Floyd Mayweather Bars CNN’s Rachel Nichols, ESPN’s Michelle Beadle from Covering Fight


The biggest boxing match in recent memory, between word champions Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. is set to go down tonight, Saturday, May 2 beginning at 11 p.m. ET from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. But two major sports reporters will not be allowed to cover it.

On Saturday, ESPN’s Michelle Beadle and CNN’s Rachel Nichols both tweeted that they have been barred from even entering the arena by Showtime because of an apparent dispute with the Mayweather camp:

Mayweather’s beef with the two reporters appears to stem from their coverage of his history of domestic violence, with at least seven assaults against five different women reported over the years.

During the 2014 ESPY Awards, Beadle conducted a friendly interview with Mayweather that included comments like, “I like that you live your life.” But when people started pointing out the inherent complications with that statement, she apologized for her “mistake” on Twitter:

During that same period, Nichols profiled Mayweather’s domestic violence problems for her CNN show, Unguarded, pressing him on the various incidents from his past. She shared the video on social media on Saturday, implying that is was this interview that got her banned from covering tonight’s fight.

Watch video below, via CNN:

UPDATE — 2:20 p.m. ET: A PR spokesperson for Mayweather, Kelly Swanson, has pushed back on claims from Beadle and Nichols regarding their press credentials. She tweeted Saturday afternoon:

Mayweather’s team also reportedly told Los Angeles Times’ Lance Pugmire they have “proof” that Nichols’ credentials were never revoked:

UPDATE — 3:40 p.m. ET: HBO Sports, which also employs Beadle, was reportedly able to get her credentials reinstated, but as she tweeted this afternoon, she had already returned home to Los Angeles and does not plan to return for tonight’s fight:

Meanwhile, Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix found that while two reporters from CNN are credentialed for the event, neither of them are named Rachel Nichols:

[Photo via screengrab]

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