ESPN boxing analyst and longtime trainer Teddy Atlas joined the post-fight fallout last night on TV, and he was outspoken as always, again calling for major reform in boxing following Manny Pacquiao's shocking loss to Timothy Bradley in Las Vegas:
On incompetence vs corruption in judging:
"Unfortunately, the scorers of fights are incompetent. Sometimes they're more than incompetent. Sometimes they're corrupt. (Boxing) doesn't have a national commission, like other sports do. Doesn't have a police body, like other sports have. And therefore you get this kind of situation. I'm not sure if it's accurate that Pacquiao was about to leave one of the kingpins of the sport, Bob Arum. His contract was running out. But I think it was. And when that happens, sometimes funny things happen. But the bottom line is, if you're an honest man, if you're a competent person that knows what he's watching, Pacquiao won that fight. Only one man won that fight. And, you know, he doesn't get the decision. It's an injustice to the sport, injustice to the fighters, injustice to the fanbase. It's one of the fallacies. It's one of the problems with the sport of boxing right now is that the wrong guy wins sometimes."
On why, in a conspiracy theory, non-star Bradley would beat superstar Manny:
"I think I touched on it a moment ago, the possibility that he might not be signing up with the power broker, Bob Arum. I mean, look, the worst thing you can say about the sport is it's either corruption or incompetence. If it's incompetence, that should be corrected. That the judges that control the destiny of these fighters, fighters that leave a part of themselves in the ring quite often when they leave the ring, like Frazier and Ali did in those great, epic fights. There's less of themselves when they leave that ring. That's a great responsibility, to make sure you get it right as judges. And a lot of times, unfortunately, the judges, they just don't get it right. They don't know what they're watching. In this case again, they don't know what they're watching, at the very best. Which is a sad thing to say, that at the best they didn't know what they were watching, and at the worst they were influenced by other outside forces."
On whether or not it was an easy fight to score:
"Yeah, Bradley is -- for all the talk about the fighter's diversity, I mean, look. Great heart. He's a courageous guy, he's been on the floor, he's gotten off the floor, he's behaved like a champion. He's undefeated. He hasn't learned how to lose. All that having been said, he's an aggressive fighter. He makes his first move to the ring, when he moves his head, then he comes back to the middle. I thought coming into the fight ... that he would slip his head to the right, he would come back to the middle, and guess what? He would meet a left hand, a straight left hand, by the southpaw, the power punch of a southpaw, in this case Manny Pacquiao. All night long he was eating straight left hands, slipping to his right, coming back to the middle, and getting caught. I saw it. I think you saw it. I think that even the HBO commentators saw it. I think the fanbase saw it. But unfortunately, the most important people in the crowd that were supposed to see it, the judges, for some reason, they didn't see it. Look, I think that we should have a national commission in boxing, I think there should be an accountability. I think there should be a scoring of judges -- you know, a disciplinarian sort of board, that holds them accountable for their decisions. We don't have that, and if we don't have that, and we continue to not have that, guess what? We're going to continue to have these kind of discussions, about fights that we thought the other guy should've won."
On what Team Pacquiao could do about the decision:
"They can protest it. Good luck. They can protest it, maybe they get a rematch and there's another payday for everybody. And you know what? That speaks to the corruption. The sanctioning organizations get another sanctioning fee, they get paid for putting on another fight again. The criminals get rewarded, once again, for the incompetence and the corruption of the sport."
(Note: It seems as though Atlas may be unaware that there was a rematch clause in place.)
On whether or not Bradley is next for Floyd Mayweather:
"You know, that's a great question, and you're a smart guy to ask that. The marquee names are still -- you know, it still comes down to show business, right? I think so. And the marquee names are still Mr. Pacquiao and Mr. Mayweather. That's still the marquee names. But, uh, yeah, it puts a little dent in that. It throws a curveball into the mix a little bit. Maybe now it's easier a Bradley and Mayweather fight. Mayweather had some reservations about fighting Pacquiao on a lot of different dimensions, and maybe right now it's easier -- I would agree with you. I think that right now, that the favorite if you could put a betting line on it, is that Mayweather comes out of prison, and maybe one fight as a tune-up, and then he fights Bradley. Because Mayweather's a pretty smart guy. He's not only a good fighter, but he's a pretty good businessman and a pretty good manager."
(Note: I think Atlas is way off-base here.)