Teddy Atlas isn’t in favor of the aging 42-year-old superstar Manny Pacquiao tangling with the unbeaten WBO welterweight champion Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford because he thinks it’ll be the last match of the Filipino star’s career if he takes this fight.
Atlas is really high on the 33-year-old Crawford despite him never fought any of the quality welterweights since he moved up to 147 in 2018.
As Keith Thurman points out, Crawford is untested at welterweight, and he’s 100% right unless you consider Amir Khan, Jeff Horn, Jose Benavidez Jr, and Egidijus Kavaliauskas as serious tests.
What Atlas is focusing on in giving a dire prediction for the former eight-division world champion Pacquiao in a fight with Crawford is the inactivity.
Manny hasn’t fought since his narrow 12 round split decision win over ‘One Time’ Thurman in 2019, and that was a hard enough fight as it is against a deteriorated WBA champion.
That was a huge win for Pacquiao’s career over Thurman, who some boxing fans used to believe was the #1 welterweight in the division after Floyd Mayweather Jr retired in 2015.
Pacquiao could be fighting for the final time
“I think it might be the last fight for Pacquiao,” said Atlas on his Teddy Atlas site. “I think it’s a bad fight for Pacquiao. And I hate to see him go out that way.
“I love both guys, I think Crawford is pound-for-pound right now, the best fighter in the world,” said Atlas.
You’ll get a lot of boxing fans that would vehemently disagree with Atlas about his view of Crawford being the #1 fighter in boxing. That’s an outdated view that Atlas has, and it sounds like he’s parroting what a casual fan said.
Crawford is a good fighter, but he may not even be the 3rd best guy in the 147-lb division at this point.
This writer rates the top welterweights as follows:
1. Errol Spence Jr
2. Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis
3. Vergil Ortiz Jr
4. Shawn Porter
5. Keith Thurman
6. Terence Crawford
You can argue that Crawford isn’t rugged enough to beat Spence, Ennis, Porter, Ortiz Jr, or Thurman. Crawford is a good fighter in a way that reminds this writer of Jorge Linares. Terence is technical like Linares, but neither of them is rugged.
“I know Canelo is up there, I know Spence is up there. For me, I have Crawford,” said Atlas.
“I mean we can only go by where we feel, what our taste is. For me, it’s Crawford. He can fight inside, outside. He carried his power, he went up all these weight classes.
“Three weight classes, I believe. He carried his power; he got great trainers,” said Atlas.