The Mayweather/Kellerman Debacle

Mayweather vs. Kellerman

So . . . Floyd Mayweather easily beat the smaller, slower Juan Manuel Márquez in a fairly clear victory from all sides of the ring. There was a knockdown in the second round, a nice counter left hook perfectly timed by Mayweather, and sending a dazed Márquez to the canvas. But beyond that, the most action we fight fans got to see was after the final bell had rung.

Enter Max Kellerman, HBO’s attempt at finding a younger, more quippish boxing expert/analyst to replace the increasingly verbally meandering Larry Merchant. Max does the post-fight interviews now, and tonight it seemed he had more than he could handle. It all started simply enough, with Kellerman asking standard questions about how Floyd felt he did etc., and Mayweather sending the standard shout-outs to everyone from God to Reebok.

But then two things happened that were ill-planned…

1. Max asks about the Mayweather not making weight, and how it was reported that Márquez received $600,000 for the two pounds over the limit Mayweather came in at ($300,000 per pound). Mayweather didn’t want to talk about it. Max did. Max pressed the issue. Mayweather said: “I’m not here to talk about money” (ironically just after he admitted to conducting his shout-out commercials to make his seven digits).

2. Max mentions the competition. We all know Manny Pacquiao is on the top of everybody’s mind. But apparently Max isn’t just a boxing expert. He’s a boxing expert with an ego problem. He thought it would be profound to make it known that he has someone else in mind for Mayweather. And that man is Shane Mosley. Oh, and Shane is standing in the ring, as part of Golden Boy Promotions. Oh oh oh, and Mosley really wants to call Mayweather out right there during the interview.


You see Max, not only did you lose control of the interview by not softening up Mayweather before going in for your “I’m so knowledgeable I’m going to throw you off your game” questions, you also failed (or maybe didn’t fail) to notice that Mosley was standing to your left when you asked about Mayweather ducking him.

Things quickly became heated when Mosley stepped to the mic and said “Floyd, we just want to get it on,” or something to that effect. Mayweather didn’t appreciate being disrespected during his interview, and some chatter flew back and forth, with (surprise) Bernard Hopkins joining in for good measure.

But this is where it gets annoying to the point of unacceptable. The whole time Mayweather and Mosley were verbally fighting, proud Mr. Max Kellerman refused to offer the mic to either party, opting instead to hold it close to his chest until he could do the talking himself. By the time Max finally got his words in, it was to change the subject to another challenger, Pacquiao. But by then Mayweather had had enough of Kellerman’s amateur shenanigans.

“Let me talk,” Mayweather said to Kellerman. “It’s my turn to talk. You talk too much.”


What would proud Mr. Kellerman say to that, you wonder? Better yet, what would Larry Merchant do? I think Merchant would have said something like “Okay, Floyd, you’re the one they want to hear anyway,” and passed it off.

But not Kellerman. Oh, no no no. Max, instead, gets mad like a schoolgirl on a date who isn’t getting enough attention, and passes it off to Jim Lampley at ringside, thus ending the interview at its climax.

Way to go, Max.

A word to the ever so wise: The next time you have media gold on your lap, try not to be offended by the celebrity you are paid to interview. Instead, let the fans see the fireworks they paid to see but maybe didn’t get during the match itself.

And by all means, do not join Jim Lampley and Emmanuel Steward at ring side to defend your useless opinion of what happened in the ring. We all saw it, and we can all make our own judgments. What happened in the ring had nothing to do with Mayweather having a chip on his shoulder against the media, or having the audacity to not like you, Max. I know, it’s an outrage to think that he might not like you as an interviewer, since you are apparently one of the only ones who actually likes him because he’s a pure boxer.

It had to do with Mayweather thinking you were an amateurish interviewer who likes to hear himself speak, more than anybody else in the stadium (including Floyd).

And can we really disagree with the boxer we love to hate and hate to love? I sure can’t.

HBO, please reinstate Merchant as the boxing analyst/expert for championship PPV fights. He may be slower on the uptake, but he is entertaining in his own special way, and much more seasoned at pandering and prodding the most egotistical of boxers big and small.

Or, if nothing else, find someone else. Max has moments of insight, but for the most part he is a poser, the type of expert you hate to hear talk because he’s usually doing it to impress.

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“The Mayweather/Kellerman Debacle”