Long-time HBO boxing analyst Larry Merchant stepped out of line during his post fight interview with Floyd Mayweather on Sept. 17. Moments before the interview, Mayweather dispatched Victor Ortiz, claiming the WBC welterweight championship.
Mayweather was on his way to another victory, when an intentional head-butt by Ortiz changed the atmosphere of the boxing match. With his mouth bloodied by the illegal blow, Mayweather was ready to get even with Ortiz.
After the fight was restarted, Ortiz keep apologizing while Mayweather pushed him back, motioning to him as if to say “let’s fight.” Mayweather immediately fired a quick combination at Ortiz, sending the 24 year old boxer to the ground. Ortiz was unable to regain his composure and Mayweather stretched his boxing record to 42-0.
During the post-fight interview, Merchant who has bumped heads with many boxers over the years let his bias get the best of him. Merchant immediately went after Mayweather in the post-fight interview, conveniently forgetting the head-butt that turned a relatively clean boxing match into a complete fiasco.
Mayweather didn’t hold back against Merchant during the interview, cursing at the HBO commentator and calling him out for his behavior over the years. Merchant has bumped heads with many of boxing’s champions in the past, something fans have had to deal with over the years.
Against Mayweather, Merchant lost his cool, telling the undefeated boxer “I wish I was 50 years younger and I’d kick your [expletive].”
Merchant continued to show his bias against Mayweather while interviewing Ortiz after the boxing match. Merchant actually suggested an excuse for the former WBC welterweight champion, playing off the illegal head-butt as a reflex action.
While Mayweather did yell and curse at Merchant, I still didn’t expect the boxing commentator to behave the way he did. Besides, Mayweather did have a point, as Merchant has been one of the most biased commentators in the history of the sport.
Merchant has rubbed many boxing fans wrong over the years, getting into altercations with everyone from Mike Tyson to Oscar De La Hoya. Merchant has even bumped heads with well respected boxing expert and former judge Harold Lederman.
I can’t remember when last I heard an intelligent comment from Merchant, and at 80 years old, it’s about time HBO makes some changes. I’m sure Max Kellerman won’t mind having the gig full-time.