Mayweather goes off on Larry Merchant during post-fight interview
By Dan Ambrose: Floyd Mayweather Jr. blew a rod during last night’s post fight interview with HBO analyst 80-year-old Larry Merchant. Mayweather, 34, objected to the simple questioning that Merchant was giving him about what was going through Mayweather’s head when he blasted Ortiz with a left-right combination just after he had hugged him to apologize for headbutting him in the 4th round.
The crowd hated the knockout call and booed loudly for a long period after the fight was halted. They continued to boo when Merchant spoke to Mayweather about why he had tagged Ortiz when things were going so well for him in the fight.
Here is what they said:
Merchant: “You hear the crowd. A good part of it is in an uproar because they felt you took shots at him unfairly after you went together in the ring, made up for the headbutt and then you poked him. What’s your story?”
Mayweather: “First up, “I’d like to think God for this victory. Without God this wouldn’t be possible. I want to think my team. I got hit with a dirty shot [headbutt]. It’s protect yourself at all times. I hit him with a left hook, right hand and that ended the bout.”
Merchant: “So you’re saying that even though that it appeared that he wasn’t protecting himself and that it was part of the ceremony of apology, you unfairly took advantage. What do you say to those who say, ‘what did you do there?’ You were winning the fight and was in charge.”
Mayweather: “I just want to say to everyone that bought pay per view and came out to Las Vegas, thank you.”
Merchant: “I know you’re a promoter, but we’re talking to you as a prizefighter. Let’s take a look at the end of the fight and you describe.”
Mayweather: “We touched gloves, left hook, right hand and that’s all she wrote.”
Merchant: “So for you it was just an automatic response, let’s get it on with the fight?”
Mayweather: “It’s protect yourself at all times. He did something dirty. We’re not here to cry about what he did dirty or what I did dirty. I’m victorious. If he wants a rematch, we can get a rematch.”
Merchant: “You were in charge of the fight. You were aggressive and taking advantage.”
Mayweather: “You know what I’m going to do because You never give me a fair shake. So for that, I’m going to let you talk to Victor Ortiz. You know what, I’m through. Get someone else up here to interview.”
Merchant: “What are you talking about?”
Mayweather: “You never give me a fair shake. HBO needs to fire you. You don’t know s**t about boxing. You aint s**t. You’re not s**t.”
Merchant: “I wish I was 50 years younger and I’d kick your ass.”
Mayweather: “You won’t do s**t.”
In fairness to Merchant, he needed to ask Mayweather those questions because the crowd hated the end of the fight and booing like mad. Mayweather appeared to just want softball questions from Merchant or a pat on the back. Merchant wouldn’t do that, and he was wise to ask Mayweather about what was going through his head when he tagged Ortiz before he was ready to fight. I can see Max Kellerman, another one of HBO’s analysts, asking the same question. It a simple question that Merchant was asking Mayweather and I think he wanted to brush it under the table.
At any rate, the combination that Mayweather nailed Ortiz with knocked him flat on his back and the referee Joe Cortez, who was looking into the audience at the time and not paying attention, turned around and stopped the fight upon seeing how hurt Ortiz was on the canvas.
It didn’t look as if Cortez had ever restarted the fight, which makes Mayweather’s shots seem all the more worse. Cortez had taken away a point from Ortiz for headbutting Mayweather in the heat of the battle. Ortiz, being a good guy, apologized to Mayweather, but in hindsight he should saved his apology and kept his guard up because Mayweather nailed him right after the apology without the fight having been restarted by referee Cortez.