Whether or not his opinion is the popular one of choice, Larry Merchant has never been shy about letting his thoughts be heard. With many in the boxing world debating HBO's decision to say "Thanks, but no thanks" to Guillermo Rigondeaux, Merchant voiced his opinion on the subject when asked by Boxing Scene's Luis Sandoval.
Here is what Merchant said, via Boxing Scene:
"I congratulate them. Rigondeaux is a beautiful boxer but this is prize fighting and prize fighting is entertainment. If you can't make the people want to come back and see you, it's just like going to a restaurant; they don't feed you well, you don't come back. They feed you well, you come back. And he's got to know this is a professional game and it's not an amateur game."
Merchant has a history of preferring excitement over guys who can box beautifully but lack a desire to always put on a show. He's had some infamous run-ins with Floyd Mayweather in the past, most notably after the Victor Ortiz fight, and didn't hesitate to get on Bernard Hopkins' case from time to time during the past decade.
But some will certainly agree with Merchant's viewpoint. Boxing nuts like us can appreciate Rigondeaux for what he brings to the table, but will the average sports fan watch his fights and be as impressed? For HBO to simply turn the man down would seem to answer that question with a resounding "No".
Do you think Larry has been too hard on guys who are pure boxers? Or does he have a legitimate point in wanting more out of the sport's most skilled craftsman?