Stephen A. Smith Fires Back at Mayweather

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    17zfem2taxs7wpngStephen A. Smith from ESPN’s First Take responded to comments Floyd Mayweather Jr. made about him in an interview with Ben Thompson from Fighthype.com. Mayweather verbally assaulted Smith and apparently wasn’t too happy about Smith saying on a recent episode of First Take that if Mayweather doesn’t fight Manny Pacquiao next that he would publicly state on the show that he believed Mayweather was avoiding Pacquiao.

    Smith stated earlier today on First Take that “Floyd knows better than that. He knows that I say what I mean and I mean what I say. And if anyone is back tracking, some would say that he is back tracking. Even if I did backtrack which I don’t believe that I do, at least I got a legitimate reason to, I work for somebody. I have to answer to somebody, that’s ESPN. You want to call that a shame then call most of the American public being shameful because they’re employed by somebody else.

    “Floyd is worth close to a half billion dollars, if not more but he’s back tracked from time to time, so I’ll ask him to look in the mirror and I’ll leave it at that in terms of that particular point of view.”

    Smith reiterated comments he made on Twitter recently about the situation to his cohost Skip Bayless. “I said on Twitter just the other night Skip, I’m not going to get in a Twitter war with Floyd Mayweather Jr. You know how I feel about Floyd. You know how great I think he is as a boxer. I think he is the best on the planet and I stand by that. I’m going to be a man about this because somebody needs to. Here’s the bottom line: Floyd Mayweather Jr. continues to tell the public that he wants to give the fans what we want to see. My response is people have been asking for Pacquiao for years.”

    Although he said that he would be disappointed if Mayweather didn’t fight Pacquiao next, Smith did manage to cut him a little slack and offered up what he thought would be acceptable alternate opponents if a fight with Pacquiao could not be made. “Miguel Cotto is an elite fighter especially since now he is training with Freddie Roach. You go that route, nobody can knock you for that. Canelo Alvarez, despite the fact that you’re Floyd and you schooled him and picked him apart, this dude is a young lion. He’s big time. Some would think he is worthy of a rematch because he may have learned from that experience. They may have thought they saw some slippage from Floyd over the last couple of fights against Marcos Maidana and that might make the fight interesting, so you could understand that.

    “But outside of those two fighters, passing on Pacquiao for those two fighters, there is no excuse to pass on Manny Pacquiao, particularly if what you’re coming to us with is Amir Khan.”

    Smith went on to explain in further detail why he wouldn’t be happy with Mayweather fighting Khan next. “Now if Floyd Mayweather deciphered what I was trying to say. What I am saying is, in my opinion, Amir Khan is not in Floyd Mayweather’s class. He doesn’t belong in the same boxing ring as Floyd Mayweather. He didn’t pay the dues that Floyd Mayweather paid. He doesn’t have a flawless record, displayed by Danny Garcia beating him to a pulp with a TKO victory in four rounds just a couple of years back.

    “When you talk about a premiere fight for boxing fans to see, we don’t give a damn about Amir Khan when it comes to who we want to see in the ring with Floyd Mayweather Jr. And if that is what provoked Floyd Mayweather Jr. to go off on his diatribe and go off on me, that’s fine I accept it. I’m a big boy. This is what we do. I’m not trying to hurt anybody.”