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Teddy Atlas Is A Bit Of A Rockstar

Michael Woods

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The intensity of Teddy Atlas, it isn’t for everyone. Everyone can’t handle it. That NY edge, those Manson lamps, that Vince Lomabrdi-Knute Rockne tinged surges of passion can be off-puttong to someone unaccustmed to the Staten Islanders’ manner, be it in person or on TV, where he calls fights for ESPN.

Or, for that matter, inn the gym, or in the ring, when he’s going back to his roots, as a trainer, not a talker. He’s in the 1%, intensity-wise, and for thta I say, bless his soul, because it is that trait which makes him a pitbull of philanthropy.

Tomorrow night, he will convene over a thousand people—shhh, don’t tell the fire marshal, it’s for a great freakin’ couse–in Staten island, his home base. It is a fund raiser, the 19th annual, to raise dough for the Dr. Theodore Atlas Foundation. That body serves to give a hand, or two up to people who so shamefully fall in between the cracks in our land of plenty. When the big insurers or those bigwig charitable organzaitions don;t return calls, or turn down a family in need to protect their bottom line, it is Atlas’ foundation which builds the wheelchair ramp..or buys the chair…or does a dozen other things to keep good souls slammed by fate from drowning.

The task can be draining. Atlas (pictured above with attorney and Foundation board-member Keith Sullivan) left me a voice message. “I’m dealing with a lot of crap and shit, excuse my language,” he admitted. There had been a pullout…a big-deal personality had been heavily promoted to attend, for a long spell. But the personality was not going to show…

“I’m not in love with that..but sometimes we gotta deal with things we’re not in love with, right? I like to keep my word, I promoted that person was gonna be there, to the people who will be attending. But we’ll be alright, there will be plenty of other people. Someone always picks it up, in a great way. Like Timothy Bradley. He’s in California, and he’s working for trueTV Friday, in las Vegas, TV. He wasn’t going to be able to come..but his wife called yesterday, said he’s flying in tomorrow afternoon, coming to the dinner. He’s coming anyway, because that’s who he is, that’s why I’m training him…He will fly out the first thing Friday, with me, because I’m working for ESPN for the Cotto-Canelo fight. Timmy didn’t have to do that. But that’s why I’m training him, because he has that kind of character.”

Like I said, that intensity, it’s not gonna be able to be processed by everyone. But that same intensity is what keeps the fire marshal—shhhh, he’s a friend of the Foundation—at bay. It’s what makes Atlas the pound for pound top philanthropist in the boxing sphere, and why his manner is to be appreciated and lauded, by everyone.

Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of TheSweetScience.com from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.

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