Sometimes Floyd Mayweather Jr just can't help himself. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Floyd Mayweather Jr is mostly focusing on hyping up May 5 opponent Miguel Cotto these days, but the Orange County Register did get one fun quote out of him, and it had nothing to do with the fight, but with one of the men who will be ringside to call it for HBO pay-per-view:
"From what I used to see as a kid watching Larry Merchant, he used to be drunk, on air," Mayweather said.
I guess this is, like, some big shot from Mayweather. We all know the talk that Merchant works drunk -- mostly jokes, though some taken seriously, I guess -- and I mean, I don't much care if he does or doesn't. I don't care if that's unprofessional. Maybe if Gus Johnson got drunk he'd calm down some and be better at calling fights. I don't know.
I do wonder now that it's brought up if we'll see another Mayweather vs Merchant blow-up in the post-fight interviews. I think Mayweather's persecution complex and general insecurities are to blame for some of it, but there's also no doubt in my mind that Merchant has, in recent years, looked for ways to criticize Floyd more than he needs to. It's a two-way fight, and of the two, I guess in a way I side with Floyd, if you want to take sides for some dumb reason. His reactions are natural, they come to him without being forced out. Merchant looks for ways to poke the bear. Or at least that's my opinion, anyway.
[ Related: Mayweather vs Cotto Press Tour Quotes, Photos ]
Maybe they should just let Max Kellerman take Merchant's seat this time out. He's better than Merchant anyway.
As for the quote itself, I thought it was funny. I doubt Merchant loses much sleep over it.