Floyd Mayweather Revolutionized Boxing Business ... Max Kellerman Explains

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MONEY MAYWEATHER FOREVER
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Like it or not, Floyd Mayweather is a genius -- and played the "game of boxing" better than anyone else in the history of the sport ... changing it forever, so says Max Kellerman.

There will always be an argument about who's the best pure boxer of all time -- Floyd? Muhammad Ali? Joe Louis? -- but when it comes to the business side of the sport, Max tells us there's only one name in the conversation.

"He retired undefeated. He made hundreds of millions of dollars. He never took a bad beating. He has a very good point that he's the best ever at playing the boxing game," the "First Take" star told us in NYC.

"Boxing, at its core, is basically fans and networks exploiting fighters. And, what Floyd and [his business partner] Al Haymon did is they flipped the paradigm around. They said 'No no, you're not gonna exploit us' -- in fact, the fighters, in this case, Floyd, are gonna exploit the fans and networks. 'I know you wanna see us in the maximum kinda risk situation but in fact, I wanna put myself in the minimum risk, maximum reward situation.'"

Max points out Floyd navigated his career masterfully with 3 main factors -- "The timing of when he picked the opponents, his boxing style and then, of course, his own excellence."

Think about it ... Floyd has some incredible names on his resume -- from Canelo Alvarez to Oscar De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao even Conor McGregor.

We also asked Max -- a boxing savant -- about the upcoming Gervonta Davis vs. Leo Santa Cruz fight ... and if he thinks Ryan Garcia would have a shot against Teofimo Lopez.

Good stuff. Stay dry out there.

Chicago Radio Host Fired From Job After Sexist Comments About Maria Taylor

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11:59 AM PT -- The Score is washing its hands of Dan McNeil after his tweet about Maria Taylor ... announcing he's been fired from the station effective immediately.

"For each one of us our words have power," Rachel Williamson, Entercom Chicago regional resident told Julie DiCaro. "For our brand and on-air personalities that is amplified and brings increased responsibility in how we chose to use our voices."

"Last night's tweet, and its degrading and humiliating tone to a fellow female broadcaster, was unacceptable."

Williamson continued ... "We have the best teams in Chicago, and we must hold ourselves to high expectations to continue to be leaders in our organization, our industry and our community."

"We apologize to all who were offended by Dan's words, especially Maria."

ESPN's Maria Taylor made her "Monday Night Football" debut this week ... and celebrated the milestone by bodying radio hosts who made sexist comments about her wardrobe on Twitter.

Dan McNeil of Chicago's 670 The Score, thought it was his place to criticize Taylor's outfit during last night's 'MNF' broadcast ... tweeting out, "NFL sideline reporter or a host for the [Adult Video News] annual awards presentation?"

The tweet -- which rightfully received a ton of backlash -- stayed live on McNeil's account for roughly 30 minutes before he deleted it, according to Awful Announcing.

Taylor fired back at McNeil late Monday night ... saying, "Well Danny Dearest if you would like to continue making sexist comments about me...please bring your misogyny with you to the NBA Countdown double header I’ll be hosting tomorrow night."

"Hey ladies remember you can wear whatever you feel confident in!"

Other big names have shown support for Taylor, including fellow reporter Taylor Rooks -- "Always ride with @MariaTaylor - I love you my sister. Keep being GREAT. These haters could never."

Saints star Malcolm Jenkins added ... "Exactly the reason why we’re focusing on building up black women this season. @MariaTaylor congratulations on such a big accomplishment! Keep leveling up."

So far, McNeil hasn't apologized for his comment and The Score has not addressed the issue ... but it's only a matter of time.

Originally Published -- 8:12 AM PT

ESPN's Rachel Nichols Secretly Recorded in Hotel Room ... 'Intrusion of Privacy'

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ESPN host Rachel Nichols was unknowingly recorded in her hotel room while on a private conversation ... and video was sent to a media outlet in an apparent attempt to damage her career.

Nichols -- host of "The Jump" -- is currently covering the NBA restart at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida ... where she has been shooting segments from her hotel room.

But, Nichols was unaware a video feed was recording her while she was on a recent private phone call in her room -- and the video was later captured on cell phone by someone who had access to it.

