MANILA, Philippines – After unbeaten boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. defeated Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto last Saturday in Las Vegas, he calmly answered the post-fight questions of HBO boxing analyst Larry Merchant, and the interview went off without incident.
It was a completely different scenario from the last time that Merchant tried to interview Mayweather: last September, after Mayweather knocked out Victor Ortiz with a "legal sucker punch," the two men got into an argument inside the ring.
"HBO needs to fire you. You don't know (expletive) about boxing," Mayweather told Merchant.
"I wish I was 50 years younger so I could kick your ass," Merchant fired back.
But this time, there were no such fireworks as Mayweather confirmed that he has already apologized to Merchant.
"Things happen. Me, being the bigger man, I just apologized and said, hopefully, we can have a better relationship in the future," Mayweather said in a Boxing Scene interview. "I apologized for what I said."
Mayweather explained that he felt "pushed to the limit" by Merchant's questions following the Ortiz fight.
"He wasn't giving me my just due. All I wanted to say the last time was to thank my fans for buying the pay-per-view and thank my fans for coming out and supporting me," he said.
"That's all I wanted to say, but he kept worrying about other things, about the Ortiz fight, and asking me the same questions over and over again, so I got kind of upset," he added.
Prior to the Mayweather-Cotto fight, boxing fans were already looking forward to Merchant’s post-fight interview with Mayweather, with many speculating that another heated exchange would occur.
But Merchant instead began his interview by acknowledging Mayweather's apology.
"To end the suspense, I want to let you all know that Floyd graciously came to me yesterday and apologized for the incident last September," Merchant said.
"I accepted it, and thank you Floyd for doing that," he added.