Atlas Steals the Night

By Marc Livitz on November 11, 2017
Atlas Steals the Night
Saturday night on ESPN, we saw that Teddy is as feisty as ever.” (Mikey Williams/Top Rank)

Throughout the years, Teddy has been the subject of all types of scrutiny, such as the fact that he could’ve chosen to kill Mike Tyson in the early 1980’s…

Throughout the past week, cable TV giant ESPN pulled out much, yet not all the stops to promote a night of boxing on its network slated for Saturday night. The telecast itself turned out to be a questionable success, depending on who is asked. However, the fact that a contest for the vacant IBF light heavyweight title was pushed to that of a co-main event was a wise one. When a hometown fighter in Jose Ramirez was the reason the Save Mart Center in Fresno, California, was packed to the vents, there could be no confusion.

For those of us who watched the telecast on ESPN this evening, once it became clear that Notre Dame was headed to a long night against Miami, the commentating crew had a bout of its own for our respective ears to cherish. As the evening’s co-main event, a light heavyweight championship bout between Artur Beterbiev and Enrico Koelling moved from one-sided to no-sided, ESPN’s resident boxing analyst Teddy Atlas had a field day of sorts with guest commentator Mark Kriegel. An author of several books on such sporting legends as Joe Namath, Pete Maravich and Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, Kriegel seemed to rub a nerve in Teddy’s brow as he took it upon himself to lambaste the efforts of Koelling throughout the championship contest.

Although the clash for the vacant IBF light heavyweight crown was up for grabs between two former Olympians, Kriegel failed to understand that styles don’t always make fights when there’s virtually no style present, as was the case with Enrico Koelling. “Why is he not fighting like he wants the title?” he commented, more or less. “This is what he is,” Atlas replied. “Boxing shows who you really are and this European style of fighting doesn’t appeal to American crowds.” Even though Koelling fired back at Beterbiev a few times, Kriegel didn’t seem to comprehend that boxing is only easy in the eyes of the relaxed.

As the conversation continued, Atlas appeared to be at wit’s end when he suggested that they no longer speak to each other during the telecast. Throughout the years, Teddy has been the subject of all types of scrutiny, such as the fact that he could’ve chosen to kill future heavyweight champion Mike Tyson in the early 1980’s. Look that one up. There was also the episode when he worked the corner of heavyweight contender Michael Moorer in 1994 as Evander Holyfield occupied the opposite side of the ring. Moorer won the contest by a close as well as disputed majority decision, yet much of the credit fell to Atlas and not his fighter. Look that one up as well.

In any case, if one cared to observe the commentators on ESPN Saturday night, we saw that Teddy is still well and as feisty as ever. He was sure to mention his respect for anyone who had the guts to step into the ring and fight another individual. There’s more than a few members of the media who should be made to learn this sentiment.

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  1. Bruce Kielty 06:46pm, 11/15/2017

    Can’t ESPN attract and hire some new commentators for their revamped boxing program?  I am tired of the same old faces and cliches.

  2. Harvey 12:50pm, 11/15/2017

    Teddy may be opinionated and loud and often act like a know it all but in boxing he pretty much does. He forgot more than most trainers. coaches know. Listen to the current crop of corner men. Most don’t have the faintest idea. Wanna be tough guy…uhhh wrong. Teddy is a tough guy.

  3. aaron Howell 10:41pm, 11/14/2017

    Stop hating on Teddy you hating bitches. If Moorer would’ve listened to him, He would’ve beaten Foreman’s big slow ass!!

  4. oliver paukson 10:47pm, 11/13/2017

    Mike Curtis, I guess anyone who wins the Golden Gloves can bite, don’t you think?

  5. Mike Curtis 09:41am, 11/12/2017

    Read all 3 books mentioned. I particularly enjoyed the one on Namath, the other two, not so much. Wayne Federman and Marshall Terrill did a much better job on Pistol Pete with the book titled, “Maravich.”  “The Good Son” on Mancini wasn’t that good at all, at best I give it 2 stars **.

    Atlas? I have always found this clown to be hard on the nerves. A wannabe tough guy at best. I remember when little Teddy even tried to intimidate Foreman at the presser before the Moorer-Foreman fight? I kid you not, this scrawny clown was trying to act like he wanted a piece of one of the most intimidating fighters in the history of boxing. George could have knocked out Atlas with a well placed backhanded slap while never leaving his seat if he chose to shut that little doggie up. Atlas is all bark and no bite.

  6. Fan 07:11am, 11/12/2017

    Boxing needs to adjust their ladder valuation about light heavyweighting.

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