Teddy Atlas Still Doesn’t Regret Telling Jeff Horn He “Lost” to Pacquaio
By: Ciaran O’Mahony
Teddy Atlas will not be commentating Jeff Horn’s upcoming world title defence against Terrence Crawford if his team has its way, but the legendary analyst still doesn’t regret telling the Aussie star that he “lost” to Pacquaio in an awkward post-fight interview.
Atlas stands by his comments and told Fight Hub that it’s important that people with his influence in the sport speak out against unfair decisions.
“I believe when something’s wrong, somebody should say it’s wrong and not just let it go. I have a responsibility to say things that sometimes will cause people to get mad at me,” he says.
“If I truly, honestly believe it, from my judgement and my experience in the game of 40 years, I feel that I should do that,” says Atlas.
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Horn’s promoter, Dean Lonergan, said that Atlas is the primary reason that Americans view Horn’s upset victory over Pacquaio as a “robbery”.
Lonergan criticised Atlas’ “biased” commentary of the fight and said “I will do everything in my power to make sure Teddy Atlas is banned from the commentary team. And if that doesn’t work, I will lobby the Immigration Minister Peter Dutton not to allow Teddy Atlas through our border.”
Atlas says he is aware that Horn’s camp was furious with his comments, but feels it was important to be honest with the Queenslander rather than pretending that he agreed with the decision in their post-fight interview.
“I wanted to be consistent with what I feel and tell him. I didn’t want to say behind his back what I just said, that he lost, and then in front of him say hey buddy, you did great and I thought you won,” he says.
“I thought that’s phony and that’s not what I want to do. I know a lot of guys on tv and radio don’t do that, they destroy somebody and then they interview them face to face and say hey buddy you’re the best,” Atlas says.
He says his intention was to stand up for Pacquaio and denounce a poor decision by the judges rather than personally attack Horn.
In fact, Atlas was impressed with Horn’s performance even though he feels that Pacquaio landed the cleaner punches.
“Listen, Horn fought a tough, gritty, game, determined fight in front of his countrymen. There’s no way you can take anything away from that,” according to Atlas.
“I never denied that, I said he behaved like a champion and congratulations on behaving like a champion and fighting like one,” he says.
“But I wanted to do it graciously, like a gentleman and say I thought you lost. It’s not like I stomped him with it. It’s not like I was being mean-spirited about it or over the top, I just wanted to get out there what I had just said that he wasn’t privy to,” says Atlas.
Although Horn showed terrific heart and gave Pacquaio a much tougher fight than expected, Atlas says there’s no point in shying away from the fact that he felt he lost.
“Like I said, you don’t get credit just for throwing, you’ve got to land. Manny landed the cleaner punches in that fight. He should’ve got that fight,” he says.
Whether you think Horn won or not, Atlas says dodgy decisions have plagued boxing for decades and he feels that it his duty to call out incorrect decisions, corruption and incompetent judges.
“I thought it was just another injustice of scoring that we see too often in boxing. It just burns me, it really does. It’s like we get numb to it after a while and say ok that’s boxing,” he says.
“No it’s not ok, it’s wrong. Unfortunately we see a lot of wrong things in boxing sometimes. The sport is great, I love it. The administrators of the sport, sometimes they stink,” says Atlas.
Given his strong views on Horn’s famous victory, it’s no surprise that Atlas doesn’t see him beating the highly-rated Crawford on the 9th of June.
ESPN, meanwhile, has given no indication that it plans to remove Atlas from its commentary team for the fight.
The Cloudy, But Perhaps Bright, Future Of Tim Bradley
The Cloudy, But Perhaps Bright, Future Of Tim Bradley
By: Sean Crose
So, once again Tim Bradley has lost to Manny Pacquiao. Bradley himself has essentially admitted as much, so there probably isn’t too much point arguing about. Yup, Manny is that good, folks. Still. People have good reason to wonder if the man’s really going to retire or not. Truth is, he’d probably beat every other welterweight out there at the moment – and that includes Kell Brook, Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter or any other name you may have in mind. Again, he’s that good. In fact, the aging process seems to be remarkably slow as far as the guy is concerned.
