Manny Pacquiao's competition has been criticized by Teddy Atlas, but fellow analyst Al Bernstein thinks that's unfair. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ESPN boxing analyst Teddy Atlas has become famous (or infamous) for what many feel is undue and unfair criticism of Manny Pacquiao, which in turn has led to Atlas being pretty criticized himself. Al Bernstein of Showtime offered his thoughts on Atlas' comments, which most recently suggested Pacquiao needs to go further up in weight to prove his worth:
"I saw this interview with Teddy Atlas and he was just ripping Pacquiao for his choice of opponents, which is essentially the same choice of opponents that Mayweather fought. The same guys, except you can add to his list was Cotto, who is still a decent fighter when he fought him and still is now. Margarito, who had his history but is still a big, strong guy. And here's the thing about Clottey, while he didn't fight well against Pacquiao, certainly he was one of the top three or four welterweights when Pacquiao fought. He won a title, we knew he was a very good fighter. He was fighting all these real welterweights.
... "Everybody out there who is reasonable to fight, he's fought. And how do you ignore all those wars he had with Morales, Barrera, and Marquez? To suggest that Manny Pacquiao's schedule has been soft is beyond my comprehension. And to throw Mayweather up as the example? I just think it's interesting."
Bernstein and Atlas are both highly-respected analysts, and there's no doubt about that. They know the game, they know the business, they know their stuff. No one will argue that, I don't think. But Atlas' pretty constant Pacquiao criticism has raised a lot of eyebrows, and at this point has become something of a punchline. Bernstein certainly isn't the first to question Atlas' thoughts on Pacquiao, but he's a notable figure, and it's honestly good to see someone with a reputation step up and argue the points.