Atlas lured out of retirement to train Bradley

Thu Oct 22, 2015 5:38pm EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Boxing guru Teddy Atlas had to think long and hard before he finally decided to come out of retirement as a trainer and help prepare Timothy Bradley for his WBO welterweight title defense against Brandon Rios next month.

It had been more than four years since Atlas last worked as a trainer, acting as cornerman for Alexander Povetkin when the Russian won the vacant WBA heavyweight championship title in 2011 before their relationship soured and they parted ways.

For Atlas to be tempted away from a successful career as a boxing commentator, he first had to be convinced by his attorney daughter, Nicole, and then had to ensure he would be working with a boxer he could respect both in and outside the ring.

"I have a good job in broadcasting and the big difference is that nobody can talk back to me and I don't have to worry about who wins," Atlas, 59, told Reuters in a telephone interview.

"And that's always a big worry for a trainer, so I said to my kids, I'm not coming back to train and be around somebody that I don't enjoy being around ... who I don't think is a decent person.

"And I found Timothy to be as decent a person as I could find. I spent time in his house, saw him as a family guy. I also saw him in the gym as very coachable."

Atlas, who has worked as a boxing commentator for NBC's coverage of the last four editions of the Olympic Games, started out as an amateur boxer under the guidance of Hall of Fame trainer Cus D'Amato in the Catskills of New York state.


Undefeated WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley of the U.S. waits for the start of a round of his title fight against Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada April 12, 2014. REUTERS/Steve Marcus