Just hours before Saturday night’s long-anticipated fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, both Rachel Nichols of CNN and Michelle Beadle of ESPN and HBO announced on Twitter that they have been “banned” from the fight.
While they didn’t explain the reason for the alleged ban, they have both been prominent in the discussion on Mayweather’s history of domestic violence.
Beadle and Nichols posted the news within minutes of each other, with both claiming that Mayweather’s camp — which is the lead promotor of the fight through Mayweather Promotions — was responsible for the decision.
Both the MGM Grand and Mayweather Promotions have not responded to requests to comment. However, Kelly Swanson, who is a member of Mayweather’s PR team, took to Twitter to strongly deny that Beadle and Nichols had their credentials blocked.
According to George Willis of the New York Post, media credentials were only distributed in the past two weeks and they came with no guarantee that the holders would be seated in the arena.
It is unclear if there are other credentialed reporters who won’t be in attendance.
Even if there was no guarantee for seating, and even if they do still have credentials, as Swanson asserts, both Nichols and Beadle seem pretty sure it was Mayweather’s camp that singled them out for exclusion from the arena.
Shortly after her first tweet, Nichols posted an interview she conducted with Mayweather prior to his fight with Marcos Maidana last September. She asks him hard questions about his history of domestic violence. The interview begins at the 1:44 mark.
Beadle told SportsGrid about why she was denied attendance to the fight:
“They didn’t say in so many words, as much as they’re not fans of our hot takes? Honestly, not surprised. No one likes to be reminded of the horrible things they have done. I’m honored to be linked to Nichols.”
Beadle has made several comments on Twitter about Mayweather’s history of domestic abuse and has also stated that she wouldn’t buy the pay-per-view for the fight.
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