Saturday, February 28, 2015

Manny Pacquiao has chance to beat Floyd Mayweather, says Teddy Atlas

The recent announcement that Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao finally will meet in the ring on May 2 in Las Vegas was a cause for celebration throughout the boxing world.

ESPN commentator Teddy Atlas says it's better late than never, but he believes the fight is "six years too late" from an athletic standpoint.

"I don't know if it will be a great fight, but it's going to be the biggest fight of all-time," Atlas told Newsday.

Referring to Pacquiao's Dec. 8, 2012 knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez, Atlas added, "Pacquiao was out cold, but the stars lined up right for him. The fans are happy because they're parched in the desert, and they think they see an oasis. But there's always a danger you're seeing a mirage."

In Atlas' view, Pacquiao isn't as big or as strong at age 36 as he was when he was knocking people out, which he hasn't done for his past 10 fights dating to a 2009 stoppage of Miguel Cotto. Atlas said Mayweather might have been right to demand testing for performance-enhancing drugs when the camps for the two fighters first negotiated in 2009.

"I'm not making any claims," Atlas said. "I'm using my eyes."

At the same time, he believes Mayweather also is diminished at age 38.

"Floyd has always been careful, and now, he's more careful than ever," Atlas said. "He showed that in his last fight against Marcos Maidana. He grabbed and ran."

But while neither fighter is as good as in his prime years, Atlas believes it could be a decent fight simply because Pacquiao is good enough to possibly end Mayweather's unbeaten streak of 47 fights.

"The greatest strength of Mayweather is his greatest weakness," Atlas said. "He's so defensive that he gives you a chance to go to work. Pacquiao's hand speed gives him an opportunity to outhustle Mayweather and grab some rounds ... Floyd's great, but Pacquiao has a chance."

No comments:

Post a Comment