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.
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.