Teddy Atlas has never been known to shy away from speaking his mind. Most people feel strongly about the ESPN Friday Night Fights commentator and fall firmly on one side of the fence or the other when it pertains to his opinion. However, no one can disagree that Atlas is passionate when it comes to boxing and it is also a fact that he loves the sport.
Atlas spoke with Matt Conrad of ESNEWS on the topic of the long-awaited and highly anticipated super fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao.
The topic has gotten a ton of coverage over the last several weeks as reports continue to surface about the potential mega fight coming to fruition. Some are doubtful, others are hopeful, but the topic is undeniably weighing heavy on boxing fans to the point that if the fight isn’t made soon then fans’ patience will have an adverse effect on the fight’s earning potential.
Atlas disagrees to a degree. He believes that the fans are so starved for a boxing mega fight that they will put up with the fact that this fight has gone unmade for years, and he also believes they will overlook the fact that this isn’t the same fight it could’ve been years ago.
“I agree the fight is five years too late, they’re not at their prime anymore and there is no doubt about that,” Atlas told ESNEWS. “Having said that, if the fight is made it’ll still be the highest paying fight in the history of the sport.
“The reason it’ll be the highest paid fight of all time is because fight fans have been in the Sahara Desert with their tongue hanging out for so long that now they’re ready to buy something, even if it is a mirage. They are past their prime, and [fans] are still going to buy it.”
Atlas is probably right about fans overlooking the degree of competitiveness and the lost skill level over the years, but real boxing fans are smart enough to know that they pay for what they get. We as fans have been conditioned to accept the mismatches between faded fighters.
The real appeal to this fight lies within the commercial fan and the familiarity of both Mayweather and Pacquiao within the confines of pop culture.
“It’s still going to make more money than anything else because there’ll be some people that don’t think Mayweather deserves to be undefeated and they’ll think that they don’t want him to go down as one of the greats, so there’ll be people that’ll line up to see if Pacquiao can upset that applecart, and of course there will be people that’ll want to see if Mayweather can continue his legacy and stay undefeated and figure that he’ll be tested in this fight.”
Mayweather fans feel strong, as do Pacquiao fans, but boxing fans know that there are more entertaining fights in boxing between younger fighters, closer to their prime.
That doesn’t mean hardcore fans will ignore this mega-fight, should it ever happen. Atlas simplified it perfectly when concluding his opinion on the subject.
All the fans and members of the media that have lost interests and say that Mayweather-Pacquiao matters much less than it did are wrong when you consider one sincere truth.
“If they get in the ring it’s going to be the richest payday of all-time, and to a certain extent that matters.”