Unless you are a boxing fan who has been roaming the wilderness awaiting the worlds end, or have been living under a rock the last few years, you will know of the famous fall-out between Floyd Mayweather and HBO.
The sports Pound for Pound king Mayweather used to be the blue eyed boy of boxing’s premier television network, but that all came to a bitter end when Mayweather defected to HBO’s rival network Showtime in 2012 to sign a stunning six fight deal worth $200 million dollars.
They say time heals old wounds, but not much water has passed under the bridge since HBO’s and Mayweather’s acrimonious split. In fact, Jim Lampley applied a liberal helping of salt to the wounds this week with his inflammatory comments about Floyd Mayweather.
The long time HBO anchor stated in his show, ‘The Fight Game with Jim Lampley’, that: "If you think Mayweather will be seeking the spectrum of entertaining risk in fights 48 and 49, you may be dreaming. Manny Pacquiao, our guess, is not until fight number 50, if ever. Maybe never.”
Therein Lampley’s not so thinly veiled swipe at Floyd Mayweather lie’s the basis of the bitter break up between the two. Basically the HBO boxing team thought that Mayweather was avoiding a fight with Manny Pacquaio when they both fought on the same network. Didn’t we all, though?
Yet the fact HBO put Floyd Mayweather on the spot, so repeatedly, and so publicly after each fight by posing questions about Pacquiao, which implied that he was perhaps fearful of the Filipino icon irked Mayweather and his all consuming ego enormously. Each post-fight question from Larry Merchant to Floyd Mayweather simply added another straw to the camel’s back until it buckled under the weight of Mayweather’s memorable outburst at the veteran broadcaster.
The Merchant fallout
In the wake of Mayweather’s controversial knockout over Victor Ortiz in September, 2011, Larry Merchant waved the red rag in front of the bull by suggesting that Mayweather ‘landed a legal cheap shot’ on Ortiz, who was busy apologising to the referee when Mayweather administered the fatal blow.
At that moment, the simmering bitterness between Mayweather and Merchant - and, by extension HBO - finally boiled to the surface when Mayweather launched a tirade of abuse at Merchant, stating angrily: "You are Shit and HBO should fire you. You don't know S*** about boxing. You ain’t S***."
Although the warring pair made a public attempt to patch things up, that bust up was the beginning of the end for HBO and Floyd Mayweather. Far from letting bygones be bygones, Lampley’s latest comments seem to confirm that the bad blood continues between HBO and Floyd Mayweather Jnr.
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