Teddy Atlas Interview: In-depth on Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito
By David Tyler, DoghouseBoxing (Nov 12, 2010) -  
Boxing trainer, boxing analyst, boxing expert, boxing historian......Yes Teddy Atlas is all of the above as mentioned but he is most proud of his humanitarian work through his foundation.....Dr. Theodore Atlas Foundation....that has helped thousands of needy people. That is the reason I call this man my hero. Please welcome Teddy back into the doghouse.

David Tyler - Teddy, your thoughts about the upcoming bout between Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito?

Teddy Atlas - I understand why Pacquiao is a six to one favorite. His speed is so overwhelming....when you compare the two guys from a hand and foot speed standpoint....there is such a disparity with a big advantage for Pacquiao. Pacquiao also has a big advantage in confidence from all his recent fights over the last few years.....the way he has gone from one position to another....from one level to another....from one category to another.....he has continued to win and develop along the way. He is a fighter that has more dimensions.....he punches with both hands.....has developed a strong right hand punch....he is putting punches together where he used to look for one big shot.....he can stand and punch....he can also box and counter......so all the development has added to his confidence. With that confidence in the areas I just described, technically and developmentally, I understand him being a six to one favorite. Margarito has not been active.....he showed some of his flaws in the Mosley fight....and the people that set the odds probably said....wow if he had trouble with the speed and power of Mosley, how is he going to handle that of Pacquiao? That's a good question and probably the reason that Pacquiao is a six to one favorite. Having said all of that, Pacquiao might have his eye off the ball just a little....he is a congressman in his country and his promoter is making him do promotional work for Senator Harry Reid and other activities that could divert his focus on the upcoming fight. These are extra distractions that Pacquiao has been dealing with in past fights and up to now has handled them well. I still think he grabs a lot of strength from being the center of attention and such a focal point in his country where so many people look up to him....so many people believe in him.....so many people depend on him in the Philippines to give them life, hope, and the belief that anybody can accomplish anything even when you come from horrible beginnings....and there are a lot of people that are very poor in that country. So I think in that way, Pacquiao is a real symbol of achievement and hope for his fellow countrymen. I think that this intangible charges him and gives him strength that so many people follow him and depend on him to continue to give them that kind of faith. I think these factors are an important mix in this fight. However, on Margarito's side is the power of redemption. He now has the chance to redeem himself from the demons of the Mosley fight and the suspension that followed in the wake of that fight. He truly is the bigger stronger guy. I have always said from the beginning.....De La Hoya, Hatton, Cotto,....these were not bigger stronger guys. The perception was there and people wanted to believe the perception but they really were not bigger stronger guys. De La Hoya started at 130 pounds and no matter how big he grew, he still had the skeleton of a smaller guy. At the time of the Pacquiao fight he was a shot fighter that should not have dehydrated himself down to 147 pounds.....he was a fighter who was mentally flawed and compromised when it came to big fights.....he never performed well for the most part in the biggest moments of his life.....he always seemed to find ways to come up short. Then we move on to the Ricky Hatton fight.....he was not a puncher......he was not a bigger guy......a fighter with plenty of holes in his style that could be filled with somebody with fast hands. Moving to Cotto......he was damaged goods going into the bout with Pacquiao......Cotto was a guy that kept himself at 140 pounds even though he probably didn't belong at that weight......probably starved himself to stay at that weight and he eventually paid the price for physically punishing himself to stay at that weight......he wasn't a big guy.......he had not recovered physically or psychologically from the Margarito fight. Then you have the Clottey fight......he was a bigger fighter but he did not throw punches.......I don't care if you are fighting a heavyweight who doesn't throw punches then you don't have to worry about the size advantage because he isn't going to use this advantage. Pacquiao was never challenged in the two incidents where he was going against a bigger fighter....De La Hoya and Clottey......now he will face a challenge......he will be fighting a big, strong, guy who has redemption in his mind.....he has a very good chin and throws a helluva lot of punches. I will admit that Pacquiao's speed is something he has got to deal with.....especially early in the fight......he might get blitzed and hopefully his corner people are smart and aware......they understand their fighter.....they have studied the style of his opponent and made their fighter aware of his opponents tendency to start early and have prepared Margarito for the speed difference and of course the speed difference coming from a lefty.....I think that if Margarito can deal with the speed difference early.......when I say early, probably the first four rounds.....have a good fight plan.....not just throwing punches to be active but throwing the jab to control the distance and take the speed out of the equation.......he has a great chance. If you have a long jab, you can use this weapon to keep speed out of the equation....you can control the guy without getting into the areas of trouble where your opponent can use his speed effectively. Basically what De La Hoya did in his fight with Mayweather.....when he used his long jab he controlled the fight.....when he just walked in and started throwing punches in an undisciplined way......he lost the advantage of being the bigger guy and Mayweather had his way. Using the long jab in the right way....from the outside....you can control the fight and negate any speed difference......If he can do that and go to the body.....there is no better way for a bigger guy to impose his largeness on a smaller fighter than going to his body....then he can be a force in this fight. I also noticed in Pacquiao's fight with Clottey....that's a fight that nobody pays attention because it was so one sided....one guy came to fight and the other guy came just to survive.....I understand all that but I also understand Clottey threw about ten punches the whole night and probably six of them were uppercuts and five of them landed. I was very shocked......he threw few punches but was easily able to land the uppercut.....after the fight Pacquiao's face was bruised and swollen and Clottey looked like he never took a punch.....no one would guess that Pacquiao had only absorbed about five punches the entire fight. I was saying to myself that if Clottey threw more punches he would have had a chance to damage Pacquiao and maybe win the fight. You can bet that Margarito will throw more punches than Clottey.....he will get hit more often too....if he can negotiate these punches and throw his uppercut and he does know how to throw an uppercut......I think he will have early success and as the fight goes on, I think he can begin to control the fight with his size and strength. A bigger stronger guy who throws a lot of punches can be a problem for Pacquiao......we have not seen his weakness...we have only seen the positives because one way or the other......his previous fights have been perfect setups for Pacquiao. Let's say he didn't have to do much to win the fights......I'm really not taking anything away from Pacquaio....however all the fights were with flawed fighters.......all these guys were just perfect matches for him.....De La Hoya was a shot fighter......Hatton was made to order.....Cotto was mentally and physically shot.....Clottey tried to imitate an Everlast heavybag. All these guys were perfectly suited for Pacquaio and almost to the point......for some strange reason were very cooperatively with Pacquiao throughout the fight. Like I have said, these fighters were very, very, compromised in many ways and Pacquiao was able to take advantage of the situations. Margarito is not as compromised in those areas.....maybe in the beginning he will be too soft.....maybe that's where he will be compromised and get caught with a big shot....other than that he is a live wire.....he will be throwing punches and full of determination......he usually handles the first barrage of punches very well and hopefully his corner people have trained him for the second and third barrage of punches which can be a problem. I really give him a chance to not only win the fight but to hurt Pacquiao in the process and maybe even a chance to stop him cold.

