing! You ain’t shit! You’re not shit!” Floyd Mayweather told Merchant.

Why has Larry Merchant drawn the ire of fighters like Floyd Mayweather?

Larry Merchant's reputation precedes him as he is one of the brashest and brazen journalists in the realm of combat sports. Infamous for calling things as they come, a number of fighters, like Floyd Mayweather, detest Merchant's unfiltered candor.

Mike Tyson, for instance, is yet another fighter who refused to offer him an interview. While not confirmed publically, the prevailing consensus suggests that fighters' resentment stems from the fact that Merchant often came off as derisive.

What's more, UFC head honcho Dana White also echoed the same sentiment. Defending Floyd Mayweather's conduct during the Victor Ortiz fight, White went off on Larry Merchant for 'embarrassing HBO'.

Having endured in the biz for decades, the quality of Merchant's input during telecasts and interviews had begun to deteriorate. Floyd Mayweather may have overreacted by calling for his exit at the time. However, HBO should have encouraged Merchant to retire at some point.

Edited by Ritwik Kumar
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