In an extended telephone interview covering a range of topics, the others of which can be found elsewhere on Thaboxingvoice.com. Nestor Gibbs (@nesgto) spoke with long serving commentator Larry Merchant about his thoughts on the upcoming rematch between Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather and Marcos Maidana, due to take place on September 13th in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Merchant and Mayweather have had previous dealings with one and other as most fans already know. Following the unseemly conclusion to the bout between Mayweather and Victor Ortiz back in September 2011, Merchant repeatedly tried to raise the issue of Mayweather appearing to knock Ortiz out with a ‘cheap shot’. The verbal exchange that followed became an eternal soundbite, with Mayweather shouting, “HBO needs to fire you, you don’t know shit about boxing! You ain’t shit!” To which the reply was, “I wish I was fifty years younger so I could kick your ass!”
The pair have expressed their regret for the incident since and in this particular interview Merchant was even-handed in his views about how he sees the rematch between Mayweather and Maidana going, and the thoughts he expressed about the ‘glove-gate’ situation that threatened to derail the first fight. He said, “Mayweather felt there was a difference in gloves for the first fight. He paid a seriously large amount of money (reportedly 1.5 million dollars) to his opponent to not wear gloves that were legal. Given how the first fight was fought, if they were indeed ‘puncher’s’ gloves, maybe they did make a difference and maybe that’s why he won’t be allowed to wear them this time around. He used his power and financial influence to make a difference.”
The uneven playing field that Merchant has highlighted here, that is a consequence of Mayweather’s status and wealth, makes laughable the notion that that this is just two guys with contrasting styles having a fight. The absolute power that Mayweather wields at the negotiating table is effecting how the fight itself may play out, and that cannot be a good thing. This being a given, Merchant had this to say on whether he thought this fight would go differently from the first: “I expect Mayweather to be more alert to the possibilities of what Maidana can do. Over the last couple of years Maidana has gone from just being a brawler who wants to fight you in some way, any way he can, to a smarter pressure fighter. I don’t think Mayweather was completely ready for that.” He went on to say that he expected ‘Money’ to adjust this time around given his obvious ring intelligence, but left the door open for the slightest possibility of a huge upset by saying, “Like the rest of us he isn’t getting any younger.”