Saturday, February 25, 2012
Atlas: No more training, maybe forever
By Michael Woods
ESPN analyst Teddy Atlas, who shined up Alexander Povetkin the last two and a half years and helped get the Russian a title shot, in which he won the vacant WBA belt, against Ruslan Chagev, told ESPN New York that he is done training, maybe for good.
Atlas and Povetkin parted ways before Povetkin's second title defense, which took place in Germany Saturday night. Povetkin had come to the US to train with Atlas before, but this time around, said he didn't want to. He has said it came as a surprise to him when Atlas said that he couldn't and wouldn't bolt his ESPN duties to travel to Russia to get Povetkin ready to fight cruiser champ Marco Huck. So Alexander Zimin was in the corner of the 32 year-old Povetkin in Stuttgart, and let's just say that without Atlas, Povetkin looks...like he needs Atlas.
Povetkin (24-0) came thisclose to being dropped and stopped in round 12, and escaped the arena with a majority decision. He admitted after that he undestimated Huck, now 34-2.
Atlas assessed his showing after. "He looked horrible," he said of the "winner," who was gulping for air from round four on. He said the ref Luis Pabon, who broke the boxers when they got close to each other, helped Povetkin immensely.
Atlas has admitted he took the split to heart. Will he train again, or just stick to TV duties? The trainer of two heavyweight champions (Michael Moorer and Povetkin) answered, "I'm not training. I turned down a good prospect. Forever? Feels like forever. I never want to put everything into a fighter and get betrayed (again)."
Is there any chance the two could re-unite? Povetkin has professed surprise that Atlas didn't work with him this time, and says that he thinks nothing but the best of the American. But I'm guessing that Atlas is over this drama and even a visit from an on-bended-knee Povetkin wouldn't sway him...