By Sean Crose
If you’ve ever seen Charles Payne before the cameras at FOX Business Network or on other FNC affiliated networks, you know the guy is a sharp, knowledgeable pro in the world of business news. He’s never been known as a boxing head, however. Needless to say Payne surprised a lot of people on air yesterday, particularly Floyd Mayweather, who he happened to be interviewing.
Coming out in a style more akin to Bill O’Reilly than to FightHype, Payne nailed Mayweather with some serious questions and proclamations, questions and proclamations about matters few if any in the boxing media have ever had the courage to confront Mayweather with in such a fashion. And for that the man should be applauded. Here’s a sample of some of Payne’s own words:
“You were one of the guys pushing for clean fights and all this kind of stuff, so how does this come up that perhaps you might have used an IV?”
“No one likes it (the Berto fight) and they don’t think it’s going to help your legacy. Why did you pick Berto?”
“You know who would have pushed you a little bit harder? How about Triple G?”
“Floyd, you guys regain weight all the time. He (Golovkin) would have come down, you could have come up, found a catch weight. It would have been the most amazing fight out there.”
“Do you enjoy being the villain?”
“We want to see you mix it up. I want to see the Floyd that used to stand in front of an opponent and make him miss. That’s what we want to see.”
“Ten years from now, twenty years from now when they rank the greatest fighters in history, you’re not going to be named as one of the greats.”
What’s really extraordinary about all this, of course, is the very fact that it’s extraordinary. Why is it that Charles Payne, he of FOX Business Network, is the one to finally put Floyd on the ropes in an interview? Why haven’t boxing reporters come on hard like Payne did? Isn’t that what the media is supposed to do?
I’ve sat on the phone long enough during conference calls to know that only a select few in the media get to question Floyd. And, true enough, some do ask the good questions. But few approach Floyd the way Payne did. Few, frankly, seem to have the courage.
There’s potential consequences to a reporter making Floyd uncomfortable, after all. At least there are for boxing and sports reporters. That doesn’t seem to be the case for cable business reporters, however. Or perhaps Payne simply doesn’t care. Which, let’s face it, is to the man’s credit.
A lot of us could take note.