Originally Posted by Sweet Jones
But that’s a big part of the problem. Merchant does NOT put the fight in any larger context or give any (useful) perspective during the fights. He’s too busy expressing his disdain for the action in the ring, over talking the color man, or disagreeing with Harold Lederman.
Take the Baldomir-Mayweather fight for example. It was obvious to all observing the fight that in the middle rounds, PBF was beginning to hit Baldomir at will. Probably on his way to a mercy stoppage. It was also then reported during the fight that PBF hurt his hand, at which time he switched to jab and move mode, and STILL sweeps the last rounds of the fight. The crowd becomes disenchanted and some boo. PBF cruises to an easy victory, and maintains his potential payday with DLH.
Now, IMO, that is the context of what happened in that fight. And what does Merchant do? Even after PBF explains all this (at the start of the post fight interview), Merchant goes to the ‘is this style entertaining’ questions. And PBF, realizing this is a dumb@zz question, let’s Merchant have it.
How can this ‘historian’ frame what was happening in the ring for the fans in this manner? Did Merchant expect the smaller fighter (PBF) with the hurt-hand to slug it out with a bigger guy who’s never been KO’ed? Why even take the line of questions there? Better yet, why not, in his role as provider of ‘context’, express to the viewing audience that what Mayweather was doing in the latter half of the fight (popping and moving) was the smart thing to do under the circumstances and with what potential big fights were on the line. Why not list some other examples of ‘historic’ fighters with hurt hands having to do similar things (much like Sweet Pea did against Ramirez)?
THAT is what I expect from the guy who is supposed to provide ‘context’ to talk about. Where was the historical context? Instead, he took the easy, non-boxing literate way out. That’s not the work of a ‘historian’, that’s what a hack does.
I guess we will have to agree to disagree. In the event of the Mayweather vs. Baldo fight, I think Larry provided a perfect context for what was happening.. as you said, Mayweather as cruising toward a larger potential payday while pot shotting Baldomir, and he felt paying boxing fans deserved better. The crowd at the particular event saw through it, and so did much of the viewing audience. Yes, he can put it into the context of past fights (you mentioned Pea vs Ramirez), but that does not change the fact that many fans put down 50$ to watch a pot shotting festival, and most were supreemly disapointed.
On the other hand, in Mayweathers conquest of Corrales, Merchant praised Floyd, and when comparing him to past fighters said something to the effect of him being up there with all the past top fighters, a 9 second sprinter against the field.
I like the context Larry gives, in particular before fights, about the fighters lives, and the meaning of the event. He is not perfect, I admit, but I would take him any day over Max Kellerman.
By the way, welcome to the forum. You have well expressed opionions and we badly need that about right now with all the Jr. High students getting out of school for the summer and coming to ESB.