What of Bradley, though? What of the man who most feel has lost three straight to his most notable opponent? Well, if there’s any justice the guy should be in line for induction into the Hall of Fame after he hangs up the gloves for good. His resume has been impressive, after all. Indeed, the only man who has ever been able to beat him is Pacquiao, one of the greatest to ever lace up a pair.
The conversation doesn’t end there, though. Here’s the truth – Bradley looked magnificent Saturday night, even in spite of the fact that he lost. Those paying attention could clearly see the man won his share of rounds. He just couldn’t overcome those two knockdowns he suffered at Pacquiao’s fists. The reality, however, is that Bradley was disciplined and game for the vast percentage of the evening.
Here was a man who gave Manny a challenge rather than a glorified sparing session. Who else can the same be said of in recent years? Mayweather, of course, and Marquez to be sure. But then who? No one. Looking at matters objectively, Bradley arguably did better against Pacquiao on Saturday than Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito did against the PacMan. And he most certainly did better than Ricky Hatton, Joshua Clottey and the (admittedly over the hill) Oscar De La Hoya. Telling stuff.
Where to from here for Bradley, though? That’s where things get cloudy. Let’s face it, the guy has taken some serious head trauma over the years…much of it needless. Add that to the stress of megafights (they must be incredibly stressful affairs) and the general wear and tear that being a true athlete – as opposed to say, a contemporary cherry picking fighter – brings and retirement may not seem like such a bad idea for this family man.
Then again, there’s that talent and skill to consider. If his brain and body haven’t suffered serious irreparable damage and he continues to fight in a disciplined manner under the tutelage of new trainer Teddy Atlas, there may be a bright future ahead for Bradley. Believe it. For while Pacquiao is indeed the greatest welterweight in the world, I’ve no doubt Bradley is the second greatest. And if Manny is truly retired, then that leaves Bradley at the top of the heap.
Ask yourself this, could any of today’s top welters besides Manny have beaten the Bradley of last weekend? Aside from Kell Brook the answer is no – and frankly, I suspect Bradley would beat the Englishman, too. Pacquiao isn’t a top level fighter, he’s a legitimately great fighter and legitimately great fighters come few and far between. Bradley’s faced him three times now and held his own. Sorry, but that’s a lot more telling that dominant wins over far less skilled foes.
Compare Bradley’s opponents to those of Brook, Porter, Garcia and Thurman. There’s simply no way the resumes of those men hold up against the California native’s. And let’s not forget that Bradley, unlike most of the others mentioned, makes sure to keep challenging himself with serious opposition. In other words, he has to be at his best each and every time out. Can the same be said of Garcia? Indeed, politics may be the only thing that keep Bradley from sweeping the entire lineup of young bucks out there at the moment.
Bradley just has to ask himself if it’s all worth it at this point. He’s done pretty well for himself as it is, after all.
HBO Pay Per View Preview: Pacquiao vs. Bradley, Valdez vs. Gradovich, Abraham vs. Ramirez
HBO Pay Per View Preview: Pacquiao vs. Bradley, Valdez vs. Gradovich, Abraham vs. Ramirez
By: William Holmes
The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada will be the host site for HBO’s next Pay Per View offering featuring Top Rank Promotions’ stars Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley Jr.
Saturday night might be the last time we ever see Manny Pacquiao inside the ring as he has previously stated his intentions to retire after this fight to focus on a career in politics, but he has recently waivered on that promise.
HBO usually televises at least two bouts before the main event of a pay per view, and one of the bouts is a super middleweight title fight between Arthur Abraham and Gilberto Ramirez.
The following is a preview of the three televised bouts for Saturday night.
Oscar Valdez (18-0) vs. Evgeny Gradovich (21-1); Featherweights
Oscar Valdez is a young twenty five year old prospect that competed in the Olympics for Mexico in 2008 and 2012. Gradovich is called by many the Mexican Russian and is known for his aggressive fighting style and is trained by Roberto Garcia.
