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Discussion Starter #1
by TK Stewart

I've been following the ongoing saga with Teddy Atlas and his seven day suspension from his position as a color analyst with ESPN2 Friday Night Fights with a keen interest as to what will come of it all. Incidentally, it's a story that was broken wide-open right here on boxingscene.com by Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Rick Reeno.

If you know Teddy Atlas, you know there's two sides to the man. There's the side that is abrasive and ornery and that would never back down from a confrontation. It's the side that once counted former New York City mafia characters John Gotti and Sammy The Bull" Gravano as close associates. It's the same side of Atlas that once held a gun to a young Mike Tyson's head and also had laid out plans to murder former world champion Donny LaLonde. It's the same Teddy Atlas that has a scar that runs down the entire side of his face - compliments of being on the wrong end of a knife.

The other side of Teddy Atlas is a tireless charitable giver, a husband and father and a man of great integrity. Through the "Dr. Theodore J. Atlas Foundation" named after his father and which he created, Atlas is the head of a charitable organization which helps those who can't help themselves. Atlas sees to it that the needy are cared for, given the basics to eke out meager existences and he does it all without ever expecting anything back. His annual fund raising dinner has grown tremendously over the past several years and as it has expanded Atlas has been able to give more and more to those that need it the most.

Atlas admits that he has a temper that gets the best of him and certainly he has been known to fly off the handle when something takes place that he doesn't agree with. However, Atlas is a man with the best of intentions who more often than not, is acting in to right something that he perceives to be a wrong.

In his 2006 book, simply titled "Atlas" he describes who he is. "I can be sensitive and compassionate and giving to the point where it's almost too much. If somebody has needs and problems, I get moved and affected so much it almost controls me, that's how much I feel compelled to help. At the same time, if somebody acts disloyal, if they betray me, and then try to avoid taking responsibility, if they hide behind the excuses of convenience or weakness or selfishness, I'll go to a place of wanting to hurt them. I'll be ready to give up everything to right what I consider a wrong - even though I know that my response might not be socially acceptable."

Throughout this industry known as boxing it's rare that you find a person with deep moral convictions and an internal code that steers toward truth. For the most part, boxing is a cut-throat business with an every man for himself attitude. Like some sort of drifting ship it lacks a compass - a moral one. Even now, decades after the late, great, fight writer Jimmy Cannon wrote the infamous sentence describing boxing as "the red light district of sports" it still holds true.

I don't know the exact details of what led Teddy Atlas to be suspended from his ESPN position - and it's not the first suspension he has served while working for the network. However, I do know that it's what multi-national corporations do when they need a little time to think things over and sort out a situation. ESPN, of course, is owned by The Walt Disney Company and they don't come much bigger or more multi-national than that.

What I know is that Atlas got into some sort of confrontation with a person named Doug Loughrey who apparently decides what fights get the nod and then ultimately appear on the ESPN2 Friday Night Fights telecasts. Atlas perceived that something shady and under-handed was taking place with Loughrey's decision making process. Whether it was favoritism, poor judgment or something more sinister on Loughrey's part, we may never know. However, Atlas perceived something was amiss and to him it was beginning to reek like a dank sewer.

The long and the short of it is that Atlas spoke up and said something about it.

Now, some people may not agree with Atlas' methods or his approach to sorting out what he sees as a problem, but that's Atlas. He's not a diplomat and he's not the type of person to sit in the backgound and not speak up when he sees something that isn't right.

Everybody knows that Atlas is outspoken and that has has chastised the fighters he has trained and that he has tirelessly lectured to them about the outcome of the choices they make. But what you need to know is that it's something that Atlas did for their benefit in the hopes that it would make them, firstly, into a better person and secondly into a better fighter. Everybody knows that Atlas will criticize a match-up, on his own network no less, if it is poor matchmaking or a bad fight that shouldn't have been made. Atlas is one of the few people that you will encounter in life that has the courage to speak his mind.

Simply put, my experience in the presence of Teddy Atlas has been this - What you see is what you get, and there aren't too many types of people like that around anymore.

Atlas' strong moral fiber has caused him to walk away from situations that he didn't have the power to change or that he disagreed with. He left millions of dollars on the table when he decided to no longer continue training a young Mike Tyson. Atlas disagreed with the manner in which Cus D'Amato allowed Tyson to get away with transgressions and Atlas decided to leave as Tyson's trainer. Atlas also had a long and tumultuous relationship, although very successful, with former heavyweight champion Michael Moorer. But eventually, that became another untenable situation where Atlas decided to leave when he saw that Moorer refused to make the best use of his talents.

Say what you will about Atlas, and many don't agree with his outspoken manner, but the one word that continues to come up when you ask someone to describe Teddy Atlas is "integrity".

Atlas trained actor Willem Dafoe for the 1989 movie, "Triumph of the Spirit" and in Atlas' 2006 biography, written with Peter Alson, Dafoe describes Atlas this way: "Teddy Atlas taught me a lot about human nature through boxing. That world that he loves so much conspired to corrupt and compromise him at every turn, yet he never took a dive. His plainspoken struggle to keep his integrity is heroic...inspiring."

Certainly Atlas did not act to serve his own self interests when he opened up this entire can of worms. Ask yourself these questions: What would Atlas have to gain by getting fired from a plum position with the largest sports network on the planet? What would Atlas have to gain in being suspended and making headlines that he had a verbal confrontation with a fellow employee?

The answer is that Atlas gains nothing personally, except maybe he can sleep through the night knowing that he decided to shed some light into a dark corner.

Strangely, ESPN has been silent regarding this developing situation and it reminds me of the old line, "Cockroaches scurry when the light is shone on them."

The ESPN network proudly calls itself "The worldwide leader in sports."

