Manny Pacquiao stuns Stephen A. Smith on ESPN (video)Written by Joseph Herron
While taking the day off from rigorous training at the Wildcard Gym, Manny Pacquiao graced the ESPN studios to make a special “media day” appearance on ESPN’s popular morning show “First Take”, with broadcast journalists Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless.
Although the live interview was light-hearted in nature, one of the on-air personalities seemed genuinely perturbed at some of the Pacman’s responses.
The discussion seemed to take on a much different complexion when Skip Bayless asked why “Mayweather vs. Pacquiao” took so long to put together. Pacquiao merely offered his honest opinion.
“Floyd is afraid of losing,” stated the sport’s only eight division world champion. “He’s afraid of losing.”
Stephen A. couldn’t believe what he was hearing.
“Are you sitting here, trying to say that over the last several years, you believe that Floyd ’Money’ Mayweather was scared of you? Is that what you‘re saying,” asked Smith with great skepticism.
With a boyish but confident grin on his face, the Pacman gave a very simple but resolute response.
“Yes,” stated the Filipino icon.
“Ooooo…I got to get myself together,” a clearly peeved Stephen A. replied. “I can’t believe that you’re saying some of this stuff.”
Pacquiao, ostensibly entertained with the emotion exhibited by the ESPN commentator, attempted to comfort the fervent and admitted Mayweather supporter.
“Peace be with you, brother,” Manny stated while laughing.
The add to the dismay of the “First Take” analyst, the 36 year old superstar further stated that he doesn’t feel overly concerned leading into May 2nd…admittedly, he genuinely felt much more stressed leading into fights with other, high profiled fighters in the past.
“In my heart and in my mind, I was more worried for the fights with De la Hoya and Cotto than for this fight,” admitted Manny Pacquiao. “That’s in my heart…I was genuinely more worried leading into my fights with De la Hoya and Cotto than this fight with Mayweather.”
When asked by “First Take” analyst Skip Bayless why he felt so confident heading into May 2nd, Pacquiao understandably didn’t want to divulge any strategic information about his fight plan for the self proclaimed “TBE”.
“I won’t tell you that,” professed Manny. “Floyd has good hand speed but his footwork isn’t as good. I have good hand speed and good footwork. That’s one advantage I have over Floyd. He also doesn’t punch as hard as Miguel Cotto or Antonio Margarito.”
“But this is boxing. He has a very good defense, but I have a very good plan for his defense.”
The seemingly distraught Stephen A. Smith apparently experienced great difficulty processing the information offered by the future Hall of Fame fighter.
“Hold it, hold it,” exclaimed the outspoken ESPN personality. “I can’t believe the blasphemy coming out of your mouth! I like you Manny. But you’re going to pay for this. This is not good for you, Manny.”
“In your heart, you think he’s scared of you? You were more worried with Oscar De la Hoya, who was old? You were more worried with Miguel Cotto, who was slow? Margarito? Whose punches you can see coming from a mile away? You were more concerned about them than Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather?!! The disrespect, Manny!!”
“I’m giving you the chance to take it back, Manny! Take it back, Manny!!”
Pacquiao, with a smile, refused Smith’s passionate request.
“No I won’t,” stated Manny while laughing.
To see the entire ESPN “First Take” interview, please review the attached.