Rafael Chat Notes: Teddy Atlas to train Alexander Povetkin

Current ESPN boxing analyst Teddy Atlas will return to the fight game to train promising heavyweight Alexander Povetkin. (via www.nypost.com)

This week's Notebook from Dan Rafael is, as always, a must-read, but we've discussed pretty much everything in there over the last week. Still, there were a couple of really interesting tidbits from his weekly chat that I wanted to touch on.

James (Boston)

Hey Dan, is it "official" that Teddy Atlas will train Alexander Povetkin? I read that Team Povetkin and Atlas, were to meet to determine if their partnership would be feasible....

Dan Rafael

Yes, Teddy announced on FNF a couple of weeks ago that he will train Povetkin and that Povetkin was going to come to the US to train.

Teddy Atlas hasn't been an active trainer in years. He was approached by Samuel Peter to take over for him earlier this year, but passed on the offer when he couldn't get Peter to relocate to New York from Las Vegas for a camp. Povetkin apparently would be more than happy to come to New York.

I don't say this to downplay anything or crap on Teddy, but I'm not really sure why Povetkin would make a real issue out of pursuing Atlas, or why anyone would. He trained Michael Moorer and Barry McGuigan, plus Donny Lalonde, but he wasn't that successful and he drew a lot of criticism over his active training days. He is, at his best, an outstanding analyst, but this year he's seemed to be slipping.

But to half-argue with myself, I also am not someone that thinks trainers can do much more than what the fighter can do himself or put in. There are obvious times when a relationship doesn't gel (Jermain Taylor and Emanuel Steward), or sometimes you watch a fight and it's obvious the lead trainer is as lost as the fighter (Mike Arnaoutis' dad against Kendall Holt, Brendan Smith coaching Michael Katsidis against Juan Diaz, etc.)

I think trainers in boxing are the same as coaches and managers in any other sport. If the athlete performing doesn't have it, there isn't a whole lot the trainer/coach/manager can do to make the result any different.

Teddy knows the fight game, and if Povetkin is looking for an inside edge on being a better pro as opposed to a great amateur in the pro game, Teddy might be the right guy for him. Atlas has also long been a naysayer of Wladimir Klitschko, which is the fight Povetkin wants next, and he has a mandatory due. If Teddy thinks he knows how to beat Wladimir and can get Povetkin to buy into it, they might be a great match.

Sancho (Ca)

Hey Dan, what does hbo do with the sept 12 date???

Dan Rafael

I am not sure but I heard they've asked about the possibility if Dawson and Johnson could move up from Nov. 7.

I really think this would be a good idea. As it stands now, Dawson-Johnson II is a good fight that will be happening among great fights. Promotionally and in terms of having the fans pay attention, it could get lost in the shuffle between Mayweather-Marquez (Sept. 19), the Super Six (starting Oct. 17) and Cotto-Pacquiao (Nov. 14). Moving it up to September 12 probably doesn't throw either guy off too badly. They can still a good camp in, but I also don't think it's likely unless HBO were able to provide more money on both sides. I mean, they'd be doing HBO the favor, not the other way around.

A few more bits:

  • Rafael says it's not 100% yet, but most likely the Clinton Woods-Tavoris Cloud fight for the vacant IBF light heavyweight title will be on the August 28 Friday Night Fights, where it will share the bill with the 140-pound title fight between sluggers Juan Urango and Randall Bailey. Excellent FNF if that comes together.
  • Dan keeps talking about what a bizarre thing it is that Floyd Mayweather Jr. isn't willing to divulge the weight for his bout with Juan Manuel Marquez, saying it makes it seem like there's something shady going on. As far as anyone can tell, it's 144 pounds. But that's Mayweather for you. He's a weird, insecure guy once you pull back the thin cover that is his arrogance and constant boasting. He doesn't answer legitimate questions, blames everyone he can for whatever he can, and now throws this in. It's sort of like when Bob Arum refuses to allow HBO to release the figures for the Pacquiao-Hatton PPV. The show was a big success but didn't match Arum's boasts, so he oddly chose to make a big issue out of how the buyrates aren't anyone's business. Eventually the contract will become public and people will know the weight anyway. What's the deal?
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