How they handle this situation will be a good chance to prove it.
 

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Wet Beaver Bandit
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Good read. I would consider Teddy the most UNDER-RATED commentator in boxing. A good PPV fight with Teddy behind the mic would be great.
 

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Boxings Own Living Legend
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Good read. I would consider Teddy the most UNDER-RATED commentator in boxing. A good PPV fight with Teddy behind the mic would be great.
Apart from his quick temper Teddy has oneweak spot He is too HONEST
In a sport riddled with corruption eg suspect officiating, ridiculous judging decisions etc He is doing his best to bring decency and honesty to the sport If the want a man to Lead the new Boxing Commision why not Teddy Atlas
 

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Team Mayweather
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I agree with everything cj just stated. Personally I dont like the guy, theres just something about it, possibly his voice and him yelling all the time when he speaks. Oh well though, im used to him by now.
 

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TRIPLE OG HATER FOR LIFE
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You meant to say he's Brutally honest, yeah that some times will work against you. I hope HBO seizes the opportunity and offers MR Atlas something better, hes way more entertaining than Emanuel Stuward and Lennox Lewis
 

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Team Mayweather
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I dont think atlas would take the side spot along merchant and lampley. I think he wants to be more the center of attention.
 

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TRIPLE OG HATER FOR LIFE
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I dont think atlas would take the side spot along merchant and lampley. I think he wants to be more the center of attention.
Well maybe he can headbutt with both of them, that would be entertaining too, wouldnt it, and if we get lucky he might take a swing at Larry Merchant..:laugh::laugh:
 

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Can you guys imagine the verbal hissy fights Atlas and Merchant would have? Steward usually brushes off Merchants outbursts of disagreements and frustration, but I have a feeling Atlas wouldn't. Someone should make a post about all the painfully akward situations Merchant has caused between himself and other commentators/fighters.
 

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Banned
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Can you guys imagine the verbal hissy fights Atlas and Merchant would have? Steward usually brushes off Merchants outbursts of disagreements and frustration, but I have a feeling Atlas wouldn't. Someone should make a post about all the painfully akward situations Merchant has caused between himself and other commentators/fighters.
I love it when Ledderman reads his card out and when it goes back to the team Larry says "i have it scored"....which always miles away from leddermans card, he must be pulling his hair out after that. :laugh:
 

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Mental Midget
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You meant to say he's Brutally honest, yeah that some times will work against you. I hope HBO seizes the opportunity and offers MR Atlas something better, hes way more entertaining than Emanuel Stuward and Lennox Lewis
yes yes yes.

You guys know i have ben saying this for some time. Teddy Atlas is a great fight commentator, and his honesty is refreshing. The fact that he will criticize his own network for putting a sloppy fight card together that does nothing for the sport was fantastic.

He knows the fight game, hes not biased, and he speaks his mind. What more do you want?

Ive been saying for a while that HBO and Showtime are doig themselves a disservice by not bringing Teddy on. Maybe now they have an opening to go grab him, if hes in fact disgruntled.

Im quite sure Teddy confronted Doug Loughrey about the exact situation he brought up on the air in the broadcast. This is exactly why very few people care about Friday Night Fights. Because they keep airing washed up fighters, bad matchups, and people nobody cares to see. That fact that Teddy has the stones to speak up and chastize the director about these poor decisions, speaks volumes about him.
 

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Mental Midget
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Atlas and Merchant would never get along. Teddy has to be the big dog.
Yeah, but I think he and Kellerman could work okay, and Larry is getting long in the tooth anyways.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
yes yes yes.

You guys know i have ben saying this for some time. Teddy Atlas is a great fight commentator, and his honesty is refreshing. The fact that he will criticize his own network for putting a sloppy fight card together that does nothing for the sport was fantastic.

He knows the fight game, hes not biased, and he speaks his mind. What more do you want?

Ive been saying for a while that HBO and Showtime are doig themselves a disservice by not bringing Teddy on. Maybe now they have an opening to go grab him, if hes in fact disgruntled.

Im quite sure Teddy confronted Doug Loughrey about the exact situation he brought up on the air in the broadcast. This is exactly why very few people care about Friday Night Fights. Because they keep airing washed up fighters, bad matchups, and people nobody cares to see. That fact that Teddy has the stones to speak up and chastize the director about these poor decisions, speaks volumes about him.
One of the biggest problems is that ESPN only forks out $15,000 for FNF. I read about this a week ago and was surprised. Telefutura puts $40,000 into their shows.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I first read that it was 25K, later reading 15. I'm also wondering if the 15 or 25k is just for the purse of total production costs. If it includes production costs, that's not much....especially when you figure what Joe, Teddy, and Brian are taking...not to mention the studio camera crew, the location camera crew, the costs associated with flying in and lodging the studio guest, the cost of flying/lodging Joe, Teddy, the location camera and sound board guys, and the 300-500 each fighter in the 4 rounders are getting in the event both of their main fights end early. Although those guys really fight either way I believe.
 

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TRIPLE OG HATER FOR LIFE
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Yeah, but I think he and Kellerman could work okay, and Larry is getting long in the tooth anyways.
I totally agree that duo would be great, two razor sharp mouths, Merchant puts me to sleep with his long pauses and poetically analitical analisis zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
 

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Premium Member
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Apart from his quick temper Teddy has oneweak spot He is too HONEST
In a sport riddled with corruption eg suspect officiating, ridiculous judging decisions etc He is doing his best to bring decency and honesty to the sport If the want a man to Lead the new Boxing Commision why not Teddy Atlas
I agree with that. I like Teddy my self, he's honest, he's loyal, and he is truly one of the good guys in boxing, even if he beats people up and yells to get his way. His way is usually right.
 
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