Gardovich has a strong amateur background and was a member of the Russian Amateur Team, but he never competed in the Olympics like Valdez. He’s also four years older than Valdez but is still in his athletic prime.
Valdez has the heavier hands and has stopped sixteen of his opponents, including four of his past five fights. Gradovich is aggressive, but he’s not a powerful puncher. He only has nine stoppage victories and hasn’t had one in his past five bouts.
Gradovich will have about a two and a half inch height advantage as well as a one inch reach advantage. Both boxers fight out of an orthodox stance.
Valdez has been considerably more active than Gradovich in the past two years. He has fought a total of eight times in 2014 and 2015 while Gradovich fought four times.
Gradovich is a former IBF World Featherweight Champion and has defeated the likes of Alexander Miskirtchian, Billy Dib (twice), and Mauricio Javier Munoz. Valdez has not faced the level of competition of Gradovich but has defeated the likes of Chris Avalos and Ruben Tamayo.
Most concerning for Gradovich however is that he struggled in his last two fights despite winning, and was only able to manage a split decision against an unheralded Aldimar Silva Santos. He’ll have to swarm Valdez and throw a high volume of punches if he hopes to win.
This is an excellent test for Valdez to see if he can handle a former champion that’s still relatively young, but it’s a test that many expect Valdez to pass.
Arthur Abraham (44-4) vs. Gilberto Ramirez (33-0); WBO Super Middleweight Title
Arthur Abraham has been fighting as a professional since 2003 and is the current WBO Super Middleweight Champion and was the former IBF Middleweight Champion.
Age, however, is not on his side as he is thirty six years old and twelve years older than his opponent. He will also be giving up five and a half inches in height and three inches in reach to Ramirez.
Both boxers have decent power as Abraham has stopped twenty nine of his opponents while Ramirez has stopped twenty four. Ramirez has been more active than Abraham and has fought seven times in the past two years, but Abraham by far is the more experienced and tested boxer.
The Armenian born Abraham has defeated the likes of Martin Murray, Robert Stieglitz (three times), Paul Smith, Jermain Taylor, Lajuan Simon, Raul Marquez, Edison Miranda, Elvin Ayala, and Howard Eastman. His losses were to Robert Stieglitz, Andre Ward, Carl Froch, and Andre Dirrell.
Ramirez’s best victories to date have come against Gevorg Khatchikian, Derek Edwards, Maxim Vlasov, and Giovanni Lorenzo.
Abraham hasn’t fought outside of Germany in five years and two of his losses have occurred in the United States.
This will be a tough fight for Ramirez and Abraham is well known for his excellent stamina and ability to come on strong as a fight progresses. This is one of the most competitive fights on the card and most intriguing, but Ramirez is a highly regarded prospect for Top Rank. Abraham’s age and lack of success when fighting in the United States will be a hindrance for him.
This bout could go either way, but Ramirez should be considered a very slight favorite.
Manny Pacquiao (57-6-2) vs. Timothy Bradley Jr (31-1-1); Welterweights
This will be the third time these two will meet in the ring, with Bradley winning the first bout and Pacquiao winning the rematch. However, most ringside observers, including this writer, felt Pacquiao won both bouts.
Both boxers will surely have had hall of fame careers, but this might be Pacquiao’s last fight as a professional and his skills have been slowly eroding before our eyes.
He has been fighting as a professional since he was sixteen years old and weighed 98 pounds and was only 4’11”. This will be his 21st year fighting as a pro. His first professional bout was in 1995.
Pacquiao has since grown to 5’5 ½” and has a 67” reach. Bradley is only a half an inch taller but will have a two inch reach advantage. Bradley is also thirty two years old while Pacquiao is thirty seven.
Bradley has the edge in amateur experience and is a former US Jr. Golden Gloves Champion and a Police Athletic League National Champion. Pacquiao though, had the edge in world titles held and is an eight division world champion.
