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Stephen A. Smith: Logan Paul vs Floyd Mayweather Bad For Boxing

Smith is not a fan of the latest fight Floyd Mayweather has scheduled.

Russ Heltman

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Floyd Mayweather agreed to put his undefeated boxing record on the line this Summer against Logan Paul. The two match up in an exhibition fight on June 6 that ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith “doesn’t like” for boxing.

“I feel sorry for the boxers because you got legitimate professional boxers out there,” Smith said on First Take. “I’m not saying that Jake Paul and Logan Paul don’t put in the work. I understand they are taking it very seriously, and they are to be commended for it even though they’re not going up against real boxers as of yet. But if you’re Floyd Mayweather, Why?”

Stephen A. Smith went on to hammer home his thoughts that it should be “a privilege” to be in the ring with Mayweather. His co-host Max Kellerman has an extensive background in the fight world. He has worked with HBO on their boxing coverage and hosts “Max On Boxing” every Friday on ESPN2.

“These fighters recognize that they’re [the Pauls] bringing eyeballs to combat sports,” Kellerman said in response. “I’ve been saying for decades now, instead of being threatened by it, use it as an introduction to combat sports instead of being hostile towards it.”

The fight is happening on June 6 at Hard Rock Stadium, the home of the Miami Dolphins. A big pay-per-view number for the event could help talented, lesser-known boxers get their time to shine.

“I think that it’s great for the sport of boxing, for example, if boxers can become a part of it where they don’t need the promoters to give the public the fights that they want to see,” Smith said in response to Kellerman. “I love the notion of this potentially being something that can bypass the traditional promoters.”

Boxing faces consistent heat for lackluster matchmaking, and that’s allowed the UFC to gain a strong presence in the combat space. The Paul-Mayweather fight is airing on Showtime pay-per-view.

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Roger Goodell: ‘Wouldn’t Surprise Me’ To See Thursday Night Football Move to Flex Scheduling

“Not today, but it’ll certainly be something that’s on our horizon.”

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Thursday Night Football

In 2023, Monday Night Football will join Sunday Night Football in having the ability to flex NFL games into its window. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday Night Football could someday join that elite club.

During his “State of the League” speech Wednesday, Goodell said Thursday Night Football having the ability to flex matchups “wouldn’t at all surprise me”.

“Not today, but it’ll certainly be something that’s on our horizon,” the NFL Commissioner said.

ESPN bargained for the ability to move higher profile games into Monday Night Football during its negotiations with the league for the next television contract that begins this upcoming season.

NBC has long held the ability to shift a select number of games from earlier windows into the Sunday Night Football primetime slot.

Amazon Prime Video just completed the first of an 11-year contract that sees the streaming platform spend nearly $1 billion per year on the Thursday Night Football package.

One of the largest storylines of Amazon’s debut season with the NFL was the near-constant ridicule from play-by-play announcer Al Michaels over the lackluster TNF schedule. Michaels made headlines over several weeks for his candor on the lack of interesting matchups, going as far as to joke that if the schedule didn’t improve he would retire.

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Michael Irvin Removed From NFL Network Super Bowl Coverage

“I came into the lobby and I talked to somebody. I talked to this girl. I don’t know her, and I talked to her for about 45 seconds.”

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A complaint from a female to NFL Network has caused the network to remove Michael Irvin from its Super Bowl coverage.

NFL Network did not comment on the nature of the complaint or the allegation of any impropriety by Irvin, simply stating Irvin would not be a participant in coverage of the event from Arizona.

“Michael Irvin will not be a part of NFL Network’s Super Bowl LVII week coverage,” said NFL Media Vice President of Communications Alex Riethmiller in a statement.

Irvin claimed the interaction happened during a brief moment Sunday after having dinner and drinks with former Cowboy defensive back Michael Brooks.

“This all happened in a 45-second conversation in the lobby,” Irvin told The Dallas Morning News. “When I got back after going out … I came into the lobby and I talked to somebody. I talked to this girl. I don’t know her, and I talked to her for about 45 seconds. We shook hands. Then, I left…That’s all I know.”

Irvin, 56, admitted he didn’t recall the conversation between him and the female but called the interaction “just a friendly conversation”. He defended himself by saying “There was definitely nothing physical”.

The report from The Dallas Morning News added that Glendale police officials do not know about any incident regarding Irvin.

A report from Front Office Sports claims ESPN executives are “poised to pull the plug” on Irvin’s scheduled appearance on First Take from Radio Row Friday.

The Pro Football Hall of Famer has been with NFL Network since 2009, and in August of last year signed an extension to remain with the cable channel.

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Pro Bowl Lowest Rated Since 2006

While the numbers decreased, the Pro Bowl was still the second-highest rated All-Star Game for the major professional sports leagues.

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The NFL completely revamped its Pro Bowl format for the 2022 season, and the changes did not garner more viewers.

An average of 6.28 million viewers tuned into the event across ABC, ESPN, and DisneyXD Sunday for the first 7-on-7 event. That number is a decrease of 6% compared to last year and is the lowest-rated Pro Bowl since the 2006 event saw just 5.96 million viewers. That figure excludes the 2021 Pro Bowl, which was a “virtual” event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the numbers decreased, the Pro Bowl was still the second-highest-rated All-Star Game for the major professional sports leagues, with the MLB All-Star Game seeing an average viewership of 7.51 million. The 6.28 million who watched the Pro Bowl is a virtual tie with last season’s NBA All-Star Game.

The Pro Bowl Skills Challenge — now produced by Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions — did see a large increase in viewership compared to last year. More than 1 million viewers tuned into the Thursday night primetime event, which is the second-best figure on record. That audience is a 23% increase compared to last year’s event.

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