Somehow, Stephen A, Smith was not the loudest person in the room after the Canelo-GGG fight. Teddy Atlas is just as upset about the Gennady Golovkin-Canelo Alvarez draw as you are. Actually, no, he’s significantly more upset about it than you are.
Even if you’re furious that the two fighters drew according to judges, you’re not appearing on national television saying the entire sport of boxing is broken.
Atlas appeared on SportsCenter and was asked after the fight for his reaction, and he straight up said the sport is corrupt. “When you have that kind of closeness between the people making money and the people administrating the sport, there’s a landscape for corruption,” Atlas yelled.
“Corruption in boxing,” Atlas said. “Follow the money And one one else is going to say that in boxing and some people are going to be very upset. And I don’t care. I don’t care if they’re going to be upset.”
Atlas was upset but calm in the segment.
“Boxing doesn’t honor the things that it should honor,” Atlas continued after an extended metaphor about the ocean and a log. “It honors money. Power. Control. And there’s only certain power brokers in boxing. Certain promoters. And they have the power.”
You can tell Atlas is worried about the sport, and its fans.
“That’s the problem with this sport,” Atlas said. “People will be satisfied to a certain extent. But people will be sickened and will say ‘I can’t continue to love something that doesn’t love me back.’”
It’s a great line, and it was delivered perfectly. But then ESPN upped the ante by bringing Stephen A. Smith into the picture.
Smith actually told Atlas to “calm down” at one point, but Atlas was on a roll. He wants oversight in boxing and argued that the judge that scored the fight for Canelo will be working again very soon. Smith called the result “bogus” and said the judge “should be exiled” but that the fight was entertaining and fans should be happy with the result.
“This sport did not cheat me tonight,” Smith argued. “That referee — that official — cheated the hell out of us.”
The argument is interesting, sure, but it probably won’t change much. After every close fight there is an unsatisfactory explanation for its result. But as long as the fights keep getting lined up, people will watch no matter how “bogus” the result.