By Alston H Borrel
Regarding the Floyd Mayweather versus Larry Merchant shouting match, I am amazed that there hasn’t been much written in the Press about Larry Merchants display of unprofessionalism in this matter.
Sure, Mayweather started it, but he only did so after being unfairly badgered by the blatantly biased Merchant.
As for the issues that precipitated the Merchant – Mayweather shouting match, both Victor Ortiz and Floyd Mayweather acted in an unsportsmanlike manner. Ortiz for the blatant Head Butt, and Mayweather for taking the cheap shots.
Although Mayweather was within the rules of boxing for doing what he did, objective thinkers would be wondering why he did not simply step back before resuming fighting thus giving Ortiz the courtesy of putting up a defense.
Objective thinkers would also be wondering what was going through Ortiz mind when he purposely rendered such a vicious, potentially bout ending Head Butt to Mayweather’s face and why he stood there with his hands down even after taking the first Mayweather cheap shot.
While I’m not making excuses for Victor Ortiz or Floyd Mayweather, this is the type of behavior we expect for boxers and other athletes for that matter. Since the inception of boxing, boxers have always head butted, hit below the belt and taken cheap shots, sometimes even after the bell.
Boxers and other athletes have also always taken issue with and questioned the fairness of sports writers, commentators and interviewers. During a live interview following a win at the Australian Open, Kim Clijsters confronted broadcaster Todd Woodbridge about a text he had sent her friend theorizing that Clijsters was pregnant. Unlike Larry Merchant, Woodbridge took it in stride.
Athletes will be athletes and act like athletes. Sports interviewers should maintain some semblance of dignity and decorum….Mr. Merchant exhibited neither.
Never before has this writer seen an interviewer act in such an unprofessional and uncontrolled manner like Larry Merchant did when he said to Floyd Mayweather “I wish I was 50 years younger so that I could kick your Ass”.
I believe that Larry Merchant has always hated, or at the very least despised Floyd Mayweather. I have long held this belief based on listening to the negative questioning in Mr. Merchant interviews with Mr. Mayweather and his negative comments during panel discussions concerning Mr. Mayweather. I also observe Mr. Merchant’s prejudice towards Mr. Mayweather by Mr. Merchant’s failure to vigorously question Manny Pacquiao about his refusal to agree to Olympic Style Drug Testing in order to make a fight with Floyd Mayweather, yet Mr. Merchant has always relentlessly blamed Mayweather for that impasse.
I suppose as humans, interviewers do have their personal preferences in sports personalities, but most manage to at least act impartial, even when confronted about their biases. Never, however, have I seen a high profile sports interviewer completely lose his composure on Television and express publicly his classless wishes to kick an athlete ass.
Shame on you Mr. Merchant…I hope HBO is proud!
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