Neither boxer can be accused of ducking the competition. Pacquaio has thirty eight stoppage wins on his record and has defeated the likes of Lehlo Ledwaba, Juan Manuel Marquez, Erik Morales, Oscar Larios, Jorge Solis, Marco Antonio Barrera, David Diaz, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, Joshua Clottey, Antonio Margarito, Shane Mosley, Brandon Rios, and Chris Algieri. He has lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr., Juan Manuel Marquez, Timothy Bradley Jr., Erik Morales, and two losses early on in his career to Medgoen Singsurat and Rustico Torrecampo.
Bradley’s lone loss was to Manny Pacquiao. He has defeated the likes of Brandon Rios, Jessie Vargas, Diego Chaves, Manny Pacquiao, Juan Manuel Marquez, Ruslan Provodnikov, Joel Casamayor, Devon Alexander, Lamont Peterson, Nate Campbell, Kendall Holt, Edner Cherry, and Junior Witter.
The intangibles in this fight favor Bradley.
It should be noted that Bradley recently hooked up with Teddy Atlas to be his trainer and looked sensational in his last fight against Brandon Rios.
Pacquiao’s age and recent inactivity will be a factor in this bout. He has only fought four times since 2013 and has not looked the same since his devastating knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez. He is also coming off of a shoulder surgery and even Freddie Roach noted that Pacquiao took a little longer than usual to get into fighting shape.
Pacquaio is also running for a Senate seat in the Philippines and may be dealing with those distractions, as this is the biggest political seat he has ever ran for.
Speed is usually the first thing to go with age, and at thirty seven years old Pacquiao is clearly past his prime. He’s also not fully committed to the sport of boxing and looked very hesitant to pull the trigger in his last fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr.
If Pacquiao wants to continue boxing and rebuild some of that luster his name used to have, he’ll need to be a little reckless and box aggressively to go for the stoppage. Pacquiao has already reached the top of the sport and he has other endeavors that he wants to pursue, and a sport like boxing requires your full attention if you want to remain at or near the top.
Bradley is hungrier than ever, and this could spell trouble for Pacquiao.
Pacquiao might have one last thrilling fight left in his body to give his fans, but all signs point to a victory for Bradley.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Pacquiao vs. Bradley III Special Edition
Boxing Insider Notebook: Pacquiao vs. Bradley III Special Edition
By: William Holmes
The following is the Special Edition Boxing Insider notebook for the upcoming Pacquiao vs. Bradley PPV fight on April 9th, 2016. The notebook will be updated periodically throughout the week.
Under the Lights: Pacquiao-Bradley Debuted April 2nd
HBO Sports, widely acclaimed for its innovative and provocative boxing programming, examines the upcoming HBO Pay-Per-View® showdown between battle-tested rivals Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley when UNDER THE LIGHTS: PACQUIAO-BRADLEY debuts SATURDAY, APRIL 2 (11:05-11:20 p.m. ET/PT) on HBO.
Other HBO playdates: April 3 (9:00 a.m., 5:00 p.m.), 4 (5:50 a.m.), 5 (1:15 p.m.), 6 (noon, 11:15 p.m.), 7 (3:45 a.m.), 8 (7:45 p.m.) and 9 (5:30 p.m.)
HBO2 playdates: April 2 (1:25 a.m.), 4 (4:45 p.m.), 7 (3:00 p.m., 8:45 p.m.), 8 (12:15 a.m.) and 9 (11:00 a.m.)
The special will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO and HBO On Demand, and at hbo.com/boxing, as well as other new media platforms.
Hosted by HBO Boxing commentator Max Kellerman, UNDER THE LIGHTS: PACQUIAO-BRADLEY will feature a panel that includes two future Hall of Fame fighters and HBO Boxing analysts who have experience on the sport’s biggest stage: Roy Jones Jr., a four-division world champion, and Bernard Hopkins, who has held titles in two weight classes and became the oldest champion in the sport’s history in 2013. Also participating in the roundtable conversation will be Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s Hall of Fame trainer, who will weigh in on how the eight-division champ is preparing for the rubber match in this heated rivalry.