DT - Who does Teddy Atlas think will win the fight?

TA -
I going to pick Margarito. I have never been afraid to step out on a limb and take the criticism of picking an underdog.....I a very aware that Margarito is a six to one underdog. I understand that people have established Pacquiao as the solid favorite and will be critical of my judgment in picking Margarito to win the fight......many boxing fans think that Margarito will have trouble as Pacquaio fights in waves, if he doesn't get Margarito in the first wave, he will get him in the second or third wave......I understand why people believe this and have explained the reasons earlier in our discussion. This will never stop me from putting my opinions out there......it hasn't before and it will not stop me now. All I need to know is what I truly believe.......do I believe that the fighter has a legitimate chance.....do I believe that there is a reason this guy can win.....Yes, I really do believe that Margarito will win the fight. I am going to pick him to get through some tough times in the early rounds......it will be like he is in a storm and he must survive the storm.....maybe I will be wrong and it will turn out that his people did not prepare him for the storm that will surely surface in the early rounds. There are ways you can prepare to deal with tangible things.....the tangible things are speed and he comes at you in waves. I know that if I was training Margarito I would be cognizant of the tangibles and prepare him for handling the strengths of his opponent........once we get through the initial waves......then we see if Pacquiao can handle the things we do well. I believe that Margarito will test Pacquiao in the areas that he is vulnerable and this time, Pacquiao will pay a higher price. For the first time Pacquiao will have a bigger stronger guy coming at him and once this guy gets going he will stay busy. I think that if Margarito wins, it will be by hurting Pacquaio and eventually knocking him out. That's my prediction.

DT - Teddy, once again I thank you very much for your time and valuable insight into the Margarito/ Pacquiao which fans can see Saturday night on HBO PPV.

TA -
Anytime David, take care and thanks for helping with the foundation.

Editor's Note: Please visit "The Dr. Theodore A. Atlas Foundation" Click Here (Opens in New Window).

Agree or disagree with this boxing expert......e-mail me with your predictions. Also, later in the day we will have an exclusive interview with the voice of boxing.....Michael Buffer will give us his take on the Pacquiao/ Margarito fight. So check back later today at Doghouse for a second round!

David Tyler.

***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

Doghouse Boxing

Doghouse Boxing

© Copyright / All Rights reserved: Doghouse Boxing Inc. 1998-2010