Some of the footage -- roughly 4 minutes -- was sent to the website Deadspin, according to the site.

"Nichols is clearly unaware the video feed set up in her room for remote filming of her show is running while she discusses internal ESPN matters," Deadspin reports.

ESPN has already issued a statement supporting Nichols and condemning whoever is leaking the footage.

"We are extremely disappointed about the leak of a private conversation. It’s indefensible and an intrusion on Rachel’s privacy."

The network added, "As for the substance of the conversation, it is not reflective of our decision-making on staffing assignments for the NBA, which has largely been driven by the circumstances of the pandemic."

It's not the first time a high profile ESPN personality has been secretly recorded in their own hotel room.

Back in 2008, Erin Andrews was videotaped nude through the peephole of her hotel room in Nashville.

The man responsible for the video was later sentenced to 2 and a half years in prison.

Story developing ...

Sammy Sosa Still Won't Admit Steroid Use ... Doesn't Care About HOF

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Sammy Sosa still won't do it -- he will NOT admit to taking PEDs during that legendary '98 season ... but admits he's made his peace with God.

51-year-old Sosa sat down with ESPN for its new 30 for 30 "Long Gone Summer" and was pressed on if he'll ever "come clean" about his alleged PED use during the famous Home Run Chase, as Chicago Cubs owners have long hoped he will.

Sosa cracked a smirk and said, "What do they want about me when pretty much everyone in that era did it?"

When pressed again, Sosa laughed uncomfortably and added, "I'm a very happy person, my friend. I'm good, I'm happy. Know what I mean?"

"There is about 4 or 5 [players from that PED era], maybe more than that, in the Hall of Fame. So, am I the one to blame?"

It was pointed out in the doc, Sosa has denied using steroids and other PEDs in the past -- even doing so before congress in 2005.

Reporter Paul Sullivan pointed out ... "there is no smoking gun" to prove Sosa did cheat.

"The only proof is the New York Times story about the leaked voluntary drug test. But, even that one, who's seen it except the NYT guy?"

Still ... COME ON!!!

Even 56-year-old Mark McGwire has come clean about taking PEDs ... and says in the new doc, "I regret doing it."

But, not Sammy. He's digging in his heels.

"A lot of people say different things, different opinions but I can say to you, what Mark and I did in '98 was incredible."

"Doesn't matter if we're never going to make it to the Hall of Fame, but that's okay."

"I have a peace with God. I'm happy. I've got my family. I've got my granddaughter, I'm good. but I believe what Mark and I did in 98, definitely, we shocked the world and I do not think something like that will happen again."

As for McGwire, he called his use of PEDs "stupid" -- but claims he only really used 'em to help recover from injuries ... not for the added power boost.

McGwire finished that season with 70 home runs. Sosa finished with 66.

That record was broken in 2001 ... when Barry Bonds hit 73.

Todd McShay NFL Draft Guru Has Coronavirus ... Won't Work Draft

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The NFL draft will be without one if its staples this week ... ESPN star Todd McShay says he has COVID-19 and will not be able to participate in the TV coverage while he recovers.

"I'm so sorry to tell you I won't be working the NFL Draft this year," McShay says ... "I just want to say I miss you all."

Todd -- who's worked ESPN's annual draft coverage for YEARS -- appeared to be in good spirits while making the announcement Thursday, vowing to be back soon.

In fact, the 43-year-old was feeling so good ... he even took a jab at his fellow ESPN draft analyst, Mel Kiper Jr.!!!

"I'll be watching and I hope you will be too," McShay says. "I also hope [Trey] Wingo and crew will help me out and do their part to keep Kiper in line!"

BOOOOM!!!

In all seriousness, get better soon, Todd. The draft won't be the same without ya!!

Mike Tomlin Upset w/ Myles Garrett Interview ... Claims It's Unfair to Mason Rudolph

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Mike Tomlin is DOUBLING DOWN on his support of Mason Rudolph -- claiming there's zero evidence the QB used a racial slur against Myles Garrett ... and he feels a new interview with Garrett was unfair to Rudolph.

The Pittsburgh Steelers head coach appeared on ESPN's "First Take" on Monday and criticized the network for what he believed was a slanted piece against his quarterback.

