Teddy Atlas Interview on the Foundation, Pacquiao, Mayweather, Martinez and much more
By David Tyler, Doghouse Boxing (May 26, 2011) Doghouse Boxing
Teddy Atlas - at the Dr. Atlas Foundation
No introduction needed for this Boxing Icon. Please welcome my hero back into the doghouse.

David Tyler - Teddy, how are things going with the foundation?

Teddy Atlas - Hi Dave, we have had a lot of request from people who have suffered setbacks in their lives and as a result I had a meeting tonight with the members of the foundation to develop corporate sponsorship. The Richmond County Savings Foundation has donated one hundred thousand dollars to the Dr. Atlas Foundation. We will be having a press conference where we thank the people responsible for this donation and challenge other banks and corporations to match this amount.

DT - I know your foundation helps individuals; can you give our readers some examples?

TA - We have a six month old baby that the mother came to us a few days ago, the baby needs a liver transplant to live and the cost will be around $600,000.00. That's a large amount of money but that's not the problem...even though the family is deeply in debt with medical bills, the insurance will cover around 80% of the cost. That still leaves a lot of money that the family can't pay. Leading up to the operation there are many diagnostic tests and medications that the insurance won't cover. We've committed for the next five months to pay the co-payments, medication cost, and travel cost to the hospital. That's just one of the many cases that we are currently handling.

DT - Tell me more.

TA - We had another case this week where a mentally challenged girl needs help when taking a bath. Her mother almost dropped her because she is now getting much more difficult to handle because of her disability. She also has cerebral palsy which causes her to go into panic attacks. There is a medical device that would help but the cost is around five thousand dollars. It doesn't matter if the device cost 50 thousand dollars her mother can't even come close to paying these cost. No insurance would cover the cost of this device so of course we bought it for her immediately. The thing that really frustrates me is that before she came to us, she tried the March of Dimes and they turned her down.

DT - Seriously?

TA - David, we get this kind of situation all the time. Last month we had a single mom who has four children, working two jobs, a good person. She had to have a full mastectomy. This lady sat down and figured out how much everything would cost....the time she would miss work...the out of pocket costs...everything down to the mortgage payment and other monthly bills. Now on top of the full mastectomy she had a blood clot. She is out of the hospital, her medications alone cost more than $1,100.00 a month. Many people don't realize that some of these medications are not covered by insurance. So, to make a long story short, she has to make a decision whether or not to pay her $1,400.00 mortgage payment or pay for the cancer medications. She paid for the medications and the bank starts a foreclosure on her house. She calls up the American Cancer Society and boy are they monsters. She had heard and participates in fundraisers for the Cancer Society and thought some of this money went to cancer victims who are not able to pay their bills. She only asks for $400.00 a month until the doctor released her back to work. They told her NO! They couldn't do anything for her because most of their money went to administrative cost and a small percentage goes to cancer research.

DT - How did she get in contact with the foundation?

TA – The American Cancer Society told her that they could provide no help and advised her to call the Dr. Atlas foundation. It boggles my mind that the American Cancer Society, March of Dimes, American Heart Association, as examples, all have us on their phone list and give people our phone number after they decline to help people because their money goes to administrative costs and a small portion to research. We take care of every one of these people but you would think that these organizations would have some money set aside to help victims of these terrible diseases.

DT - Are you continuing to help these people?

TA - David, we help everyone but it’s getting difficult and that's why we are going to other levels to try and raise funds. We are really hoping that some of these big corporations will match the $100,000.00 donations.

DT - Teddy, does HBO, Showtime, ESPN, Top Rank, Golden Boy, or other boxing multi-billion dollar organizations contribute to the Dr. Atlas Dr. Atlas Foundation?

TA - No! However I would like to mention that ESPN has been very good about letting me mention the foundation sometime during the Friday Night boxing events. I would also like to say that some kind hearted individuals at these organizations have contributed on a personal level but the networks have not made a corporate contribution. I know all the multi-billion dollar corporations contribute to the popular organizations that I mentioned, but do they really know where the money goes? Do they know that people on an individual level are not benefiting from the donations? Maybe they don’t care? Maybe it’s just a tax write off. I am all for research into ways to eradicate these terrible diseases but someone has to help the afflicted individuals and I just can’t do it alone.

DT – I am very shocked and disappointed with HBO, Showtime, ESPN, Fox Sports, Top Rank, Golden Boy, and other corporations that should be making contributions on a corporate level to the Dr. Atlas foundation. It makes me sick and mad enough to eat nails that these high profit companies do not contribute to an organization started by a former boxer and trainer, that helps the common man. Maybe their administrative costs (including the salary of the big shots) are just too much to help out an individual. I read where close to 2 million people watched the Showtime PPV Scam (Pac vs. Mosley) to the tune of ~ $60.00 a pop. If just half of these people would send one frigging dollar to the foundation, think of how many people would benefit. If Top Rank contributed one dollar on a corporate level, I would be left speechless.

