Teddy Atlas is one of the most respected names in boxing. The former trainer had a few amateur fights but never made it to the big time as a fighter due to a back injury. So he turned his sights to coaching and oversaw the training of some huge names in the sport. Namely, Michael Moorer, whom he guided to the world heavyweight title in 1994 and Alexander Povetkin as he was set to take on Wladimir Klitschko back in 2009. Since then he is now a sportscaster, aligned with ESPN.
Known for his wild statements, Atlas has gone after some huge names like Jeff Horn, from Australia, seemingly unnecessarily, but standing by his claims. But now, speaking on the Joe Rogan Experience, Teddy has successfully drawn the spotlight back to himself with sensationalist comments that Mike Tyson was never a great fighter.
Perhaps the comment had something to do with the ongoing feud that Atlas has had with the Baddest Man on the Planet. Atlas had a falling out with a teenage Tyson early in his career after allegedly hearing he acted inappropriately with an 11-year-old relative. Supposedly and outrageously, Atlas put a gun to Tyson’s ear and told him to stay away from his family. Despite making up in recent years, there is speculation there is still an underlying grudge there.
But Teddy went so far as saying Tyson hadn’t won a single “fight” in his career. After saying that he was essentially a coward for hiding from bullies during his upbringing, Atlas insinuated that these traits dogged Tyson’s career in which he amassed some 50 wins. Here are some of his comments: “He used to hide in between walls to not get picked on… I believe when you do that, you’re hiding for the rest of your life. That’s just my belief.”
“I don’t have his record in front of me — and this is going to blow some people crazy — say it’s 50 and five. I would say he’s 0-5… To me, a fight is not a fight until there’s resistance and until something has to be overcome, otherwise it’s just an athletic venture, an exhibition.” Atlas made an attempt to corroborate his outrageous comments:
“Tyson’s talent and physical ability was so great, so overwhelming, that he never got tested. Was there anything inside the warehouse? We never knew… And then five times — or whatever the record was — there was resistance. Five times there was a real fight and something to overcome. And he failed all five times… To be a warrior, it has to be inside you and you have to believe it,” he said. “There are certain things you can’t lie about. The ring is a chamber of truth. When the moment comes and you didn’t intimidate the guy, that’s when the truth matters.”