Atlas: Shouldering Boxing’s Sins

By Joe Masterleo on September 18, 2017
Atlas: Shouldering Boxing’s Sins
A quick study of visionaries reveals them to be preponderantly outspoken male mavericks.

Neither a saint nor a martyr, and very much the self-admitted sinner, he has boxing’s number—big-time…

“Being the soothsayer of the tribe is a dirty job, but someone has to do it.”—Arthur St. Maarten

A quick study of seers, prophets and visionaries in any culture or era reveals them to be preponderantly outspoken male mavericks who live “on the edge of the inside.” Often wildly expressive and mistaken for loose cannons, such characters never mince words when it comes to the status quo, or directing them fervently to the self-satisfied powers that be. Speaking truth to power, often brutally, is their specialty. They can’t help themselves, it’s the way their wheel turns, and that for which they were made. Usually rough cut, sometimes rude and crude, they are quick to anger and outrage. That’s because they see, carry, feel and agonize over the dark-side of a given system that others cannot. And at any cost, they won’t be muffled or stifled.

Living “on the edge of the inside” means that such individuals can’t be at the center of any social or institutional structure. And without question, they can never fully be insiders lest their balanced vision of whole be eclipsed. Seldom popular, it’s often a lonesome place, for what’s right is not always popular, and conversely. To be part of any effective solution, they cannot be invested in any part of the problem in a self-serving way. Neither can they throw rocks from the outside. Rather, they must first pay their dues by being educated and attuned INSIDE a given system, knowing and living the rules BEFORE they can critique what is non-essential, or not so important in the grand scheme of things. Only with great respect for and a thorough understanding of the rules can these characters know how to properly revise, reorder or break them for the sake of a greater purpose or good. At all times, they are laser focused on the betterment of the whole. 

This person’s greatest weapon is to critique a skewed system by citing its own documents, constitutions, heroes or principles against its present practice—assuming there is any semblance of same remaining, or extant. Their secret? Systems are best unlocked from the inside, and at the top, assuming insiders neither wholly discredit or dispense of them first. Uncompromising in speaking truth s/he knows that ultimately, only truth sets free and creates right. They are the ultimate game-changers who get under people’s skin, who change minds. And in the fullness of time, changed minds change things, barring a prevailing culture of resistance and/or corruption.

Like it or not, love him or hate him, it appears Teddy Atlas is the strident voice on the current scene of professional boxing. If you can, look past the flamboyance, escalating intensities, hyperbole and floridly colorful language—and if you can, the bitter outrage. One cannot be outraged unless they are first hurt, and deeply. Behind all that is a heart that carries and bleeds for boxing’s long-denied dark side, all the while hanging there on its seedy wooden cross. Neither a saint nor a martyr, and very much the self-admitted sinner, he has boxing’s number—big-time. Listen and laugh, or listen and lament. You can’t do both. 

I ask, who else with a voice and a forum is crying out for reform in boxing’s dark wilderness, bearing its grave and weighty sins, irregularities and imperfections?

Go ahead, I’m listening. Hello?

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  1. Harvey boy 02:43pm, 10/07/2017

    Ego driven yes, but right about everything. He forgot more than most trainers know.

  2. Carlos Torres 05:30pm, 10/03/2017

    It is well documented that boxing has a dark cloud hovering over it. Teddy is just reminding us about it. Teddy says it like it is.

  3. Teddy 03:54pm, 09/23/2017

    He’s an ego-ridden a-hole

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