Pacquiao Attacked Outside LA Restaurant
Manny Pacquiao was attacked by a man outside a Japanese restaurant in Los Angeles. It was reported that he was shouting curse words at Pacquiao’s direction and called him a homophobe. Pacquiao’s entourage was able to stop the man before any physical altercation could occur.
TMZ Sports Reports Pacquiao to Still Attend the Grove Despite Ban
TMZ Sports reported that Manny Pacquiao was banned from the famous Grove Shopping Center in Los Angeles, California due to his recent controversial comments against homosexuals. Howveer, pacquiao told TMZ Sports that he is going to go anyway.
Rick Caruso owns the Grove and recently stated that Pacquiao’s intolerant views weren’t welcome at his center. Pacquiao, however, refuses to acknowledge the ban and says that he’ll continue to go there with his massive entourage.
Pacquiao vs. Bradley to be Broadcast Live on Premier Sports in the UK
Premier sports will air the upcoming Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley fight in the UK. It will be the only place for British fight fans to see the fight before Pacquiao hangs up his gloves for good. Premier Sports is available on a number of platforms, including Sky, Virgin, TalkTalk and online.
“I look forward to my battle with Timothy Bradley and giving boxing fans a fight they will always remember,” said Pacquiao. “This fight has a very special meaning to me and I will pour every ounce of my being — physically, emotionally and spiritually — into preparing for Bradley. “He has my full attention. I dedicate this fight to my fans and to my countrymen throughout the world who have kept me in their prayers. And as always, I fight to bring glory to the Philippines,” he said.
“I have always dedicated myself to who I am on fight night. However, on April 9th I will not only have dedicated myself to that but also delivering the performance that everyone has long awaited,” said Bradley.
Richard Sweeney, General Manager of Premier Sports, added: “We are delighted to be showing Manny Pacquiao’s fight with Timothy Bradley live and exclusive in the UK. This is going to be a fantastic fight between two of boxing’s biggest and best names. Premier Sports offers great sporting content to our subscribers and at just £9.99 represents real value-for-money. This is one fight not to be missed.”
Pacquiao, Roach, and Bob Arum Training Camp Q & A
BOB ARUM: This is a very interesting promotion as far as I’m concerned. A lot of people are concentrating on the new and improved Tim Bradley. Manny Pacquiao with his right arm now totally repaired – he has had that torn rotator cuff since before the De La Hoya fight. A lot of athletes are able to perform well with a torn rotator cuff – a lot of pitchers in the major leagues are able to perform well with it. Obviously now that it’s repaired, it is at full strength. Freddie will tell you that Manny is hitting harder with the right hand – even harder than with the left hand, so he is now going to be a real two-handed fighter which is very interesting. I think Tim Bradley’s big advantage is that he is going in with a game plan. I don’t think he had much of a game plan in the first two fights but certainly Teddy has given him one. I am very excited for my “NoTrump Undercard” with the young Hispanics contenders and I think it is resonating tremendously, particularly with the Hispanic community. I’ve done dozens of radio interviews and television programs with the Hispanic media and there is a lot of excitement.
How are tickets selling?
BOB ARUM: The Ticket situation is good. It is about what it was last time that Manny fought Bradley. There are approximately 2,00 tickets left and a lot of those will go in the last week. They are selling at a very good clip so if we don’t sell out we will have at least 14,000 people in the arena on April 9. I am still optimistic that they will all be gone by fight night.
What is your aiming point for the pay-per-view?
BOB ARUM: I really think that we have a shot to go over 700,000. I really think that Manny and Bradley will do most of the numbers, but let me tell you that my Hispanic army is marching out there and we are going to do a tremendous number from people, aside from the Pacquiao-Bradley numbers, that want to see these Hispanic stars in very, very important fights. I am pretty confident that we will do over 700,000 with a little break here and there. Maybe if Trump opens his mouth a little bit more we can go over 800,000.
Do you think Bradley will be different for this fight? What has Freddie been telling you and what do you think it will it be?
MANNY PACQUIAO: Bradley has a new trainer for this fight and a new game plan and I am very excited for that because we will see more action in the ring in this fight.
