All of a sudden, Teddy Atlas has been around a while.

He was a protégé of Cus D’Amato. He worked with a teenage Mike Tyson. He gave memorable corner speeches. He provided the soundtrack to a generation of fans on Friday Night Fights.

And these days, he’s morphed into the senior conscience of a tortured sport.

Now 66 years old, the signature host of “The Fight with Teddy Atlas” podcast is making news with renewed calls for a federal boxing commission in the aftermath of controversial judging in the Haney-Lomachenko fight and equally suspect refereeing in the Romero-Barroso fight.

The petition picked up thousands of signatures within the first 24 hours and the most recent podcast had nearly 136,000 views by Monday afternoon, which prods its creator toward guarded optimism that this call for change might be different than others.

“I'm hopeful. I don't know what to think, but I'm hopeful,” he said. “A little reason to think that maybe this one's a little different is that it's resonating, that it's catching a little bit of fire. 

“People's memories are still long enough, fresh enough to know that this is just the latest. It's not a new syndrome. It's not a new happening. This is just a reminder that it's always there and it's never going to change unless we do something. It goes back to the thing where you say, ‘You can either be part of the problem or part of the solution.’”

BoxingScene caught up with the frenetic Atlas to chat about the recent events in addition to his history in the sport and reflections about his prodigious career arc.

BoxingScene: When you look back at that, how does that make you feel that you've gone through that evolution? Do you ever sit and say, "Wow, I've done a lot of stuff." Are you happy with the arc that you've had? Do you feel like it's been what you wanted to have happen to you?

Atlas: Makes me recognize I'm old. It's like when you're a kid and they make you stand against the wall in the basement and they mark off a pencil mark how tall you are, and then you forget about it. Then years later, you come back, and you say, "Oh, my goodness. Wow. I've not only gotten taller, I've gotten older." Sometimes I don't know how much it should matter what I've done.

I really don't. I really don't. I don't know how to judge that, how to put a metric on that. Then when my children tell me, "Dad, we're proud of you, we're proud of you in the way you've lived your life. We're proud of you and the way that Arum and Co., they pushed you out of boxing. What did you do? You didn't just sit around and obviously, just get angry about it.

You started a podcast that has advertising, that has sponsors, that brings money in, that's got 300,000 subscribers, that's growing and growing and growing. You went and you learned a new sport. You went and adjusted after 50 years in boxing, or close to it. You went and adjusted to a whole new sport.

My son and daughter say, "Dad, that you were able to make that adjustment, that metamorphosis, if you will, and be able to adapt to those things after you didn't get treated may be the way that obviously we would like you to get treated, but the way that most people might think you deserve to be. Again, you went, and you developed to another place, to another branch in your world." When they tell me that, and they tell me that they're proud of me, and also not just the resiliency, but recreating yourself a little bit, it makes me think, "All right, you know what? Maybe I did all right."

BoxingScene: Yes, maybe it's a bit better.

Atlas: Yes. Then they tell me my son reminded me. He said, "Dad, you've been training fighters, you've been in the business over 50 years. You've had dozens of champions you've been involved with, three heavyweight champions you've been involved with. You did four Olympics. You did ESPN. You actually started a new franchise at Friday Night Fights when they were burnt out from Top Rank, and they didn't know if they would continue boxing. They started something new, and you were at the birth of that, and you were the only one who actually was still there for the original crew at the end."

When they tell you that, it makes you retrace things a little bit. It makes you take notice a little bit because you feel embarrassed about thinking about things yourself a little bit. You just feel like that's not really what a man should be doing too much. Then when they do it for you, and then it always gives you permission to look at it and say, "Yes, all right. I did a little bit."

BoxingScene: What metric is better than that? That's as good as it gets.

Atlas: There's that commercial. Remember that commercial? I forget which one started, but it was a theme of commercials where they were going to a ballpark for father and son, and they said, "$20 for hot dogs." Who knows what it is? Whatever. I'm exaggerating, but whatever. "$20 for a pretzel, $20 for a beer, $150 for tickets, $50 for parking." They go through this whole thing.

BoxingScene: Time with your dad, priceless.

Atlas: Time with your dad and memories, priceless.

BoxingScene: Priceless.

Atlas: Absolutely, and that's the metric. That's kind of it. I don't know. I'll just say that hopefully we get there and that I was part of a very collective effort.

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This week’s title-fight schedule:  

No title fights scheduled.

Last week's picks: 1-3 (WIN: Collazo; LOSS: Lopez, Lara, Okolie)  

2023 picks record: 18-7 (72.0 percent)  

Overall picks record: 1,268-415 (75.3 percent)  

NOTE: Fights previewed are only those involving a sanctioning body's full-fledged title-holder – no interim, diamond, silver, etc. Fights for WBA "world championships" are only included if no "super champion" exists in the weight class.  


Lyle Fitzsimmons has covered professional boxing since 1995 and written a weekly column for Boxing Scene since 2008. He is a full voting member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Reach him at or follow him on Twitter – @fitzbitz.