Saturday, February 23, 2008
Teddy Atlas Picks Ibragimov to Beat Klitschko
Carlos Quintana reaching out to touch someone...
Teddy Atlas appeared as usual on ESPN’s Friday Night Fight series. Brian Kenney ran the show from the ESPN studios while Atlas did his usual bit in the “coaches corner.”
As an amateur boxing coach, I always found Teddy’s commentary very interesting. Of course, he knows his stuff. After a career as a professional boxer, Teddy Atlas went to the late Cus D’Amato’s camp in the Catskills where he helped train and coach Mike Tyson, among others.
Before any fight in the ESPN Friday night fight series, Teddy opines on the “keys to victory” for each fighter. He has a great eye for detail and, if you listen you will learn some unusual things of interest to fight people if no one else.
Bottom line is that Brian Kenney and everyone else was going off on how little chance Ibragimov has to beat Klitchscho tonight in a heavyweight unification bout. The odds are huge against Ibragimov. Teddy shocked everyone by predicting an Ibragimov victory. The reason?
You’ve have to see the Paul William vs. Carlos Quintana fight to understand why. It was a classic short-guy, tall-guy matchup and Quintana broke the 8-1 favorite Paul Williams down as though he were an amateur. Perhaps that was part of the problem. Williams is reported to have had less than ten fights in the amateurs. Don’t take anything away from Quintana, though. Carlos took the fight on short notice and against all advice and did everything a southpaw should do with a guy who was about 2 feet taller. It was real-life Rocky stuff, I’m telling you. Tall guys should watch it to learn what not to do in the ring.
So I had the same thought as Teddy Atlas, though I’m not as brave as he is in predicting an Ibragimov victory. Ibragimov could win though but Klitschko ought to know by now how to handle the sport’s many difficult angles.