Remember, Garrett told ESPN's Mina Kimes that Rudolph had called him a "stupid n*****" moments before Garrett swung a helmet at his head during a Steelers vs. Browns game in Nov.

Tomlin not only said he doesn't believe Garrett -- citing investigations by the Steelers and the NFL -- but knocked ESPN for not doing more to represent those findings.

"It was a thorough investigation done by us and the Nation Football League, I don’t think that was represented during that piece [that aired on ESPN]," Tomlin said.

"These accusations are serious, not only in terms of Mason Rudolph’s character but his professional pursuits."

"Nobody on that field as a member of the Cleveland browns or Pittsburgh Steelers corroborated what was said by Myles Garrett. That was founded by us and the National Football League, and at no point during that piece this weekend that was stated."

As for Rudolph, he adamantly denied using the n-word during the game -- and says he's already lawyered up and is considering taking legal action against Garrett.

Myles Garrett Rudolph Called Me A 'Stupid N-Word' ... Before Brawl

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"He called me the n-word. He called me a stupid n-word."

That's Myles Garrett finally explaining the racial slur he claims he heard Mason Rudolph utter to him before the all-out Steelers-Browns brawl back in November.

"When he said it," Myles told ESPN in a sit-down interview this week, "it kinda sparked something."

As we previously reported ... Garrett was banned from the NFL indefinitely after he violently attacked Rudolph with the QB's own helmet on Nov. 14, 2019.

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Garrett told NFL officials at the time he did it because Rudolph used a racial slur ... but he hadn't publicly revealed what he alleges Rudolph said until this week.

"I don't like it," Garrett said. "I don't say the n-word, whether it's 'a' or 'er.' To me, personally, I don't think it should be said."

Myles was reinstated by the NFL on Wednesday -- effectively making his suspension a 6-game ban -- and he told us out at LAX on Thursday he believed it was all a "blessing in disguise."

BACK IN A FLASH
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As for Rudolph ... he's consistently maintained he did NOT call Garrett a racial slur, saying back in November the allegation was "totally untrue."

For its part, the NFL says it investigated Garrett's accusations ... but claims it found no evidence that the racial slur was used.

When asked about that in his interview with ESPN, Garrett said, "Something was said. I know something was said. Now whether the NFL wants to acknowledge it, that’s up to them.''

Dana White Jedrzejczyk Wasn't Close to Missing Weight ... 'Just Head Games!!!'

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NO ISSUES HERE!!
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Dana White says reports that UFC star Joanna Jedrzejczyk was in danger of missing weight for her main event fight this weekend are COMPLETE BS ... and says she's good to go!!

Jedrzejczyk is fighting Michelle Waterson in Tampa on Saturday -- but there were several reports that the fight was in jeopardy over questions about Joanna being able to make the 116-pound weight limit.

White says UFC's network partner, ESPN, fueled the misinformation -- and he's FIRED UP about it.

"This is madness!!!" White says... "Yesterday, my partner, ESPN, put up on their ticker tape Joanna Jedrzejczyk didn't make weight. The weigh-ins are today!!!"

Both Joanna and Michelle DID make weight and the fight is good to go.

We asked Dana why he thinks there were questions surrounding Joanna's weight -- and he chalked it up to "head games" the veteran fighter was playing on her opponent.

"What has been happening is there has been some head games going on between two veterans who are fighting in the main event in a fight that is very important in both of their careers and to see who gets the next title shot."

"And, all these MMA suckers fall for it because they're hearing things behind-the-scenes."

White adds, "Never, ever, EVER was there a thing that Joanna couldn't make weight."

Desmond Howard to Rece Davis Is Desmond Howard ... 'Gonna Have to Choke a Bitch?!'

Desmond Howard learned a new rule in 2019 -- you can't quote Dave Chappelle as much as we used to ... especially on a Disney-owned network, at a Disney-owned park.

The former Heisman winner and NFL kick returner -- who's since become a TV analyst -- was on ESPN Saturday talkin' college football with Rece Davis and other broadcasters ... when he invoked a line from an old "Chappelle's Show" skit that caught immediate backlash.