DT - Teddy, let's talk about boxing......your thoughts about the recent Mosley/ Pacquiao debacle...what did we get?

TA - David, to be honest with you I think we got hustled...we got conned! The people responsible for this promotion knew they had a 40 year old fighter who looked like the sun had set on him. He didn't look good at all in his last two fights....he looked like an over the hill fighter in those fights and the people responsible knew these facts. The top priority for these people is not to give the public a great competitive fight for their money....not at all. Let's all just he honest and understand that their priority is to protect their "golden goose". The priorities are to get the golden goose an opponent who is not a threat to him and at the same time a name fighter which will help maximize the pay per view audience.....they take the least risk to keep the cash cow going forward....keep the golden goose laying eggs. So the top priority really is a financial priority.....they don't really need to put on a competitive fight when over a million people continue to pay $55 dollars and up to see the golden goose. They understand the formula.....get a guy who is flawed....on the down side of his career...and his only value would be his past reputation...this will entice more fans to pay the price for the fight without taking any risk that the cash cow might lose.

DT - So this was the formula that made dummies like me think that Mosley would put up a fight instead of not fighting at all?

TA - They play us all. The Marquee value of Mosley's name...having Mosley look like he was in top physical shape...play up the fact that Mosley was an underdog in the Margarito fight...making noise that of the two, Mosley was the larger fighter. You see how all this was well played to give us all the perception that this event had a chance to be a good fight. But really it's "buyer beware" shame on all of us who bought the fight for not knowing what we are supposed to know, that Mosley’s good days were way far behind him....Shame on us for letting our imagination let us believe that we were going to get what we wanted....a good competitive fight.

DT - I agree with everything you have said especially when you look how much of a favorite Pac was in Vegas.

TA - David, look at it this way. Let's take the Super Bowl in football....in recent years they have been competitive but there have been years that the Super Bowl was going to be horrible and the point spread in Vegas reflected this fact.....when one team is favored by 16 points or more, do you really think you are going to get a great Super Bowl...of course not. Now last go to the last two weeks before the Super Bowl....all the media is there...all the talk and hype by the underdog....lot's of mention of say Super Bowl III where the Jets were big underdogs and Joe Namath led them to victory......in that two week period we let this type media hype convince us that the game will be a good one with a great possibility of an upset that no one wants to miss. The promotional machine, the publicity machine, manipulated the imagination of the public to be enticed into believing this huge underdog actually had a chance of winning.

DT – Good analogy, how do these kind of shenanigans affect boxing as a whole?

TA – The problem is the boxer who is still trying to get to that safe place in his career where he can make a decent comfortable living. These kind of events will make the public very skeptical about buying pay per view events because they will very soon get tired of paying over $50.00 for such a disappointing event, it will create some shock waves to the industry. That’s too bad because boxing has got to a place where it is more an event driven sport which hurts the other fights in the sport. I wish it was more consistent like it used to be where people went to the sport in droves in a consistent manner because they knew they were going to see competitive fights. Not just name guys, but good competitive fights that were supporting the sport. Now that’s changed where it is event driven and these events are disappointing. This trickles down throughout the sport where it has a negative impact on bouts that are not run by the promotional and publicity machines geared to make money for the greedy people running these events.

DT – Top Rank owns the “Golden Goose” and all the rights to the events….no other manager/promoter other than Bob Arum. This presents such a huge conflict of interest which is very hard to ignore if you are a true boxing fan. To get into the ring with the “cash cow” you must belong to Arum. Could it be that the privileged few that Arum makes multi millionaires are so grateful that out of gratitude they are not fighting back for fear of hurting his “Golden Goose”? Are these fights that compromised because Arum controls both fighters?

TA – There is two parts to that point that you’re trying to make. One, getting back to the priorities….keep him safe and make as much money as possible. The priorities are not the fans….the priority is to present to the fans the perception of what they want. Let’s go back a moment….don’t be misunderstood, the priority is that Bob Arum must be successful, not just Pacquiao, Arum and Top Rank is the very first and top priority. In order to accomplish this priority….Arum comes first….Pacquiao comes along as a necessary means…..without Pacquiao winning, Arum and Top Rank can’t continue to be successful. The first part of their success is Top Rank succeeding….that is the horse and the other people come along for the ride. So the first part is to ensure that Arum must control the opponent, that’s really the key in controlling the promotion which is all designed to make as much money as possible. Arum must examine every fighter that’s a potential opponent for Pacquiao to ensure that this is not a fighter that has a good defense, good boxing skills, good chin, good power, not a fighter that makes good fights on a consistent level and will give his best effort. Sure Arum insists that these fighters sign with him…Mosley left Golden Boy to sign with Arum which resulted in more millions in his bank account. The bottom line is that the first thing that has to be in place is that Pacquiao’s opponent is a guy that ensures Arum has full control of the promotion. That’s the important part and if you look at his past opponents and future opponents the common element is that they can’t be locked in with a rival promoter or anybody that would not allow Arum to have complete control of the fight. That’s the first priority in the elements of Top Rank’s success with Pacquiao.