In the first two fights he was avoiding your left hook. Will you use it more this fight or less?
MANNY PACQUIAO: Right now I have been working on my right hand and my right hook which is very good. My left hand is still good, but my right shoulder is healed and that is good, because I can use it with real power.
Freddie said it took you longer to get in shape for this fight. Is that because of the layoff or the shoulder?
MANNY PACQUIAO: We had a lot of time to exercise for this fight. We had a lot of time to train and all I can say is training camp was great and I am ready for the fight and everything is great.
Do you feel like the layoff has helped you?
MANNY PACQUIAO: That is one thing, it is good to have a long layoff in boxing – I feel fresh and new and I feel good now when I train every day. I really enjoyed this training camp.
You haven’t had a KO since 2009. Is that something that weighs on your mind or frustrates you? Or do you even think about it?
MANNY PACQUIAO: Yes, I am thinking about that. I have thinking about the last knockout that I had was in the Cotto fight and I believe the Margarito fight should have been stopped. It was a long time ago. I am thinking about it (the knockout) and that’s why I work hard. Right now it is a good thing that I had a layoff – I feel excited and fresh in my body and I will try hard for it in this fight.
Bob mentioned you’ve had a torn rotator cuff since the De La Hoya fight. Had you ever given consideration to having the surgery before since it has lingered for so long?
MANNY PACQUIAO: That fight was in 2008, so it was long ago. I still felt good and every time I rested the pain was gone.
Was it the worst in the Mayweather fight and post-Mayweather?
MANNY PACQUIAO: Yes, in the fourth round. In the fourth round when I was throwing a lot of combinations. I hurt it coming off of one of the combinations.
It seems like you have been going back and forth regarding retirement. We know you have said you want to pursue your political career full time to assist your countrymen. Where do you stand on that right now?
MANNY PACQUIAO: After this fight I have already said that my mind is to focus on my job. If I win a Senate seat I have a big responsibility and I need to focus on that. I cannot say right now that I am going to retire. I don’t want to say that because I don’t know what the feeling is when you leave boxing. I will give it great thought when I return home.
So, you are going to have this fight, go back home and do your work and see what happens – and leave the door open?
MANNY PACQUIAO: My mind right now says to retire, but we don’t know.
Bob, have you spoken about this with Manny? What is your position?
BOB ARUM: Manny told me that he was going to retire after this fight, but I have been around this business for 50 years and a lot of fighters can’t walk away, so I am not advertising that this is going to be Manny’s last fight. It could be but then it may not be. He said he’s going back to run for Senate and if he becomes a Senator, he’ll have to decide whether to devote full time to the senate or he can work in a continuous boxing career. But again, that is going to have to be something that’s he’s going to have to decide. But one thing, for everyone on this line, I am not selling this fight as Manny’s last fight, so if he does come back after this fight – don’t say I deceived anyone.
Freddie, have you spoken about retirement with Manny following this fight? What is your position?
FREDDIE ROACH: We have talked about it a little bit. He told me he’s going to retire and I told him I think he still has some more fights left in him if he wants and he did ask me about training if he goes into the Olympics, if they let the pros in the Olympics and I said of course I will. That’s as far as we got. We didn’t talk about any fights after this. We are just concentrating on this fight right now.
Freddie, have you given any thought about not having Manny around any longer as a fighter?
FREDDIE ROACH: Of course, I will miss him. We have been together for a long time and I will go to all of his birthday parties in the Philippines and we will be friends for life.
BOB ARUM: Well, I look back on it, working with Manny, but I have been at this for a long time. Fighters retire, but the life of boxing continues. If Manny does retire, I’ll concentrate on Terence Crawford, Jessie Vargas and Gilberto Ramirez and Oscar Valdez and Jose Ramirez, Jesse Hart and a whole host of other guys, and Nonito Donaire. So again, I will look back at it like when I promoted Muhammad Ali and George Foreman – that it has been a tremendous experience and I’m grateful for it but life goes on. One thing is for sure – I ain’t retiring. You are going to have me around for another 50 years.
