LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 17: (EDITORS NOTE: THIS IMAGE WAS TAKEN WITH A TILT-SHIFT LENS) Floyd Mayweather Jr. knocks out Victor Ortiz in the fourth round during their WBC welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 17, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
After Floyd Mayweather Jr. landed a clean (both in its effectiveness and legality) left hook-straight right combination that put down the headbutting Victor Ortiz, Larry Merchant entered the ring for his usual post-fight shenanigans. He pressed Mayweather on the "unsportsmanlike" blows, which Mayweather deflected ("Protect yourself at all times.") and celebrated ("And that's all she wrote.").
Merchant questioned Mayweather three times about the ending, and sounded like he was phrasing it a fourth way until Mayweather cut him off, telling Merchant he's never given him (Mayweather) a fair shake, he doesn't know "s***" about boxing, and that HBO should fire him. Merchant now famously retorted, telling Mayweather he would "kick his ass" if he were 50 years younger.
UFC President Dana White has let his feelings be known about the fight, ultimately placing blame on referee Joe Cortez for his inability to control the action after the headbutt. White spoke to MMA Fighting about the Mayweather-Merchant altercation following the bout:
"I actually thought that that was very embarrassing for HBO," the UFC president said. "The guy is senile, he's out of his mind. He's up there berating Floyd, but Floyd can't say anything back to you? You've been disrespecting guys your whole career, and guess what, you can go back 60 years, you're not kicking Floyd's ass, okay? Give me a break. And what's Floyd going to do? A 102-year-old guy just said that to him."
Now, I don't think HBO should fire Merchant for this situation. (He should...be fired...for...sounding...like...he would...rather...be...watching...Golden Girls reruns...from...the comfort...of his...home.) But this was a less-than-professional, though hilarious, moment for Merchant. And, in my opinion, it came on the heels of Mayweather saying nothing that hasn't been said by viewers of HBO boxing over the last few years.
Merchant came dangerously close to assaulting a fighter in the ring, his "if I was 50 years younger" qualifier and 1931 birth year saving him from that accusation. Yet, like the Ortiz situation, it's Mayweather who is portrayed as the villain.