Teddy Atlas, the outspoken trainer and analyst who still works for ESPN though he doesn’t call fights for them anymore, was honest as always about how he felt about the end of the Crawford-Khan ESPN pay-per-view main event, where Terence Crawford retained his WBO welterweight title via sixth round stoppage after a low blow on Amir Khan.
Atlas opened up in the ESPN studios about the fight, saying that Khan (33-5, 20 KO) fleeced the fans, more or less, and that Khan is a better money-maker than he is a fighter at this point.
“$5 million! Part of your responsibility is to overcome. They did not live up to that responsibility,” he said. “Again, for you people out there that want to jump and hate — listen, I’m not in his body. I get it. I’ve been in this business 40 years. I’ve seen fighters overcome worse than that.
“Now am I saying that he has the threshold, he has the capacity to overcome that? Obviously not, or maybe not the mindset. He made $6 million to fight Canelo. He’s a better manager and promoter and money-maker than he is a fighter at this point in his career. He knows how to put himself in position to make money, and he has made money, but again, at the peril of the audience who pays for that money.”
Atlas added that it wasn’t just the fight fans who were hurt, but the sport and ESPN’s boxing brand, too.
“It hurts boxing. This is not good for boxing, this is not good for ESPN, this is not good for their debut on pay-per-view.”