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Atlas: Why was Team Pacquiao saying this was going to be World War III?

1-06By Dan Ambrose: For weeks before the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao fight, we’d been hearing Pacquiao’s team saying that Pacquiao would bring the fight to Mayweather and turn it into a war. But when the fight actually good place last Saturday, Pacquiao fought on the outside for much of the fight and he looked decidedly like a fighter who didn’t want to get hit by Mayweather’s right hands.

ESPN commenter Teddy Atlas doesn’t understand why Pacquiao’s team talked so much about the fight being a war and then they failed to produce the goods on the night.

Atlas thinks that it was bad for boxing to have the fight built up and then it not producing the results that fans wanted. What Atlas doesn’t understand is why people like Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach did so much bold talking when he clearly knew that Pacquiao had a bad injury to his right shoulder that he suffered during training camp last April. Atlas sees that as false advertising.

“Why were they saying this was going to be World War III? You don’t say those things if you know it’s not true,” said Atlas to “Why fabricate something if you know your fighter is limited? This fight was good for boxing going into Saturday, but it didn’t leave people with a good feeling. It took the bloom off the rose. There could be ramifications, some damage, to the sport.”

I don’ know that the sport will be hurt badly because boxing has already been reduced to that of a fringe level sport ever since the mainstream television channels stopped televising boxing in the 70s. I don’t think boxing can drop any lower than it is right now because it’s gone down pretty far over the years. But what I do think is that Mayweather and Pacquiao likely have lost fans, especially Pacquiao with the way he failed to report his injury ahead of time to the Nevada State Athletic Commission until the night of the fight.

Mayweather and Pacquiao will likely be facing each other next year in a fight that will probably be seen by far fewer fans than the original fight last Saturday. If the rematch goes well, then fans might forget about the first fight between them and will be happy about it. But for that to happen, Pacquiao can’t come into the fight with an injury like he did before, and he can’t stay on the outside looking as timid as he did against Mayweather. By the same token, Mayweather will need to take more chances by letting his hands go in order to please the boxing fans paying to see the fight. Mayweather can’t just stay on the outside looking to jab and throw an occasional pot shot.

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