ESPN Disses Teddy Atlas But Keeps Stephen A. Smith

This week it was revealed that Teddy Atlas, long-time ESPN color commentator for its boxing programming, was fired for, if anything, keeping it real about his wack counterparts on the network and the boxing industry in general.

According to Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times, Atlas confirmed this fact via telephone last Wednesday.

 It wasnt my decision, Atlas said about his parting ways with ESPN.

His emphatic lambasting of the judges who scored the Manny Pacquiao vs. Jeff Horn bout in Brisbane, Australia back in July set off a blitzkrieg of Atlas-isms that extended to ESPN’s latest fight, where Vasyl Lomachenko stopped Guillermo Rigondeaux at the end of the sixth round.

Atlas has served as a commentator for ESPN for 21 years, back when ESPN 2 had the classic Friday Night Fights format. Now that promoter Top Rank has an exclusive deal with the network, Atlas – along with his last boxing training client, former world champion, Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley – served as the ringside color commentary crew.

Where Bradley was the boxer with the inside athletic perspective, Atlas was the intensely colorful analyst that spoke from a veteran trainer’s experience, with a surly, old-school delivery that has become his recognizable trademark. 

This was something that ESPN counted on for decades and part of what makes Atlas a bonafide star. Boxing fans loved his commentary, and his sense of altruism for pugilism never went unnoticed as the guiding principle for his on-camera rants.

Enter Stephen A. Smith, a basketball and football newsdesk jockey that has a deep love for boxing, as many men do within communities of color. When it was finalized that boxing was returning to the network with the high-level stable of Bob Arum’s Top Rank, Smith admittedly begged for the job. As a polarizing figure to play off Atlas, he was given the gig, despite his limited knowledge of the boxing game, its fighters or its insider culture. 

Stephen A. Smith and Teddy Atlas go at it over Floyd Mayweather’s performance | SportsCenter | ESPN

Stephen A. Smith and Teddy Atlas go at it over Floyd Mayweather’s performance in his TKO against Conor McGregor.

It is why Smith played himself royally when broadcasting the Manny Pacquaio vs. Jeff Horn fight when he referred the Horn’s former opponents as “nobody’s” and even Horn as an insignificant fighter himself. However, he didn’t take it to the next level like Atlas did and actually tell Horn himself that he was gifted a decision victory by the judges that he didn’t deserve. This re-ignited some bad blood with the network that he had been suspended from in the early 2000’s for threatening a crew member and confronting a boxing director for showing favoritism to promoters.

Atlas is the same guy that notoriously shot a gun off by a 15-year old Mike Tyson’s ear after he messed around with his 11-year old female relative. He was immediately fired by former Tyson trainer Cus D’Amato and banished from the Catskills Boxing Club. These types of war stories along with his success with former heavyweight champion Michael Moorer and Tim Bradley made Atlas the man we all love in boxing. 

WATCH- Teddy Atlas Trains Timothy Bradley

Tim Bradley Is Ready

His consistency in broadcasting always felt authentic, and to dismiss him in any way in the sport is a borderline anathema.

Still, after a heated on-air debate with Smith over Rigondeaux quitting against Lomachenko and other commentary ESPN felt berated the boxing authorities, promoters, fighters, and other ESPN commentators, he was let go by the network.   

This is a huge fail by ESPN as Bradley’s commentary, although informative, is flat and Atlas, although just as much as a bloviator as Smith, at least knows his boxing history and has a uniquely passionate perspective.

The other networks like HBO, Showtime and the coterie of channels serviced by Premier Boxing Champions would not suit Atlas well, as it is hard for him to be fake and they definitely show extreme favoritism to the promoters they purchase broadcast licenses from. 

Although Atlas is a tough pill to swallow, ESPN should rethink this move, especially when you are keeping extreme boxing laymen like Smith, who serve more in an annoying, disruptive capacity than an informational one.       


Related Articles


  1. The other day, while I was at work, my cousin stole my apple ipad and tested to see if it can survive a twenty five foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now broken and she has 83 views. I know this is entirely off topic but I had to share it with someone!|

  2. Thanks for some other fantastic article. The place else could anybody get that kind of info in such an ideal method of writing? I’ve a presentation subsequent week, and I’m at the look for such information.|

  3. I do trust all of the ideas you have presented for your post.
    They’re really convincing and will definitely work.
    Nonetheless, the posts are too brief for novices. Could you please extend them
    a little from subsequent time? Thanks for the post.

  4. I was suggested this website through my cousin. I am no longer positive whether or not this post is written by means of him as nobody else recognise such specified approximately my difficulty. You are incredible! Thank you!|

  5. Great goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you’re just extremely wonderful. I really like what you’ve acquired here, really like what you’re saying and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still take care of to keep it wise. I can not wait to read much more from you. This is actually a wonderful site.|

  6. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates. I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.|

  7. Hi, constantly i used to check weblog posts here in the early hours in the daylight, since i like to find out more and more.|

  8. A motivating discussion is definitely worth comment. I do think that you ought to publish more about this subject, it may not be a taboo matter but typically folks don’t speak about such topics. To the next! Many thanks!!|

  9. Hey, what about deals from Restonic & PEPS ?

    Peps is a name synonymous to the quality that comes with India’s top selling spring mattresses. Started with a vision to help India and the world to sleep better, Peps today is at the forefront of sleep innovation and have highest mattress sale.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.