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Home Boxing Mayweather Proves Too Big For Marquez, Post Fight Interview Fireworks Prove More Entertaining
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Mayweather Proves Too Big For Marquez, Post Fight Interview Fireworks Prove More Entertaining

 

floyd_mayweatherSaturday night at the MGM Grand, Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. made his triumphant return to the ring. Fighting for the first time since knocking out Ricky Hatton in December 2007, Mayweather, 40-0 (25), had no trouble against former WBO/WBA lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez, 50-5-1 (37) by unanimous decision. Judges scores were 120-107, 119-108 and 118-109.
 
Mayweather looked comfortable for a fighter that hasn’t been near the ring in 21 months, easily pushing the smaller Marquez around the ring. Although Marquez was dropped by Mayweather in the 2nd round, he never seemed to be in much trouble of being KO’d. It seemed that the punches thrown by Marquez were nothing more than an inconvenience to Mayweather, who stuck to his plan of fighting straight forward. For his part, Marquez, fighting at the highest weight of his career (usually Marquez weighs around the 130 mark), kept up with Mayweather, trying to pepper the bigger man, but with little effect.
 
The personal problems that swirled around Mayweather during his training camp, to include the arrest of his uncle/trainer Roger Mayweather for battery and the fact that a gun allegedly belonging to him was used during a shooting, seemed not to be of concern to Mayweather. Mayweather also ran into weight problems when he came into this fight at 146, two pounds over the “agreed” upon weight, costing him $600,000, paid to Marquez.
 
When he left the ring for a “retirement”, Mayweather was considered the mythical best pound for pound fighter, a title now largely bestowed upon former lightweight champion (and the greatest boxer to ever grace the squared ring, at least in this writers opinion) Manny Pacquiao. This seems to have the boxing world, including myself, clamoring for a match-up of the two, should Pacquiao get past Miguel Cotto in November. On Saturday night, the subject of who should be his next opponent was a hot topic during a post fight interview with HBO’s Max Kellerman. In speaking with Mayweather, Kellerman brought up the subject of who he wants to fight next and remarked that WBA welterweight champion Shane Mosley was present in the ring, and that Mosley was the same size as Mayweather.

That brought Shane Mosley over to the interview and sparked a discussion between the two fighters of when and whether they could meet inside the ring, with Mayweather stating that he would let his handlers deal with the matchmaking but would fight Mosley. As the two fighters were shaking hands and talking civilly, Golden Boy Promotions (Mosley’s promoter) part owner Bernard Hopkins started yelling over Kellerman’s shoulder at Mayweather. This is where it almost turned violent. Mayweather took offense to this and started to argue with both Hopkins and Mosley, close to coming to blows. During this, Kellerman looked as panicked as I have ever seen an interviewer, pleaded with all sides to calm down and finish the interview. Just as it seemed that chaos was about to break out, Mayweather became the bigger man and decided to tell Mosley that they would talk about a bout in the future, but also advised him not to interrupt him during an interview, as he would not do that to Mosley. Mayweather finished by telling Mosley not to disrespect, to respect him as a man.

Kellerman, who had completely lost control of the situation and had no idea how to get it back, finally yelled out “Manny Pacquiao” in an attempt to get Mayweather’s attention. Mayweather looked at Kellerman and answered that he was not afraid to fight Pacquiao and that he knew what he was capable of as a fighter, so he would welcome a challenge by Pacquiao. Kellerman then began to ask about the pick of the smaller Marquez as a return opponent. A very frustrated Mayweather grabbed the microphone from Kellerman and told him that he, Mayweather, would do the talking because Kellerman “talks too much”. As Mayweather began to talk, a very frightened looking Kellerman looked towards the camera and said “Jim?” basically asking to be sent back to Jim Lampley outside the ring, to save him from what was happening inside of the ring. Kellerman said it again, this time the broadcast being switched back to Jim Lampley. As they cut away, Mayweather looked at Kellerman and said “Ok then” and it looked as if Kellerman was about to explain himself before the camera switched.
 
OPINION - I like Max Kellerman. I think he is a very knowledgeable commentator when it comes to boxing. What happened inside the ring Saturday night showed that Kellerman may not be ready for the big time and handling the bigger names in boxing at this time. The hostile environment seemed too much for Kellerman to handle. Although I am not a Larry Merchant fan at all, Merchant always has control of what goes on during his interviews and can roll with any problems that head his way during a post fight interview.

In 1997, Merchant was surprised by a drunken fan running up and grabbing the HBO microphone while Merchant was interviewing Daniel Zaragoza, following his upset victory over Wayne McCullough. As the fan started to scream about McCullough being robbed, Merchant grabbed the fan by the collar and shoved him across the ring, then apologized to the viewers and continued with his interview. I’m not saying that Kellerman should have grabbed anyone and battered them, but he needs to learn to control his atmosphere when conducting interviews.

Seeing the knowledge that Kellerman has, I am confident that this episode on Saturday night was just a learning experience for him and that he will become one of the better commentators/interviewers for HBO.

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