Wednesday, September 23, 2009

After the After

As much as I found the experience of watching the Mayweather/Marquez fight on Saturday affecting, the only real drama was the post-fight interview. I’ve never understood why the interview in boxing is allowed to be much more confrontational than in any other sport - with notable curmudgeons Jim Gray and Larry Merchant being the preeminent practitioners – but it’s a generally accepted rule that things are allowed to get quite a bit saltier than just about anything else on television.

Still, I couldn’t help being a little sympathetic to Floyd Mayweather Jr. as he tried to accept his bow as the returning hero. I enjoyed the limited mayhem, but couldn’t help wondering what the reaction would have been if it had been Floyd who had pulled a Kanye on Mosley, instead of the way it went down. It’s one thing to agitate in the press-conference afterwards, it’s quite another to take a man’s hard earned shine after two years out of the spotlight.

I know Floyd is supposed to be the natural baddie, while Mosley is noble and righteous, but if the roles were reversed there would be such an overload of vitriol and message-board indignation sent Floyd’s way that the psychic rage would peel flesh from faces. No, I am not weeping for Floyd, it is what it is, but don’t anyone tell me that he is crazy when he talks about a double standard. Floyd has his faults, but he would not have done that to Mosley, and if he had you can be assured he would have taken his lashes.

Mosley has built up a reservoir of good will over the years by being a humble and decent man, but he and Bernard overstepped the moment no matter how much we may like them.

As for Kellerman’s performance, I’m a little hesitant to go after him too hard as I’m generally a fan. He seems to at least love the sport, something some of the other HBO boys don’t always make clear. However, as the instigator of the event he should have let the thing unfold to the natural conclusion. We are boxing fans, a little crazy is what we love about the sport.

I’ll say it gentle, but Max shrunk a bit, looking like a little boy who, late at night, wandered into the neighborhood his mother warned him about. If you know what I mean. That’s alright, I would have been nervous too, sandwiched between a hard crew of roughly twenty title belts between them. What I wished Kellerman would have realized, and Floyd rightly pointed out, is he talks too much and nobody really cares what he has to say. I know he worked all night on his intricate questions, but Floyd isn’t going to say what you want him to, so let the action unfold. Give the man his minute of commercials and self-love, he earned it.

It’s not Kellerman’s fault, particularly, I think the HBO guys often takes themselves a little too seriously. The fights the thing, and whether the gloves are still on or it’s the aftermath, nobody, ultimately, cares about the referees.

* Check out the latest piece I wrote for the Rumble about watching Floyd fight, I think it's good.