The line -- in response to Rece asking if his alma mater, University of Michigan, could beat Ohio State -- went like this ... "Is Desmond Howard gonna have to choke a bitch?"

Funny, right? WRONG!!! At least that's what a ton of people watching had to say about it soon after. And, apparently, the ESPN honchos thought so too ... 'cause Des apologized.

He came back on the air later and flat-out said sorry if he offended anybody.

Des also tweeted about the incident, saying he didn't realize the joke was so obscure. Of course, he's referring to the line Wayne Brady dropped on a classic 'CS' episode, when he poses the same question to a prostitute during a 'Training Day'-esqe sketch.

Des later posted a clip that aired on ESPN in 2014, in which a commentator also made reference to the famous line. Problem is ... it's 2019, not 2014 -- and definitely not 2004. Also, Des works for ESPN (which Disney owns) and he said this at Disney World. Bad mix!!!

To make matters even more murky, Wayne Brady himself responded to the incident, showing support to Des and thanking him for the fandom. But, Wayne also said, "Choke who you wanna choke, have fun, and I'm a big fan of yours too." That raised eyebrows as well.

Ah, the times ... they are a-changin'.

ESPN Delays Shooter Game Broadcast 'Out of Respect' for Shooting Victims

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ESPN has postponed its broadcast of a shooter-style video game tournament that was scheduled to air this weekend ... in light of the recent mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton.

The Apex Legends Battle Royale game -- which has a Teen rating -- is huge in the gaming community and is Fortnite's biggest competitor in the genre. It has "cartoonish" characters that use weapons to eliminate opponents.

The network was planning to air footage from the EXP Invitational at the X Games that was held on August 2 ... but our sources confirm it's been pushed back "out of respect for the victims and all those impacted in the immediate aftermath of the shootings."

Of course, President Trump partly blamed video games for the 2 mass shootings in Ohio and Texas -- where at least 31 people were killed -- in a speech at the White House on Monday.

"We must stop the glorification of violence in our society -- this includes the gruesome and grizzly video games that are now commonplace," POTUS said.

BLAME THE GAME

"It is too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence."

Our sources say the broadcast has NOT been scrapped ... and will eventually air in October.

Don Jr. & Eric Trump Full Day of UFC Fights ... Colby Wins, Gives 'Em a Shout-Out

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3:12 PM PT -- Colby Covington just beat Robbie Lawler's ass in the Octagon, and won via unanimous decision. When he finally got a chance to gloat on the mic ... he shouted out the Trumps -- which was met with peppered boos from the crowd. It appears to be one of the first signs of semi-rejection the Trump boys were met with throughout the afternoon. 

1:50 PM PT -- Colby Covington now has the full support of all the Trumps, including the President ... who just wished him good luck ahead of his fight with Robbie Lawler. 

Dana White just chimed in as well. Seems like he's down with the Prez's support.

Donald Trump Jr. and his brother, Eric Trump, are getting the early bird special at the UFC fight in New Jersey this weekend -- 'cause they showed up hours before the big bout.

President Trump's sons are sitting cage-side right now at the Prudential Center in Newark for the UFC on ESPN 5 event, where welterweights Colby Covington and Robbie Lawler are facing off for the main event. Colby personally invited DTJ and co. -- they're pals.

Sources connected to the event tell TMZ Sports that Don, Eric and their brood -- which appears to include Don's GF, Kimberly Guilfoyle and at least one kid -- arrived Saturday around 10 AM PT ... an hour after the first fights kicked off at 9 AM.

Kinda interesting if you think about it -- that means the Trumps are going to presumably stick around for a bit until the Covington/Lawler fight at noon ... which makes for a jam-packed day of Octagon action. Five matches have already been decided, so you gotta imagine the Trump crew caught at least two of them, so far.

It also looks like ESPN followed through on their plan to not keep the famous family off camera -- despite backlash it may or may not spark. They're all getting a healthy amount of screen time at the moment on TV, which we were told was expected ahead of the event.

As you know, the UFC is made up of pretty diverse fighters ... and with their pops being labeled a racist of late, the Trump boys' inclusion in this event was expected to be a powder keg of sorts.

No issues so far though, from the crowd or otherwise ... hopefully it stays that way.

