If Trainer of the Year was won solely by amount of intensity put into the job, Teddy Atlas wouldn't ever lose.
The Staten Island, New Yorker is taking another crack at cornering, a couple years after his last foray frayed when his charges' britches got a bit XL, in his estimation, and Alex Povetkin, after a few wins under his belt, started chafing at advice he used to soak in.
On Monday, Atlas started camp in Palm Springs with ace welter Tim Bradley, and the ESPN analyst told me things are starting well, but “there's a long way to go.”
He was kind enough to weigh in on a scrap which has folks salivating, even though mealtime isn't for a couple months.
The Canelo Alvarez-Miguel Cotto tangle: how does Atlas see that playing out?
“At the end of the day, I think Canelo is too big, too young, too strong for Cotto,” he told me. The TV fixture told me that some folks are thinking that Cotto will be the smarter, and faster fighter, and will note that Canelo didn't look super-stellar against Floyd Mayweather. But, Atlas notes, Cotto is not Mayweather. His footwork isn't in the same ballpark, not close. Cotto rooters like the Puerto Rican to out-box the Mexican, maybe out-maneuver him…but Atlas points to Cottos' last three outings.
“His last three have been a mirage,” he told me. “I'm not knocking Cotto, I like him…but Sergio Martinez was a shot fighter, Delvin Rodriguez, great kid, but never been on that level, and shot. And Daniel Geale, he was dead at that weight, under middleweight, older….and he'd submitted before, showed he would do that, against Golovkin. That's not the Cotto that everyone thinks he is now. I'm not buying it. This fight against Canelo will tell me if the last three were a mirage, or Cotto is as good as some say now.”
Staten Island-sharp, that's Atlas; now you talk to us, Forum faithful…what happens in Cotto-Canelo?