Teddy Atlas reckons Terence Crawford will retire Manny Pacquiao in their welterweight world title fight.
Pound-for-pound No.1 Crawford is reportedly in talks to face Pacquiao in what will be one of the biggest fights in boxing in the last decade, with the showdown tentatively slated for June in Abu Dhabi.
And Atlas, Mike Tyson’s former trainer, reckons “PacMan” faces a massive task landing his famous straight left hand flush on the fleet-footed “Bud.”
“I’d rather see Crawford with Spence. I’d rather see a young guy with a young guy,” said Atlas on THE FIGHT with Teddy Atlas. “And I think it’s a bad fight for Pacquiao, and I think it’s the last fight for Pacquiao.”
Atlas believes Pacquiao’s advancing years, not his lack of speed, will ultimately prove to be his undoing against the WBO welterweight champion.
He added: “I hate to see him go out that way. I think Crawford is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. He’s got great trainers, he knows how to control distance and shorten up his game and go in there and throw short punches on the inside to hold the trenches if he has to.
“He reminds me of Sugar Ray Leonard, but he was a mean guy when it came down to the fight. Crawford has that streak in him. I think at this point in Pacquiao’s career at 42, but I think it’s the wrong fight for him.
“I know the money has got to be right. If the money is right, it’s going to be in the Middle East.
“They’re looking for a place to put it. It’s going to have to be in Abu Dhabi because the money is going to be there.
“With Pacquiao, he’s so special. It’s not just the money. He’s going to believe he’s going to win the fight because he’s special.
“I just think Crawford is the wrong style, the wrong talent at this point in his life for Pacquiao,” he said.
Atlas, who has also trained the likes of Barry McGuigan and Alexander Povetkin in the past, has stated his belief that Crawford’s ability to control the distance could give him an advantage over Pacquiao.
He continued: “I think he can take advantage of timing Pacquiao.
“Pacquiao was so fast, he’s still fast. He was so quick, not only with his hands but with his feet to close the gap, where he could do things wrong and make them right.
“He could break rules, he could run red lights and get away with it before the car came and crashed into him. I don’t know that he can do that anymore.
“When he looks to run the red lights and start from too far away, Crawford might time him on the way in. There might be a car crash. He might pay for running that red light, whereas in the past, he didn’t pay for it.
“He paid for it once against Juan Manuel Marquez once, and he got knocked out cold. But he came back magnificently after that and had a big part of his career after that. I just think this could be the wrong one [for Pacquiao],” he concluded.