Teddy Atlas is out in Cali, visiting his son, who works for the Raiders NFL franchise, and he was kind enough to take time from his visit to Alcatraz to talk a bit about his new venture, which he hopes will bring some new fans to the sport which has lagged in engagement tactics in the last few decades.
The ESPN analyst will start on SiriusXM Jan. 6, doing a radio show with the ultra-classy reporter Tim Smith, who's shined at the NY Times and the NY Daily News. Atlas told me he was approached to do the two-hours-a-week program, which will run on Channel 92, and he likes that “it's another forum for me, where I can express things that need to be said, deal with some things that are wrong in the sport, and the corruption, and what's hurting the sport.”
Yes, those of us who treasure the conniption fits Atlas' unleashes during the inevitable judging episode of corruptitude on ESPN's “Friday Night Fights” are looking forward to hearing Staten Island Teddy, in his unfiltered and hyper-indignant manner throw furious combos at the powers that be which help keep our sport decked out in perpetual black eyes.
We can also expect to hear, he said, positive talk, about how boxing benefits society, is a net plus to the world, which is what I always hammer as well. All those kids falling in between the cracks, some of them get found in a boxing ring, and Atlas and Smith will remind us about those sunny stories.
“Maybe we can educate a different group of people, maybe reach some people who are fringe boxing fans, not just talk about slipping jabs, fighting on the inside, that stuff. Boxing is about people facing things, about not lying to yourself, how to deal with your inhibitions, how to control yourself…and you don't have to throw punches in a ring to get that.”
There will be lobbying, and educating, and humor, and optimism, and the intention to grow the message about his charitable organization, the Theodore Atlas Foundation, which honors his late father the physician, and helps people needing that hand up.
Atlas gets boldface names from outside boxing, the NFL, NBA, Hollywood, all walks of life, to sit on the dais and helps raise funds. We can expect, he said, many of those A listers, who are boxing fans, to come on the show, and talk sweet science with the passionate tutor and role model.
And will we talk corruptitude, Teddy?
“We will touch on which judges should be eliminated from having the privilege of doing that job,” he promised.
Atlas said the folks at ESPN are stellar souls for letting him be unfiltered, speak his mind, because they trust his judgment. So it's not like we should expect a two-times-more unfiltered Teddy on satellite radio. No; but he will be graced with more time, to expand and expound, and won't be constrained by segment spacing as much. You like Teddy on a tangent? This show will be for you.
Good luck getting in the way of that Mack Truck of truth, Tim Smith!
I asked Teddy, for example, if the show started tonight, and a caller asked you if that Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight is going to happen May 2, or heck, ever…what would you say?
“It's not gonna be May,” he told me. “I think Floyd has the upper hand and Bob Arum and Manny Pacquiao have been weakened. I think they will come to the table but that Floyd will wait, pull in more money, maybe with lesser fights, and then, when there's not a lot out there, when his Showtime deal is done, look to possibly get together with Pacquiao and Arum.”
Here is the release the SiriusXM folks sent out today (Monday) to trumpet the new Atlas/Smith endeavor.
Teddy Atlas and Tim Smith Team Up for New Boxing Show on SiriusXM
Renowned trainer and longtime boxing journalist will host “Going the Distance,” along with SiriusXM’s Nabaté Isles, starting January 6
NEW YORK – December 22, 2014 – SiriusXM today announced today that Teddy Atlas, the world renowned boxing trainer and TV commentator, will team up with veteran boxing journalist Tim Smith for a new show dedicated to the sweet science, starting in 2015.
Going the Distance will debut Tuesday, January 6 (6:00-8:00 pm ET) on SiriusXM Sports Zone, channel 92, and air weekly throughout the year. Atlas, Smith and co-host Nabaté Isles will take calls from fight fans around the country, discuss the latest boxing news, preview upcoming matches and interview fighters, trainers and promoters.
“I look forward to this next experience in my boxing life and can't wait to start throwing punches over the SiriusXM airwaves with the greatest fans in the world,” said Atlas.
“I'm excited to team up with Teddy on SiriusXM,” said Smith. “His boxing knowledge is second to none and he brings unvarnished opinions to the airwaves. I’m looking forward to many entertaining, informative and lively discussions with him and with the newsmakers, movers and shakers of the boxing world that will join us for Going the Distance.”
Teddy Atlas is one of the most respected voices in boxing. He has trained numerous world champions – including Michael Moorer, Alexander Povetkin and Shannon Briggs – and has served as a longtime boxing commentator for ESPN’s Friday Night Fights and NBC Sports’ Olympic Boxing coverage. Atlas has been honored by the Boxing Writers Association of America for his work in both fields. He received the Eddie Futch Award for Trainer of the Year in 1994 and the Sam Taub Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism in 2001.
Tim Smith is a former sports writer for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Cincinnati Enquirer and The New York Times and was a sports columnist for the New York Daily News. He also conducted post-fight interviews on ShoBox telecasts on Showtime. In 2005, Smith received the Nat Fleischer Award for Excellence in Boxing Journalism from the Boxing Writers Association of America.
Going the Distance enhances a strong lineup of boxing and mixed martial arts programming on SiriusXM Sports Zone. The channel also features At the Fights, hosted by former heavyweight boxer Gerry Cooney and former NY Athletic Commission Chairman Randy Gordon, MMAjunkie Radio, with George and Brian Garcia, SiriusXM Fight Club, hosted by R.J. Clifford, Steve Cofield, Luke Thomas and Ricky Bonnet, and TapouT Radio!, with Dan Caldwell, Tim Katz and Ricky Bonnet. Visit www.SiriusXM.com/SportsZone for more info.
Follow Woods on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Woodsy1069