Manny, do you think if you had the surgery earlier you would still be in the middle of this non-KO string?
MANNY PACQUIAO: I am not sure.
FREDDIE ROACH: I am not sure. He was young enough to get through the injury. We didn’t know it was a severe injury and we worked through it. The thing is when he moved to 147 and fighting against guys that when they went into the ring weighed 160, the thing is, it’s tougher against the bigger guys. He had a lot more knockouts at 140 and 135 of course but those guys were much smaller. I think that had more of an effect than the injury.
Do you expect Bradley to bang the shoulder early to see how healthy it really is?
FREDDIE ROACH: No because I think he would be wasting his time. He doesn’t have the injury right now. We were working on it and it has been 100% great for this training camp. The surgery went well and the rehab went well and Manny is 100% at this point.
Manny, you are in the political business, what do you think about the “NoTrump Undercard?
MANNY PACQUIAO: All I know is that we have a good undercard
Bob, have you heard from anyone in the Trump organization regarding the undercard?
BOB ARUM: I don’t take their calls.
Manny, in the two fights against Tim, which did you think you did better? The one you lost or the one you won?
MANNY PACQUIAO: I think the same. I believe the same, because I won both.
Which one were you happier with?
MANNY PACQUIAO: The one that I won.
Why that that one different or better?
MANNY PACQUIAO: The difference was throwing a lot more punches. To make sure I won every round to win the fight.
Do you believe it is important for you to win this fight to carry momentum into your election back home?
MANNY PACQUIAO: It is very important to get the win for my country and the people in the Philippines, but the most important thing is a win for my country and a win for my legacy in boxing.
Do you think a win will help you in the election?
MANNY PACQUIAO: Yes.
What do you think about professionals fighting in the Olympics?
BOB ARUM: The idea that you will allow professional boxers into the Olympics, at this short notice, is absolutely insane. The idea that Manny Pacquiao would face off with some 17 or 18 year old kid, who has no professional experience, is not only stupid, it’s dangerous. These people ought to have their heads examined. People say that professionals play basketball. That’s true, but in basketball you can dunk over somebody, but it’s not a hurt game. In boxing, if you put experienced pros in with rank amateurs there will be serious health consequences. I don’t understand why they are now raising this issue. It makes no sense to me.
On this short notice it seems extremely unlikely it will happen…
BOB ARUM: Absolutely – extremely unlikely. Andre Ward says he wants to go to the Olympics. Many Pacquiao says he wants to got to he Olympics. Are they going to fight 17 year old kids?
Manny, if this happens, would you consider fighting in the Olympics?
MANNY PACQUIAO: Yes, after this fight I am going back to the Philippines to do my job and if they allow me to fight in the Olympics – I am not going to say that I am going to fight or saying that I am not. I am not closing the door and I am not committing to it – I am thinking about it.
With the long layoff, did it make you realize that you don’t need boxing anymore in your life?
MANNY PACQUIAO: With the long layoff in boxing – I feel better right now – I feel fresh. A long layoff is a good thing because I was able to spend more time with my family and concentrate on helping the Philippine people.
Freddie, Teddy Atlas trains fighters to be more aggressive, how does that play to you?
FREDDIE ROACH: Well, if he will be more aggressive I will be happy for that. If his fighter fights a little harder we will fight back. Manny is ready for whatever he brings to the table. We see the adjustments he is trying to make but once Manny hits him, he will revert back to what he does best. I am not worried about Teddy Atlas, believe me.
MANNY PACQUIAO: Thank you everyone and all of the media and make sure you watch on April 9. There is going to be a lot of action in the ring and I am excited for that. Thanks you and God bless all.
BOB ARUM: I would like to make some observations. I really believe that this third fight between Manny and Timothy will be by far the best of the three fights. It will be very exciting and I believe that one way or another it is going to end in a knockout.
Also pay attention to the Arthur Abraham – Ramirez super middleweight world title fight. If Ramirez wins that fight, he will be the first Mexican to win a world title in a weight class as heavy as super middleweight and he will be one of the future stars not only in Mexico, but all over the world in boxing. Keep your eye on this kid, he’s 24, handsome, well spoken and fights well. If he wins this fight and becomes a champion, he will be a big star.
