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Jeff Horn still upset with Teddy Atlas

Image: Jeff Horn still upset with Teddy Atlas

By Jim Dower: Jeff Horn (17-0-1, 11 KOs) doesn’t seem to care for the way that ESPN commentator Teddy Atlas gave his personal opinions during and after Horn’s controversial 12 round unanimous decision win over Manny Pacquiao on July 2.

Horn, 29, was not happy with Atlas telling him that he thought he had lost to the 38-year-old Pacquiao moments after their fight at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia. Horn isn’t used to people in the media coming up to him and letting him know that he lost the fight in their minds.

The judges gave it to Horn by the scores 117-111, 115-113 and 115-113. The World Boxing Organization’s 5-judge panel re-scored the fight and they gave it to Horn as well. It doesn’t matter though, because a group of 8 judges doesn’t change the opinion of many of the boxing fans who felt that Pacquiao was robbed in Horn’s hometown. Those fans saw Pacquiao landing twice the amount of punches with twice the connect percentage of Horn. The critics of the judges’ decision saw how Horn was roughing up Pacquiao and not being penalized and warned by the referee. Teddy Atlas saw the same thing, so he spoke his mind. Horn isn’t happy about Atlas give his true uncensored thoughts.

This is what Atlas said to Horn after the fight: “Congratulations, I thought you lost.”
There’s nothing wrong with Atlas telling Horn that he thought he lost. This isn’t a big deal or it shouldn’t have been a big deal. Atlas is from the U.S, and the media in that country don’t hide their opinions when they think a decision was wrong by the judges. Given that judges aren’t infallible and they make odd judgments in fights quite frequently, there shouldn’t be a problem when the media second guess their scoring. Even if it hurts the feelings of the winning fighters, the media has a job to do in dissecting fights. Horn obviously didn’t like Atlas telling it like it is in his Howard Cossell style.

”I have nothing to say to Teddy Atlas,” Horn told Grantlee Kieza of the Courier Mail. “I’m not a fan anymore. He kind of annoyed me a little bit after the fight. I’m on a high after winning and he’s tried to drag me down straight away. It’s disappointing.”

Atlas will likely work the Pacquiao vs. Horn 2 rematch if there is one. Atlas will give his opinion once again about what he sees in the fight. Horn needs to get used to it. Even if Atlas doesn’t work the fight whoever replaces him is going give his own thoughts what they see. If the commentator sees Horn lowering his head and ramming into the face of Pacquiao over and over again, they’re probably going to say something about that. Of the commentator sees Horn putting Pacquiao in headlocks 3 to 4 times per round without being penalized, they’re going to likely comment on that. If the results of the fight shock the broadcaster, then they’re going to touch on that as well.

I think Horn is an old school guy when it comes to his thoughts on the role of the commentators. They’re not just there to hype the home fighter. They’re there to tell the boxing fans at home the picture of what’s going on inside the ring. That means if Pacquiao is dominating the fight and seemingly winning most of the rounds, the commentator is going to let the boxing fans know that they didn’t agree with the decision if Pacquiao ends up losing. A commentator like Atlas would have reacted the same way if Pacquiao appeared to lose and was given a decision win by the judges. Atlas isn’t the type to be a homer for one particular fighter over another. He tends to tell the fans what he really thinks about a fight. The thing is, Atlas seems to be correct most of the time with his thoughts on fights. The guy knows what he’s doing and has a massive amount of experience in boxing.

Horn might as well be banging his head against a brick wall. He’s not going to change Atlas’ style of commentating on a fight. If Atlas suddenly stops giving his opinions on the fights he works, he’ll have nothing to say. He’ll just be sitting there like a fan, watching without breaking

I don’t think Atlas will lose any sleep about Horn not being a fan of his anymore. It would be more of a problem for Atlas if he changed his style of commentating and kept his mouth shut about his real thoughts just so that he didn’t hurt the feelings of the 29-year-old Horn. If Atlas had chosen not to step on the toes of Horn, many of the boxing fans watching the Pacquiao vs. Horn fight at home in the U.S would have been angry about it. At least by Atlas giving his thoughts about the Horn-Pacquiao fight results, the fans

“To win the fight, and to think that I’ve won the fight and then for everyone to go after you and say ‘you didn’t win the fight,’ it’s frustrating but then to have this finally makes it a bit easier to go over to the US,” Horn said to Fox Sports.

Horn is talking about the 5 judges picked by the WBO to review and re-score his fight with Pacquiao. I don’t think it changes anything that 5 judges picked out by the WBO scored the fight for Horn. That means very little. First off, the casual boxing fans that saw the Pacquiao-Horn fight are not going to be aware that the fight was re-scored. The fans that do know about the 5 judges’ re-scoring of the fight won’t care, because they might not care what opinions those 5 judges came to. It comes down to whether the boxing fans trust their own eyes or the eyes and judgment of 5 unknown judges that re-scored the fight for the WBO. Nothing changes.

The boxing fans that think Horn was given a gift decision will continue to believe this. The WBO could pick out another 5 judges, and they could come to the same conclusion as the last 5 judges in picking Horn as the winner. That’s not going to change the minds of the boxing fans that saw Horn losing the fight. What really a matter is Horn was out-landed 2 to 1 in punches by Pacquiao. You don’t get out-landed like that without boxing fans thinking you should have lost. Horn was hit too many times by Pacquiao. Horn got away with a lot of fouling in the fight. That’s another thing. The referee was there and not doing anything to address Horn’s head-butting, headlocks and shoving. You can say that Horn was accidentally doing all of those things, but the referee should have done something about the roughhouse tactics from Horn rather than him just watching.

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