Floyd Mayweather fought Victor Ortiz last night, and as usual after a Mayweather fight, there was controversy. The first came in the from of what some are calling a sucker-punch that ended the fight. The second part of controversy came in the post-fight interviews, in the form of Larry Merchant and his hard-hitting style of reporting.
Larry Merchant has been around the block and covered many of the biggest fights not just in this era, but in boxing history. He joined HBO sports in 1978, and has done almost all of their pay-per-views since.
Merchant is known for being a straight-up analyst who is never shy to share his opinion. Fans never have to wonder where Larry stands on something. He is dry and to the point—analytical.
His direct approach in post-fight interviews have gotten him into trouble before, and he's in hot water again for his recent comments after Mayweather vs Ortiz.
Aside from Mayweather, Merchant has also had confrontations with big-name fighters Oscar De La Hoya and Mike Tyson.
After the Ortiz fight, Larry asked Floyd the question that every fan watching wanted to know. He asked what Floyd thought about the way the fight ended, and whether or not he thought it was a sucker-punch.
Mayweather went on a tirade, saying that Merchant doesn't know anything about boxing, and that HBO sports has it out for him. He said that he never gets a fair "shake" with HBO. After that he proclaimed that HBO needs to fire Merchant.
This isn't at all Merchant's fault. He asks the hot-button issues that everyone wants to know. You had better believe that if Floyd didn't blow up when he did, a Pacquiao question was about to follow. That's why we love Larry.
Merchant has fortitude, and is never scared to tell the world what he thinks. Too many announcers in too many sports want to be friends with all of the athletes. They constantly try to get the players' adoration.
Larry Merchant doesn't want or need respect from boxers. That's what makes him so great. That was more than evident when he told Floyd Mayweather last night that he would kick his a&$ if he were 50 years younger.
Larry Merchant is the best boxing announcer of all time because he tells it like it is, and is always on point. His calculated analysis and no-holds-barred criticism is a rarity in the sport, and is what makes him so great.