LAS VEGAS — Two reporters who have questioned and criticized boxer Floyd Mayweather in the past about his history of domestic violence said they were banned from covering Saturday night’s match in Las Vegas between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
ESPN’s Michelle Beadle and CNN’s Rachel Nichols both tweeted Saturday they had been denied press credentials for Saturday night’s fight at the MGM Grand Arena by Mayweather’s camp.
Both reporters have covered Mayweather’s history of domestic violence in the past.
Last September Nichols questioned Mayweather about the accusations against him during an episode of the CNN sports show “Unguarded.”
The website Deadspin later provided a partial transcript of the interview, in which Nichols detailed the evidence against Mayweather.
>> Okay, you are someone with a history of domestic violence yourself. You have even been to jail for it, why should fans root for you with this kind of history?
>> Everything has been allegations. Nothing has been proven. So, you know that’s life.
>> The incident you went to jail for the mother of your three children did show some bruises, a concussion when she went to the hospital, it was your own kids who called the police, gave them a detailed description of the abuse, there has been documentation?
>> Uh-huh. Once again, no pictures. Just hearsay and allegations. And I signed a plea-bargain. Once again, not true.
>> But the website Deadspin detailed seven physical assaults on five women that resulted in arrest or citation, are we supposed to believe all the women are lying including the incidents when there were witnesses like your own kids?
>> Everybody actually, everybody is entitled to their own opinion. When it is all said and done, only God can judge me.
>> We have seen, the public wants domestic abuse in the country addressed would you consider donating any of the $30 million that you will make this weekend to an organization that educates against abuse?
>> This weekend, what I will do with that millions and millions of dollars be saved for my children because my children are who I love and that’s who i care about.
Beadle later tweeted she had gotten her credential reapproved, but she’d already gone home.
Many came to the reporters’ defenses on Twitter, offering their support. Yahoo! editor Greg Wyshynski said it was a “badge of honor” for the women to have been banned. ESPN’s Randy Scott called the Mayweather camp “cowards” for the alleged move.
Meanwhile Kelly Swanson, who according to USA Today handles public relations for Mayweather, is denying the claims.
The fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao is expected to start around 10:30 central time and is being lauded as one of the biggest boxing matches in decades.