Merchant to Floyd: That's not how champions do it
MANILA, Philippines – Floyd Mayweather’s “sucker-punch” knockout win over Victor Ortiz may be legal, but that’s not how great champions get their victories, said veteran boxing commentator Larry Merchant.
Merchant, who was dissed by Mayweather during the post-fight interview, said Mayweather threw the winning punches while Ortiz’s guard was down.
"The fans saw what 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. It was a legal blow, but that's not the way great champions do it,” he said in ESPN.com.
The HBO commentator admitted that Ortiz was partly to blame for the incident.
Ortiz virtually ignored his safety by leaving himself open in front of Mayweather.
“The kid, Ortiz, has blame on him as well,” said Merchant.
Meanwhile, he said Mayweather’s outburst during the post-fight interview may have been a result of the boos he got after the fight.
"I think he's absorbing 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 I think set him off, in my opinion."
Merchant also explained his reaction after Mayweather’s outburst.
He was caught on camera saying he wished he could kick Mayweather’s behind for the flare-up.
"It was spontaneous combustion," said Merchant. "You're getting personally insulted as well as professionally insulted, and I was just trying my best to ask the questions that everybody wanted answered. And suddenly he assaults me that way, and I just, you know, went off.”
"... I did say afterward that I don't think I could've kicked his butt 50 years ago, but I sure would've tried."