As will Oscar Valdez if he can get by Gradovich. Gradovich is a non-stop fighter and Valdez is a two-time Mexican Olympian and a real up and coming fighter.
Then there is my favorite, the farm worker. His parents came to this country to work in the fields. Jose Ramirez as a kid picked peppers in the fields at thirteen or fourteen years of age – he put himself through college, was a member of the U.S. Olympic boxing team – he fights his first ten round fight against Manny Perez, a very tough fighter from Denver. Jose is a kid to really focus on. He is a social activist. He is a spokesperson for the Latino Water Coalition, for immigration rights – he is a kid that’s going to make a difference.
I am very excited about this entire card on April 9. People are going to be tremendously entertained.
I am really putting myself out on the line to say that it will be a complete night of boxing of the best that boxing has to offer.
Teddy Atlas Makes his Presence Felt
Teddy Atlas Makes His Presence Felt
By: Sean Crose
Give this to Teddy Atlas, he makes his presence felt. Some people are critical of the man for that fact, but I suspect his persona is no joke. Particular individuals are just that outspoken and cantankerous. Indeed, Atlas just seems like the kind of guy who was never meant to live in quiet obscurity. From Rikers Island, where the man once did time, to the realm of Cus D’Amato – famed trainer of Mike Tyson and Floyd Patterson, to the corner of Michael Moorer on the fighter’s road to victory over Evander Holyfield, to Donny LaLonde, who it’s been said he once wanted to murder, Atlas has never been a man one could shrug off convincingly.
Now Atlas, who is known to a new generation as the face and voice of the sadly deceased Friday Night Fights on ESPN2 has blasted back onto the pay per view scene as the trainer of the Desert Storm himself, Timothy Bradley. Lots of people aren’t too happy that Bradley is going to be facing Manny Pacquiao for yet a third time for a viewing fee of well over fifty bucks this weekend, but it is what it is and the show is going to go on in a few days, no matter how poor the revenue may ultimately be.
Indeed, the presence of Atlas, who has replaced the terrific Joel Diaz as Bradley’s trainer, has added a breath of fresh air to the Pacquiao-Bradley saga. Will it be enough fresh air, however, to make this fight something most feel it simply can’t be, which is interesting? That’s to be seen. What’s true, however, is that this match is nothing if not a hard sell. I certainly didn’t hate the first two, but let’s face it, this third fight should be HBO material. The only way for this rubber match to escape the gaping yawns of the fight world are for Bradley to win or for Pacquiao to knock his man out.
Provided Manny doesn’t make a return to his Ricky Hatton days, then, how can Bradley be expected to win? Sure, he won the first fight between the two on the cards, but that decision was so universally disdained it turned the fight world on its head. What, then, can Bradley do to pull off the upset this time around? Frankly, I’ve no idea, but word is out that Atlas has a plan for his fighter. And, make no mistake about it, Atlas knows boxing inside and out.
For although there are plenty of analysts in the world of boxing, there are few constructive analysts. For instance, a fight commentator might point out a flaw in an individual’s game. Atlas, however, tends to not only analyze the flaw, but to offer suggestions as to what might make the fighter more successful. His mind is perpetually at work, filtering info, critiquing, coming up with unique ideas. He may be too bombastic for some to stomach, but I feel it usually makes for good television (admittedly, however, Atlas can be ridiculous at times).
Being a good analyst isn’t the same as being a goof trainer, however. Even though he led Michael Moorer to the heavyweight title well over twenty years ago, Atlas hasn’t been seen much in fighter’s corners in recent years. Bradley’s most recent bout with Brandon Rios was the exception, of course…and Bradley looked terrific on that occasion. While it was true Rios was a mere shell of his former self that night, there’s no denying the fact that Bradley appeared in top form. If he looks that good against Pacquiao on Saturday, Bradley may end up being the toast of the fight world, perhaps in large part to the outspoken guy in his corner.