MANILA – Floyd Mayweather Jr. argued with a well-known ESPN sports analyst after the latter expressed his opinions regarding Mayweather avoiding Manny Pacquiao.
Stephen Smith of ESPN said that he is suspecting that Mayweather is just running away from fighting Pacquiao given that he prioritized his fight against UK’s Amir Khan over the Filipino boxing pride.
As a result, Mayweather launched a tirade against him.
“Listen, I don’t give two flying [expletive] what Stephen A. Smith say. I ain’t never seen Stephen A. Smith dribble a basketball, catch a football, or box, so I can give two flying [expletive] what Stephen A. Smith say. Quote me on that!” said the boxer.
Smith expressed his side through ESPN’s program First Take.
“I’m not gonna get into a Twitter war with Floyd Mayweather Jr. You know how I feel about Floyd, you know how I feel about him as a boxer as a fighter. I think he’s the best in the planet and I stand by that,” he said.
He added, “I’m gonna be a man about this because somebody needs to. Here’s the bottom line: Floyd Mayweather Jr. continues to tell the public that he just wants to give the fans what we want to see. My response is people have been askin’ for Pacquiao for years… Passing Pacquiao for [Cotto and Alvarez] there is no excuse for Manny Pacquiao, particularly if what you’re coming to us is Amir Khan.”
In another ESPN video, Smith continued to raise the issue that many fans are looking forward to a possible bout between Mayweather and Pacquiao.
“If you don’t fight Miguel Cotto, if you don’t fight Alvarez and you still avoid Pacquiao and you’re trying to sell us Amir Khan, not only will finally believe that you’re ducking him, I will sit here… and advocate that nobody here will buy that fight [with Amir Khan]. And I will say so religiously, we want Pacquiao! Pacquiao! That’s what we want,” said Smith.
Smith, however, clarified that his petition for the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight does not mean that he wants the Filipino boxer to side with him.
“I don’t need support from Manny Pacquiao, not even a little bit. I respect where he’s coming from, but don’t try to jump on his bandwagon and act like Floyd came at me in a disrespectful manner that he did, I’m going to side against him against this particular subject,” he said.
He added, “However, let me also say, I don’t think Manny Pacquiao is wrong for doing it. He should use any means necessary to try to get Floyd into the ring.”
On the other hand, Smith’s colleague and ESPN analyst Skip Bayless said that the Filipino superstar should try and dare Mayweather.
“Taunt this man. Dare this man to fight you because he continues to run from you. I appreciate Stephen A. Smith calling out this man, Floyd, you said it and you just lay it on the line… I wanna see this fight,” he said.
The Filipino boxing icon for this part, re-posted the video link of ESPN in his personal Twitter page.