Friday, February 24, 2012
Teddy Atlas won't watch Povetkin-Huck fight
By Michael Woods
Russian heavyweight Alexander Povetkin (23-0 with 16 KOs; age 27; from Serbia, lives in Berlin) will fight cruiserweight champion Marco Huck (34-1 with 25 KOs; age 34 ) on Saturday in Stuttgart, Germany. If you are so inclined, you can watch the WBA titlist do his thing on EPIX, the premium cable network which is streaming this scrap, as well as next weekend’s Wladimir Klitschko-Jean Marc Mormeck clash on their website.
I know for a fact one person who will not tuning in. Povetkin’s former trainer, Teddy Atlas, who worked with the boxer for more than two years, and exulted with him when he beat Ruslan Chagaev to win the vacated WBA strap. Povetkin defended the crown against oldster Cedric Boswell in December, and then the wheels came off the bus.
Atlas says that it was made quite clear that when Friday Night Fights is in season, he can’t and won’t take time off to do training camps overseas. He says that Team Povetkin was made aware of this non-negotiable, and agreed to it. But then they surprised him by asking him to come to Russia to train Povetkin for this Huck scrap. He said nyet, and they didn’t budge, so a happy story turned sour. Atlas had taken a liking to a young man he took to calling “Sasha” and it is evident he has been stung by this turn of events, which Team Povetkin characterizes as a matter of miscommunication.
“Will I watch the Povetkin-Huck fight? Nah,” Atlas told me. “I feel so betrayed, I don’t want to watch. I feel bad not for me but for my family. This is no pity-party with me. It was a real nice ride for two and a half years, and there’s no opportunity to see it through. Hey, I’m no angel, I’ve been no angel in this world. But to keep your word, I just wish a simple thing like that would be honored.”