DT – Are the boxing fan’s one of the elements of consideration?

TA – It’s not a matter of looking at a list of fighters and saying ‘wow this match-up would be good for the public’ it could be an exciting fight. That would be the responsible thing to do, but they don’t want to lose. They know that Pacquiao brings along his legions of Pacquiao fans that would support him whomever he fights. They are after as many boxing fans as possible to supplement the Pacquiao fans. The only consideration given to boxing fans is will this opponent be marketable enough to convince them to buy into the event.

DT – I understand. Pacquiao is merely an event fighter. Not some great champion who defended his title against top competitors. Agree or disagree?

TA – Let’s take a look at his career. Because his opponents have been handpicked, they are flawed in more areas than the average opponent. Let’s go back to the beginning of this journey, the beginning of the gravy train….it started with someone named De La Hoya. He was a shot fighter, fighting at a weight that was sure to drain him of any strength or stamina. Even at his best, De La Hoya never won a big fight, more importantly; he was a fighter well, well, beyond his prime. Next up was Ricky Hatton, a fighter who was exposed by Floyd Mayweather and others as an extremely flawed fighter who always left himself open for punches down the middle. I believe Miguel Cotto was next up and of course he was damaged goods. At the time he fought Pacquiao, he was severely damaged physically, emotionally, and mentally from the beating he took from Margarito. Clottey was another guy that was mentally defective, he never fought with any real confidence, never took any real risk, a guy who's style was to cover up. Clottey throws very few punches and there is that saying in boxing that you can't be in the fight if you don't throw punches. His temperament was to be very safe. Guys like that are more inclined to stay covered when they have a fast handed guy in front of them. Now we get to Margarito. He is a slow guy who was never good technically he got exposed by Mosley who showed that Margarito is a very slow fighter who is not hard to find in the ring. Pretty much a one dimensional fighter. Let's add to the mix that he had to make a weight that was going to hurt his chances in the fight. Sure enough he drained himself just to make weight and you could visibly see that he looked drained. You take a look at his face....bones and cheeks...he looked emaciated and when he got into the ring he behaved that way....a fighter very game, very slow but most importantly very weak. The one advantage that he should have is his strength and power which was taken away from him by having to make the weight. Now, when we look comprehensively, intelligently, and fairly, every single one of those guys have major flaws. For all the credit and adoration Pacquiao got by the promotional machines, the publicity machines, the Pay Per View networks, the only thing great about his opponents is their names. Everything else was flawed.

DT - Agree completely. Teddy, after reading Mike Silver's great book "The Arc of Boxing" I have watched hundreds of hours of great fighters from the golden age. Now, when I watch Pacquiao I see many weak spots in his game. He is easily hit with a jab, he comes in and out in a straight path, he has no defense, lacks foot speed, doesn’t have a good jab....do you agree with my assessment?

TA - Yes I do. That's not meant to take anything away from the people who adore him and want to hold him up and put him up to where they want to put him. That's their privilege, that's their right but it's also my privilege and right to be able to critique his style. There are hundreds of fighters out there from the Golden Years of boxing who would easily beat him. That's simply because they fought at least 12 times a year. Most fighters fought more than that, some even twice a month for the year. There were not just two or three good fighters around in those days. There were over 70 tremendous fighters around at any given time during the 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's and maybe even the 70's. These guys fought every fighter out there, lightweights, featherweights, and middleweights. The sport was not event driven, no promoter would try to pull that kind of sham on the boxing fans because the fans were to smart to fall for that trick. Boxing in those days was on par with baseball and the fans that followed the sport were very knowledgeable. The championship really meant something in those days and the conflict of interest you mentioned earlier simply would not exist during these time periods. I don't even have to go back that far...how about Pernell Whitaker? I don't think Pacquiao would stand a chance against someone with the boxing skills of Pernell Whitaker. I really hate to get Pacquiao's fans angry with me but I don't think he comes close to beating Whitaker. I really think someone like Sugar Ray Leonard could possibly hurt Pacquiao seriously in the ring. Pacquiao comes in and starts throwing punches which would delight a fighter like Sugar Ray Leonard, Tommy Hearns, Roberto Duran, or Julio Chavez. I am referring to these more contemporary fighters to be fair about drawing comparisons. It would not be fair to compare Pacquiao to fighters from the generations where the fighters were harden tough by all the competition. I have said before and I will say it again that if he fights and beats Sergio Martinez, then I will shut up and call Pacquiao one of the greats in this sport.

