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Teddy Atlas Questions Mike Tyson's Status as an All-Time Great

Hall of Fame trainer Teddy Atlas has sparked controversy in a recent interview by questioning whether former undisputed heavyweight champion Mike Tyson deserves to be considered an all-time great in boxing.

Tyson, known for becoming the youngest boxer to win a heavyweight championship and the first to hold the WBA, WBC, and IBF titles simultaneously, was mentored by Atlas during his early years under legendary trainer Cus D'Amato. However, Atlas was removed from Tyson's camp in 1982 following a confrontation where he accused Tyson of inappropriate behavior towards a female relative.

While Atlas acknowledges Tyson's exceptional skills and power, he expressed doubts about Tyson's overall greatness. On the Lex Fridman Podcast, Atlas stated,

“I don’t know if he was ever great. I know he was sensational...I don’t think you can be great unless you have all the requirements of being great.”

Atlas emphasized the importance of not relying on opponents' weaknesses and overcoming challenges, citing Tyson's upset losses to Buster Douglas in 1990 and Evander Holyfield in 1996 and 1997 as examples where Tyson failed to demonstrate these qualities.

According to Atlas,

"A fight is not a fight until there’s something to overcome...Mike Tyson was only in five, six fights in his life. The fights where there was something to overcome, he didn’t overcome it."

Atlas's remarks have sparked a debate among boxing fans about Tyson's legacy in the sport.


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