Floyd Mayweather decisively defeated Manny Pacquiao on Saturday night, scoring a victory via unanimous decision. The bout has been panned for not living up to its “Fight of the Century” moniker and being, well, boring. Perhaps it would have been different five years ago or more with both men still in their prime, but Mayweather was unquestionably the better fighter on the night and there has been no controversy regarding the decision…
… except of course in that warped corner of reality that is First Take. That’s where Skip Bayless is leading a one-man-revolt against Mayweather’s victory, saying Pacquaio won the fight. Here it is in Vine form:
ESPN lead boxing writer Dan Rafael was apparently watching Bayless’ pontificating about the fight and tweeted that his comments were “absolutely laughable” and the program was a “train wreck.” (H/T @citizenkane92 for the screengrab.)
Curiously, Rafael deleted that tweet. We all know ESPN protects and insulates First Take at all costs. Did someone in management kindly instruct Rafael to take down his critical post? Or was it taken down because of what has happened to other ESPN employees (Simmons, Bill) willing to speak the truth about First Take in the past?
Let’s take a step back and set this scene, because this really is the program in a nutshell and why ESPN’s constant protection and empowerment of it is so befuddling…
On one side you have a Mayweather sycophant who has acted as his PR manager for the last month and debasing the journalistic qualities of ESPN. On the other side you have an individual who has made millions of dollars perfecting the art of make-believe sports debates on television arguing a delusional point that quite literally no legitimate sports personality is.
First Take, ladies and gentlemen!