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Larry Merchant on a prospective Mayweather-Pacquiao fight: ‘Mayweather would be the favorite’

Sep 20, 2011, 1:14 PM EDT

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HBO boxing broadcaster Larry Merchant continued his victory tour on Monday, appearing on ESPN Radio Los Angeles with Mason and Ireland two days after telling Floyd Mayweather that “If I were 50 years younger I’d kick your a**.” Merchant was asked his opinion on who would win a Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight, should such a thing occur (don’t hold your breath). His answer may surprise you, considering what happened following Mayweather’s win over Victor Ortiz on Saturday. Merchant:

“Well, Pacquiao has a fight in two months.” Well, ignore that: “I think Mayweather would be the favorite because he’s a wizard of defense and a defensive wizard is hard to beat because he’s taking fewer risks and leaves fewer openings for opponents to fill. But there’s an old saying in baseball that good pitching beats good hitting and vice versa, so if anyone has the vice versa in them, it’s Pacquiao.”

OK, I’m not sure what that last part means, and I’ll bet Merchant doesn’t either. Hey, he’s 80. What he’s trying to say I think is that Pacquiao could possess the intangibles to beat convention and win the fight. So he’s hedging his bet.

On the punch that won Mayweather the Ortiz fight, and the interview afterward:

“Let me ask you something, did you hear anything untoward or anything unfair? … I think to speculate that I’m in the long line of media people that he feels have not given him as much credit as he gives himself. And, in this instance, he fought an outstanding fight up until that crisis moment and the fans saw what they saw. They saw a sucker punch ending a fight. Now, was Mayweather within his rights to throw it? Absolutely. Should he have? In my opinion, no. This was a legal blow but it’s not the way great champions do it. And, the kid, Ortiz, has blame on him as well. But now I’m interviewing Mayweather and he’s absorbing from the boos in the crowd, which are getting more explosive, more inflammatory, and he understands he’s not going to get all the credit he deserves again. And that’s what set him off.”

Merchant also repeated what he told TMZ on Sunday, that he didn’t think he could have actually kicked Mayweather’s a** 50 years ago. But, he added, “I sure would have tried.”

And here’s a quote I hadn’t heard: Mayweather on Merchant, later on Saturday after the fight:

“Everybody is tired of Larry Merchant. He said if he was 50 years younger, that he would kick my a**. All of these boxing experts – how can you be a boxing expert if you never had a fight before?”

All I can say to that is that he’s wrong about people being tired of Larry Merchant. In fact, Merchant is enjoying a rather large Renaissance due to his post-fight comment.

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Larry Merchant: ‘I Don’t Think I Would Have Kicked [Floyd Mayweather's] Butt 50 Years Ago, But I Sure Would Have Tried.’[Sports Radio Interviews]
Floyd Mayweather Jr vs Larry Merchant: Who Was Right and Who Was Wrong After the Fight? [Bad Left Hook]

  1. mornelithe - Sep 21, 2011 at 6:22 PM

    I saw the fight, and honestly, my respect for Mayweather went down greatly for throwing the punches, and for his comments towards Mr Merchant afterwards. Personally, I think Pacquiao would destroy him, and that Mayweather’s camp has simply added more and more demands every time they even get close to an agreement on fighting. It’s widely known that Pacquiao feels giving blood the day of the fight weakens him, and that’s really not that much of a stretch to believe. I’ve given blood before, and yeah, it does weaken you. Of course, Pacman’s reasoning is slightly different as he’s not giving up a unit of blood. Basically, it’s more of a religious/faith thing, and that should be respected. But Mayweather, is Mayweather, and feels he has the right to demand anything and everything.

    As for Merchant, I’ve had my issues with him in the past, sometimes I’ve wished he’d just shut up, and more often than not, I think he’s hammered, and barely able to form coherent sentences. That having been said, he’s most certainly capable of analyzing a fight well, and has done so on many, many occasions. Floyd lost his cool after being intentionally head-butt, pulled a D-bag move, when he was already readily winning the fight…and it’s simply no better than the head-butt he received. He deserved the boo’s, and deserves the hit to his popularity that it’ll glean.

    I’m pretty sure he’ll keep ducking Pacman, because he wants to remain unbeaten. It’s too bad too, it’d be a great fight.