Teddy Atlas Slammed by Povetkin TrainerWritten by Richard V. Powell
Alexander Zimin, trainer of top five heavyweight Alexander Povetkin, is loath to accept criticism for his fighter's stamina and performance issues and, instead, points his finger at his predecessor, Teddy Atlas.
Zimin asserts Teddy Atlas is far too focused on his commentating career to be an effective trainer for top-level fighters like Alexander Povetkin (24-0, 16 KO).
Well-known and respected in Russia as an elite trainer trainer, Zimin is no stranger to boxing. He coached the former Soviet Union's amateur boxing team and guided heavyweight Nikolai Valuev to championship glory in 2008. A knowledgeable trainer by any standard, Zimin has been a student of the game for over 25 years.
Zimin claims Atlas used Povetkin to further his influence in the boxing world and ultimately for self-promotion.
"With Teddy Atlas, there is too much useless talking and artistry and self-promotion. Not enough hard work," he said.
The Russian trainer also assailed Teddy Atlas for criticizing Povetkin in public.
"I don't think the coach should (publicly) criticize the boxer. If the fighter has a flaw, they should talk about it in private - Especially after you've come to the media and called him a superstar."
Teddy Atlas' alleged effort to keep Povetkin's training sessions private was, according to Zimin, Atlas' attempt to hide is training deficiencies and further his own personal agenda.
"The fact that Teddy Atlas wanted to train Povetkin in total isolation suggests that he is afraid we will see all of his shortcomings as a trainer. He also is not a really a trainer in the U.S., he is only a TV personality."
Zimin says he was not impressed with Teddy Atlas nor was he thrilled when he watched Alexander Povetkin train.
"Since I've been working with the Sports Institute of Physical Culture, we have discovered that boxers need a high intensity workout. They need to sweat, to work hard, to lose weight but this did not happen with Teddy Atlas. "
The Russian boxing mentor added, "Teddy Atlas used a very low intensity workout and also Povetkin spend too much time standing around listening to the translator, about five minutes (in the middle of training). This is unacceptable."
But not everyone agrees with Zimin.
Having trained and guided Povetkin for two years (2009-11), some insiders believe Teddy Atlas should be credited for much of Povetkin's recent success as the fighter was 7-0, 4 KO during those years.
Known for dramatic motivational speeches in the ring corner in between rounds, Atlas also seemingly re-ignited Povetkin after the Russian fighter appeared to have run out of gas in the mid to latter rounds of his August 27, 2011 title fight with Ruslan Chagaev. Despite being hurt on at least one occasion, Alexander Povetkin rebounded to earn a unanimous decision to claim the WBA's 'Regular' Heavyweight title.
In addition to his unconventional means of inspiring fighters during bouts, Teddy Atlas is widely considered one of the most knowledgeable and experienced boxing insiders in the sport today. He trained as an amateur boxer under the late Hall of Fame trainer, Cus D'Amato, later becoming one of his trainee pupils. Atlas also assisted in the training duties and development of D'Amato's prized teenage protégé, Mike Tyson. Years later, Atlas worked the corner of former light heavyweight champion Donny Lalonde, Barry McGuigan and former lineal heavyweight champion Michael Moorer.
Teddy Atlas shares his wisdom and insight as a commentator for ESPN's 'Friday Night Fights'... and according to Alexander Zimin, that's where he should stay.