Atlas: If Pacquiao had won, would we have heard the injury excuses?
By Chris Williams: After the way that Manny Pacquiao fought last Saturday night, ESPN analyst Teddy Atlas thinks that Pacquiao abused the fans in his loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. Atlas thinks Pacquiao had a responsibility to be at his best and be ready to fight last Saturday night, especially given the $100 million that he was making for the fight.
Atlas questions whether Pacquiao would have bothered mentioning his shoulder injury if he’d won the fight against Mayweather. Atlas says fighting with injuries is a normal part of boxing. However, it looks bad though when the losing fighter talks about a preexisting injury like what we saw with Pacquiao because it comes across like they’re just looking for an excuse to explain away their loss.
Pacquiao perhaps misjudged the amount of criticism that he would receive by him revealing his shoulder injury after the fight. He might have thought that boxing fans would be sympathetic to him, and see him as a brave person for having taken the fight under those kind of conditions.
If Pacquiao had performed well and gone down swinging in losing by a knockout, maybe he wouldn’t be criticized like he’s being now. But the Pacquiao we saw last Saturday looked to be one who wasn’t taking a lot of chances, and who mainly looked old and small.
The people that paid out huge sums of money to see the fight probably aren’t too happy right now at learning that Pacquiao came into the fight with a serious shoulder injury.
“Boxers fight through things [injuries]. Sometimes, you’re not 100 percent; you rarely are,” Atlas said via silive.com. “Floyd probably fights with sore hands. If Pacquiao had won, would we have heard this? “You have a responsibility when you get into the ring — especially when you’re making $100 million like Manny was — to be ready to perform. Nobody wants to hear it.”
I think it’s quite likely that Pacquiao wouldn’t have bothered talking about his injury if he’d beaten Mayweather. Why would he? He’d have the victory and there would be no reason for him to make excuses for his performance. But that obviously didn’t happen. Pacquiao lost, looked bad, and then started floating the excuses immediately after the fight. Mayweather said he came into the fight with two shoulder problems and issues with his hand. But he didn’t talk about those injuries until Pacquiao had already brought up his shoulder problem.
“I didn’t see any problem with his [Pacquiao] right hand then. I saw him attacking,” Atlas said. “I don’t know for sure (about the injury), but what I did see evidence of was that Manny was hesitant of getting inside. Did I see him hesitate because he kept getting hit with right hands and jabs? I was saying all week the key to the fight was Floyd’s right hand. Is all of that connected to Manny’s right shoulder? No.”
I also saw Pacquiao attacking all night long and using his right hand for the full 12 round fight. Pacquiao didn’t look like he had any problems generating power and speed on his injured right hand in that fight. I believe the difference between Pacquiao’s healthy right hand and his injured one were negligible. Pacquiao struggled to get inside on Mayweather, and looked timid much of the time in trying to go inside. I think that was a more of a case of Pacquiao having eaten too many hard shots from Mayweather and thinking it would be safer to say on the outside rather than rushing Mayweather.
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