Originally Published -- 11:50 AM PT

Jalen Rose I Tried to Hash Things Out with LaVar ... After ESPN Drama

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Jalen Rose says he tried to like hell to have a conversation with LaVar Ball in the hours and days after an on-air incident with his wife ... but, "I have not been able to track him down."

Remember, Rose's wife, Molly Qerim -- one of the hosts of "First Take" found herself in the middle of a major controversy over comments LaVar made to her during a June 17 episode ... comments some people found sexist and inappropriate.

While trying to switch topics, Ball told Molly ... "You can switch gears with me anytime."

After the episode, ESPN condemned Ball's comments and said they had no plans to bring him on air again any time soon. 

Enter Rose ... who says people have FALSELY claimed that Molly pushed ESPN to 'ban' Ball. Rose says ignorant fans have been wrongly harassing Molly, claiming she took down another black man. 

Jalen is pissed ... saying Molly wasn't trying to take out ANYONE -- and suggestions she has it out for LaVar because he's black is just stupid. 

"Y’all know she’s married to a black husband, right?" Rose said ... "She’s been doing this for 15 years. She knows how to navigate. She knows how to take care of herself." 

Rose also says Molly made her position CRYSTAL CLEAR when she spoke with TMZ Sports the day after the incident ... saying decisions about "banning" Ball are above her pay grade. 

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Rose says he has a lot of respect for Ball for what he's accomplished -- and reached out to him multiple times to talk things out ... but they haven't been able to connect. 

Sounds like he wants a civil conversation ... he's not looking for a fight. 

For his part, LaVar says his comment was not meant to come off as sexual in nature -- claiming he sincerely just wanted to switch topics. 

2019 NBA Draft Class Can't ID OutKast in ESPN '90s Challenge ... All Good w/ Good Burger

Wanna feel old? Just watch these young NBA Draft picks struggle mightily to identify what rap group Andre 3000 and Big Boi were in together ... it'll get ya right in the wrinkles.

This is actually hilarious ... ESPN put together a BTS web segment called "Name the 90's," in which a handful of players from the 2019 NBA Draft class were asked to identify people, items and shows from that glorious decade. Safe to say, they all had a hard time.

Guys like Coby White (Bulls), Jarrett Culver (Timberwolves) and Rui Hachimura (Wizards) shuffled through a bunch of cards with photos of stuff like a Super Nintendo, an Easy-Bake Oven, a fanny pack, Tia and Tamera Mowry, Destiny's Child and, of course, OutKast.

That last one really tripped up the young bucks, as most couldn't even say A3 or BB's names. Darius Garland (Cavs) is the ONLY one who said OutKast outright, and Coby did say the MCs' names correctly -- assuming we heard him correctly (Andre 2000???).

Funny enough ... almost all the players were quick to ID Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell's classic 1997 flick, "Good Burger" -- without skipping a beat, really.

Just goes to show you what's got legs with these 2000s kids (most of these guys were born in the year 2000). Forget "Aquemini" ... queue up another Nickelodeon rerun!!!

Molly Qerim ESPN 'Had My Back' After LaVar Ball Comments

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HAVEN'T HEARD FROM HIM...
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Molly Qerim is breaking her silence after the LaVar Ball incident on "First Take" -- telling TMZ Sports she's grateful for the way ESPN execs "had my back" after the way LaVar talked to her on-air.

"ESPN was really supportive," Qerim told us Tuesday morning in NYC ... "All the executives had my back. Much appreciated."

The network quickly condemned Ball's comments to Qerim on Monday as "inappropriate" -- when he told her, "You can switch gears with me anytime."

We asked Molly if LaVar (or anyone in the Ball family) had reached out to apologize -- and she told us, "I haven't heard from anybody, but to be honest with you I shut my phone off after work."

As for her how famous NBA star husband, Jalen Rose, handled the situation -- Molly says, "I think Jalen would have just liked if [LaVar] would have apologized to me publicly."

Does Molly think ESPN should ban LaVar from coming back on "First Take" or any other ESPN show? We asked that too ... check out the clip.

For his part, LaVar is adamant the comments were NOT intended to be sexual in nature -- and he insists he meant no disrespect.

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