In just a few hours the biggest boxing bout in a generation between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao will take place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
The firestorm surrounding the fight from the time it was announced to the weigh-in on Friday has been on a level not seen for a boxing event. It should be no surprise then that any last minute drama would be on the same scale.
After the weigh-in the camps went through the standard procedure of having their gloves approved by the Nevada State Athletic Commission and each other. Mayweather’s camp at that point decided to object to Pacquiao’s use of Reyes gloves, the fighter’s brand of choice. This was done even as the gloves were already agreed to in the contract negotiations for the fight. Given the magnitude of the fight the issue got the attention of CBS CEO Les Moonves, who was instrumental in the fight being made. He allegedly was rebuffed for Pacquiao’s promoter Top Rank. The issue is said to be resolved.
The biggest drama though unfolded in the last hours. Mayweather’s camp, who has control over who gets media credentials for the fight, revoked them for CNN/TNT reporter Rachel Nichols and ESPN/HBO correspondent Michelle Beadle. Both Nichols and Beadle have been outspoken when it has come to the issue of Mayweather’s documented history of domestic abuse towards women. It is that outspokenness that many state drew the wrath from the Mayweather camp. Beadle’s revoking was especially jarring as she was helping cover the fight for HBO. The backlash over this led to Mayweather’s camp backpedaling and both Nichols and Beadle getting their credentials back. Neither will be attending the fight though as they decided to protest by boycotting the event. It should be noted that credentials were also to denied to USA Today reporter Martin Rogers and Steve Kim of the Undisputed Champions Network, both of whom have done extensive reporting on Mayweather’s history of domestic violence.