DT - You are a boxing historian and an expert on contemporary boxing. Many boxing fans are interested in your comments. Just read any boxing website and you will see the Pacquiao fans defending their guy. That's just part of any sport when you become popular like Pacquiao. I like your idea of Pac fighting Martinez but I doubt that will happen because Martinez would have to sell out to Bob Arum. Your thoughts?

TA - Not only that but they would surely make him come down to a weight that would sap him of strength and stamina....obviously factors detrimental to his chances of winning. To your point, he may not go along with the certain promotional constraints that Arum would impose. But then again, I'm not certain they would give him a chance to say NO. I am curious if they would even consider giving him that opportunity. They might want us to think that he would say NO so they don't have to address the question. Martinez is the kind of guy that might say yes and this would force their hand into making some concessions on the promotional end. I really doubt that they would make Martinez an offer because this is a risk that I don't believe Arum would take.

DT - Teddy, we have both discussed the skills of Floyd Mayweather and both agree that Pac is the kind of fighter that Mayweather devours. Is there any chance that Bob Arum would give him a shot?

TA - Not in his present condition. Right now nothing is wrong with Mayweather....once again, Arum is not about taking risk.....we don't know the details of past negotiations between the two but I'm sure that they favor Arum and Pacquiao. All of Pacquiao's opponents have been flawed in ways explained early in this interview. Mayweather's almost daily personal problems may take a toll on him mentally, also his other activities in the entertainment industry might distract his focus on boxing. Putting all that aside, I see Mayweather beating Pacquiao handily. Mayweather has the skill sets.....speed,both hand and foot speed, size, defense, from a technical and tactical standpoint he has a tremendous advantage, he can beat you on the inside and the outside. The match up favors Mayweather in every area...especially when Pacquiao comes in to an opponent with that reckless manner....Mayweather is designed to take advantage of this type of opponent. He would have great success on the back end and the front end....the front end when Pacquiao is trying to impose himself physically...on the back end when Pacquiao moves away, Mayweather has the foot and hand speed to find him and punish him with jabs and right hands.

DT - Has Mayweather retired?

TA - No. I think he will fight again soon. He has had some problems and he has to deal with these problems like everyone else. I have no doubt in my mind that he will fight simply because there is a certain life span for all fighters. He doesn't want to be remembered as one of the flawed fighters that I mentioned earlier. He would certainly like to retire undefeated but he is still in his prime and he has bills to pay like everybody. Now is the time for him to make maximum dollars in the ring and I believe that will cause him to fight again very soon.

DT - I haven't seen one weakness in Mayweather's boxing style. What's your opinion?

TA - He sometimes is just not busy enough in the ring. I also doubt that he has the ability to create his own offense...much preferring to counter punch. I have seen him play with opponents when he knows that he is winning easily. Sometimes he does just enough to win.

DT - Any comparisons with past champions?

TA - I would compare him to Sugar Ray Leonard. Both have very similar skill sets and people forget that Leonard was also the best counter puncher of his time.

DT - I will make this the last question as I have taken a good deal of your time. It was announced in the newspapers that Pacquaio is set to fight Marquez in November of this year. Your thoughts on that fight?

TA - How old is Marquez? I believe that he will be 38 when and if that fight takes place. Pacquiao is about six years younger and in his prime. Also, Marquez has bulked up in weight only once that I remember and that was in the Mayweather fight where he lost every round. Marquez is the smaller fighter. Also I have mentioned before on ESPN telecasts that I also judge a fighter not so much by age but the number of punches he has taken. Pacquiao has taken very little punishment in the last few years. The only strong area I see for Marquez is that his confidence level would be high because of the fact that he has fought him twice before...this would help his comfort level in that fight. But when it is all said and done, Pacquiao will be the heavy favorite to win the fight.

DT - We thank you for your time and keep fighting the good fight through your foundation.

TA - David, always a pleasure and I appreciate everything you do to help out the foundation.

Readers: If I make a contribution of $1,000.00 to the Dr. Atlas foundation will someone match my donation? Do you agree or disagree with Teddy? He made his points and backed them up with reasonable observations. I am eager to read your opinions.

Many thanks to everyone that donates even one dollar to the Dr. Atlas Foundation.

***David Tyler replies to all his e-mails and loves to hear from the readers. Comments, Questions, Suggestions, E-mail David now at: dtyler53@cox.net

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