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Floyd Mayweather’s camp involved in credential dispute with two female reporters

Even amid the glitz of Las Vegas, there’s no avoiding the hype for Saturday night’s Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao bout.
Even amid the glitz of Las Vegas, there’s no avoiding the hype for Saturday night’s Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao bout. Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

LAS VEGAS — Floyd Mayweather, world champion boxer and world-class abuser of women, found himself in yet another imbroglio with the opposite sex here Saturday morning when his camp allegedly denied veteran reporters Rachel Nichols and Michelle Beadle media credentials for his megafight much later in the day against Manny Pacquiao.

Nichols, of CNN, and Beadle, of ESPN and HBO Sports, tweeted out details of their denied access soon after 9 a.m. PDT, less than an hour after working credentials first started to be doled out at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

The MGM has long been the home to Mayweather’s bouts during his storied and sordid career.

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While other media members were still lined up at the arena to acquire their credentials, Nichols and Beadle each tweeted similar messages, noting that their access to the fight was denied, each of them placing the onus on Mayweather’s camp.

Mayweather, among the world’s richest professional athletes and on the verge Saturday of banking a minimum $180 million for his fight against Pacquiao, has a well-chronicled history of domestic violence.

In 2012, he served 60 days in a Clark County jail for an assault two years earlier against Josie Harris, his longtime girlfriend and mother of three of his four children.

Despite multiple convictions for acts of domestic violence, Mayweather has served but that one sentence and never has been denied the right to fight here, in the hedonistic city that stands as the epicenter of the boxing industry.

A vast number of stories in recent days, including one in Saturday’s editions of the Globe, again chronicled Mayweather’s many domestic violence transgressions.

Nichols and Beadle have reported on his domestic violence issues in the past. A Nichols story on CNN with Mayweather about six months ago was particularly critical, with Nichols saying that Mayweather’s denial “is amazing’’ and that she was “amazed at the denial of the public that supports him.’’

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Soon after Nichols and Beadle issued their tweets about denied access to the fight, Mayweather’s publicist, Kelly Swanson, who is also female, tweeted that no one from Mayweather’s camp banned Nichols, and that Beadle indeed was credentialed through HBO Boxing.

In another Tweet, Swanson wrote:

At approximately the same time that Swanson issued her denial of the allegations, a tweet by Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix noted that a male reporter, USA Today’s Martin Rogers, also was denied access by Mayweather.

In his tweet, Mannix noted that Rogers “has written great [domestic violence] stuff.”

By midafternoon here, Rogers’s Twitter account had not been updated in more than 24 hours. There was no mention of being denied access or a fight credential.

Days ahead of the fight, Keith Olbermann, back in another high-profile role with ESPN, said on the air that he chose to boycott the fight because of Mayweather’s past domestic violence transgressions. He encouraged all of his viewers to do the same, though that hardly was expected to put a dent in the fight’s overall financial take, expected to be at least $400 million, a third of that gained via pay-per-view purchases.

Christine Brennan, considered by many to be the dean of US female sportswriters, noted in a tweet soon after the Nichols and Beadle missives that if the two women were banned, “all journalists should stand with them and not go into the fight.’’

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Brennan is a USA Today columnist and a frequent presence on ABC television.

Sally Jenkins, another longtime nationally known sportswriter, also joined the chorus, tweeted:

Neither Brennan nor Jenkins were here for the fight.

Highly respected Canadian sports columnist Bruce Arthur based in Toronto and also not here, added via Twitter:

Neither Nichols nor Beadle issued tweets immediately following the two missives issued by Swanson, the Mayweather publicist.

But shortly after noon here, about three hours after her initial tweet on the matter, Beadle updated her Twitter account and validated Swanson’s contention that she actually was credentialed for the event.

Which meant that Beadle was incorrect early Saturday when she first tweeted she would be without a credential. By her telling, she learned Friday night that she would be denied access to the event, but for reasons she did not make clear in her tweet, it was reapproved before she went public with what proved to be incorrect information.

Nichols finally responded at approximately 4:30 p.m., about seven hours after her first Tweet, using her Twitter account to post a lengthy text. She detailed a timeline dating back to April 23, noting she was told repeatedly she would not have a credential for the fight.

“It doesn’t surprise me that now, after facing significant backlash, the Mayweather camp has reversed its position,’’ wrote Nichols. “But despite this, and other outside parties generously offering me their seats, I will not attend the fight. I will also not let fear of retaliation prevent me from asking the tough questions the public deserves answers to in the future.’’

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Ultimately, by the end of the day, both women were shown to be wrong with their initial tweets. Both, by their choice, did not cover the fight.

Mayweather’s camp could not be accused of denying them credentials. As is so often the case when the subject is Mayweather and women, the facts were difficult to follow, the truth left wide open to interpretation.


Kevin Paul Dupont can be reached at kevin.dupont@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeKPD.