HBO’s Larry Merchant Told Floyd Mayweather He’d Have Kicked His Butt 50 Years Ago

by abournenesn

September 18, 2011

The fourth round of the Floyd MayweatherVictor Ortiz fight was interesting, to say the least. It featured a head butt by Ortiz, two quick shots by Mayweather while Ortiz had his hands down, and a lot of whining from both corners.

After the knockout, which kept Mayweather undefeated, HBO ring announcer Larry Merchant did not seem very pro-Mayweather. Like many who watched the fight, Merchant seemed to feel Mayweather’s knockout blows were cheap, a retribution for Ortiz’s head butt moments earlier, and Mayweather felt Merchant’s opinion tinged the tone of his questions.

“You don’t know [anything] about boxing,” Mayweather told Merchant, who has been called the greatest boxing TV commentator ever. “You ain’t [anything].”

“What are you talking about?” Merchant replied. “I wish I was 50 years younger and I’d kick your ass.”

The controversial finish overshadowed the fact that Ortiz already looked beaten as the fourth round came to a close. His eye was swollen and he had absorbed a swift combination the previous round.

Mayweather was not apologizing afterward, unlike Merchant, who later came to his senses.

“Merchant admitted later in the telecast that he probably couldn’t have beaten Mayweather 50 years ago,” USA Today reported, “but he would’ve tried.”

If you missed the fight, there’s fan video of the controversial fourth round here. (Embedding is disabled but the link works as of Sunday morning.)


I’d probably have this same look on my face if Mayweather started swearing at me in the ring.

HBO's Larry Merchant Told Floyd Mayweather He'd Have Kicked His Butt 50 Years Ago Photo: Screengrab by Deadspin


“The ref said something, so I looked up and I was like, ‘Huh?’ I thought he called a break or something. I’m pretty sure he did. Then he just caught me and I was like, ‘Whoa.’ Then I woke up after and it was like, ‘OK, so this is going on.'”
— Victor Ortiz on why he was defenseless when Floyd Mayweather landed a left hook and a straight right that sent Ortiz to the mat in the fourth round.

Joe [Cortez, the referee] pointed to the timekeeper and said, ‘Time in.’ At that point, the fight is back on and they’re free to punch each other. Joe had them separated, but Victor went to hug [Mayweather] four separate times. … Floyd Mayweather threw a perfectly legal punch. I have no idea why Victor kept trying to hug him or embrace him. I guess he was feeling guilty because of the head butt, but hey, you’re in a fight. Fight and then feel guilty later.”
— Keith Kizer, executive director of the Nevada Athletic Commission, defending Mayweather actions at the end of the fight


That is surprising. Ortiz fans would probably guess Mayweather’s favorite movie is Sucker Punch.

HBO's Larry Merchant Told Floyd Mayweather He'd Have Kicked His Butt 50 Years Ago


And now for something completely different: Women’s golf!

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