It is no secret Larry Merchant does not like Floyd Mayweather.
Jim Lampley is a Pacquiao guy and at times has allowed that bias to creep into his commentary during Mayweather fights. This all came to a head during the Mayweather vs. Ortiz fight.
If you recall the fight ended in controversy and when Merchant got into the ring this happened…
Merchant has been taking shots here and there at Mayweather since then for his legal cases and other out of the ring activities.
When Mayweather signed on to fight Miguel Cotto it was assumed that HBO would handle the fight, since HBO has been handling all of Mayweather fights for years.
Before the deal could be done Mayweather had a request and amazingly it might have been granted. Sports By Brooks has the scoop.
While in negotiations for the May 5 Mayweather fight, Mayweather instructed his representative Al Haymon to inform HBO’s Hershman that if the boxer was to fight on HBO in the future, Lampley and Merchant must surrender the right to discuss any and all of Mayweather’s affairs outside the ring on the HBO telecast. The ban would include any discussion of Mayweather’s management team.
Mayweather previously demanded the same ban during past fight negotiations with former longtime HBO Sports President Ross Greenburg but Greenburg never ceded any measure of editorial control of HBO’s own broadcasts to the boxer.
Multiple sources have informed SbB that Hershman, who recently took over for Greenburg, has since agreed to Mayweather’s ban demand.
Additionally, Hershman agreed to surrender the right of Lampley and Merchant to discuss any outside-the-ring affairs of other fighters repped by Haymon.
Lampley and Merchant have been informed of their new, on-air editorial limits pertaining to Mayweather and other Haymon-repped fighters with the latter ban going into full effect this Saturday when Lampley and Merchant call Adrien Broner’s fight on HBO.
It should be noted that a HBO Spokesman informed Sports By Brooks this wasn’t accurate, so I did some of my own digging and was told that Mayweather was assisting on this before he signed any deal with HBO.
The only way we will know for sure is when the fight actually happens, but assuming for a minute that it is true, the fact that Mayweather in essence could censor his biggest critic is a power play that is unheard of in media.
It is one thing to do that as a player with a team, but to get it in a contract that the announce team can’t be critical of you is unheard of.
It would speak to the power of Mayweather and Al Haymon in the sport of boxing and to be honest it is a tad bit scary for anyone to have that much power.