"Yeah, yeah, it's wrong that Pacquiao got robbed, but I'm more upset that only now we ask for investigations, only now we want to better the situation, only now we want to shout out for reform and something has to be done and investigated. What about the other situations they don't count as much... There are no rules that are abided by and there is no separation between the people that make money in the sport and the people that are charged with administrating the sport. There is no separation at all; none. Where else could you go where that night, only one guy couldn't lose, Bob Arum," stated world-class trainer and ESPN commentator Teddy Atlas, who shared his thoughts on the current state of boxing and the number of controversial decisions that have cropped up lately. Check it out!
PC: You mentioned the judging from the Pacquiao/Bradley fight. What did you think of the fight and the scores that were read after the fight?
TA: The first thing is, I get upset that everyone is so upset. I've been yelling about this for 15 years on ESPN, every week, and everyone is so upset about Pacquiao getting robbed, which he got robbed, but why? Because it's his name and he is a marquee big name? I mean, what about all of these kids that get robbed every week? They don't count as much. We only get upset because it's a big name? I mean, come on. Shouldn't we be better than that? Are we upset because of the name? What about this poor kid Molina, who's not a millionaire. Pacquiao got robbed, but he's a millionaire and he's got another chance to become a millionaire in his next fight. I'm happy for him, but this kid Molina that got robbed a few months ago on HBO against James Kirkland, the guy who was the promoter's fighter, the guy that was physically stronger, the guy that left a leg behind him, and the guy that was supposed to win. He finds a way all night long with a bigger and stronger guy, through planning and strategy and will. That's what's great about boxing is you can even the playing field on any given night if you have prepared to do that.
This guy was in there and he finds a way to be ahead, and then he gets dropped at the end of 11. He drops the guy earlier in the fight and doesn't even get the credit for a knockdown, then he gets dropped at the end of the 11th. He gets up and acts like a fighter and does what a fighter is supposed to do. He brushes himself off and he's ready to go. The cornerman hears the bell and does what a cornerman is trained to do. He gets in the ring when he hears the bell and what happens? The referee disqualifies him. Can anybody in good conscience and anybody that considers themselves an honest person tell me that if it was the reverse situation and it was the house fighter, the promoter's fighter that had gotten dropped and his corner came in, that that ref would have made the same decision? Please. If you're going to say that, I'm willing to say that you're either a liar or your head is somewhere it shouldn't be and you need to get it out of there, because it shouldn't be in there because you are confused and disconnected from the real world.
So now that kid Molina is in a position now to make money and he gets it taken away from him. After all of those years of fighting to get to a position to help his family and help himself personally and professionally, to make that next step and move forward to be able to have a better life and have the things that everyone wants to have from hard work and risk, in this case, and now he has that taken away from that referee. He's gotta unlike these ball players to where maybe there is a bad call or something happens, they can play again next week and they have a $100 million contract. Look at A Rod, a $250 million guaranteed contract. So they are going to be okay. These kids don't have $100 million contracts. They have to go to the back of the line and start all over again now and take thousands of punches to get back to that position to be able to make more money and to be able to move forward and take care of their families. And what are they there for? Why are they in this position? Because of a corrupt judge or corrupt ref, an inept ref or inept judge? Whatever it is, it's not acceptable.
How about the kid Richard Abril? How about him, because he won that fight in every way conceivable against Rios and he gets robbed. What about that kid? That was a robbery that should have upset somebody. It was the same thing with him. He was in position after all of these years to make good money and change his life and change his family's life, and he's gotta go back to the back of the line to hope to get back to that position again. Yeah, yeah, it's wrong that Pacquiao got robbed, but I'm more upset that only now we ask for investigations, only now we want to better the situation, only now we want to shout out for reform and something has to be done and investigated. What about the other situations they don't count as much?
PC: I agree with that Teddy. As sad as it was to see another bad decision in the sport, I think what you are saying is Pacquiao will make double the money in a rematch or his next fight while guys like Molina and Abril take a major paycut in their next bouts and may never reach that status again.
TA: Exactly! And you know, again, it's a problem and it's a serious problem, and the problem is there is no separation from the people; there is no structure from a national commission. There are no rules that are abided by and there is no separation between the people that make money in the sport and the people that are charged with administrating the sport. There is no separation at all; none. Where else could you go where that night, only one guy couldn't lose, Bob Arum? Where else you gonna go in a sport where no matter who won or who lost, he was going to walk out of that ring with a winner that night? That's not a conflict of interest? Isn't that absurd? So no matter what, he's got both sides. I mean, are you kidding?
You can go to a restaurant the night before that fight. I don't know where the restaurant was, but I could've found it and I guarantee you that you could walk into that restaurant the night before any big fight and you walk in there, and you know which one to go in, you will see the head of that organization, whoever is in charge and whoever's fight it is, WBC, WBA, IBF or WBO; whoever it is, you walk in there and there will be a table somewhere in that restaurant, and I guarantee you it's a good restaurant and they have good food and they have good wine and it's being served at a big table. And you have all of the officials there, the judges and the referee, and you have the head of these organizations there and guess who is picking up the bill at the end of the table...the promoter, who is making money the next night, who has one fighter that he wants to win, and he is picking up the dinner. Are you kidding me? If that's not absurd, then you tell me what is.
That would be like the Steinbrenner's having dinner the night before the World Series that's gonna cost, $3,000, $4,000, $5,000 with the best wine and everything else, and they are hosting a dinner with the umpiring crew. It would never happen. It can't happen. And I'm not saying baseball is perfect, but it can't happen because they would not allow it to happen. It happens in our sport every day and that's absurd. Until there is a separation in those things that I just described, nothing will ever change.
PC: As always, its great catching up with you. I know you are doing some ESPN things and I appreciate you taking time out to speak with me. I wish you continued success my friend.
TA: You too Percy, and you take care buddy.