One on One with Teddy Atlas

By Brad Cooney


One on One with Teddy Atlas

Boxingtalk caught up with ESPN's Teddy Atlas and got his thoughts on the upcoming June 9th showdown between Zab "Super" Judah vs Miguel Cotto.  Atlas talks in depth about each fighters chances for victory, and gives his expert analysis on the fight.  Atlas also shares his thoughts on the May 5 mega-fight between Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather.

BC - How does Zab Judah beat Miguel Cotto on June 9th?

TA - Zab brings plenty of talent, he's stepped up to welterweight, but Miguel also has stepped up to welterweight, so no advantage there, no guy can say that they are the bigger guy.  Zab will look to use his speed, and his southpaw style, and use his legs.  Zab should fight on the outside a little bit, get in and get out, and try to circle a little bit.  Zab needs to keep Cotto a little bit off balanced, try to make him pay a price on the way in.  He needs to keep him off balanced so that he doesn't set up for his best work, which is downstairs.  I think it's going to be a tough fight for both guys, but for Cotto early.  Cotto will be dealing with a lot of speed, combinations, but as the fight goes on, I think it will be a tough fight for Zab dealing with the pressure and the body attack from Cotto.

BC - If  Zab loses this fight, what does that do to his career?

TA - I think that when you are at the point where Zab is at in his career, already being a world champion, you want to show that you can beat the elite.  You know that you can beat the B level guys, but you want to know that you can still beat the top guys.  He came short against Mayweather, and it's about being back at that elite level, and anything short I think is obviously a dissapointment, there is no moral victory for Zab Judah.

BC - Same question for Cotto.

TA - Well I think he's already respected, and he's showed that he can deal with talented fighters.  I think it's going to be a tremendous notch in his belt if he wins.  It will also give him more time to solitify himself at welterweight, and it will give him time to get his feet under him, and it will give him more confidence at that weight class.

BC - What are your thoughts on the Oscar De La Hoya vs Floyd Mayweather fight?

TA - I think that Oscar needs to behave better as a fighter than he did against Bernard Hopkins.  A lof people probably don't want to hear that, but I don't think he that he performed like a real pro, or showed the type of behavior that we are assustomed to seeing with the top guys in the ring in the past.  You can blame the weight if you want.  We all know he has 200 million in the bank, he's going to act like a guy where the priority is winning, and the priority is his legacy, and nothing less.  Oscar is going to have to have a specific fight plan.  I hear people saying that they should make it into a street fight, I beg to differ with them, what do I know?  I beg to differ with them.  I think that that plays into the youth and speed of Floyd.  I think Oscar needs to come up with something better than that.  Sometimes you look at your opponents advantages, and you forget what your advantages and strengths are.  Oscar's advantages are his reach, size, and height.  Oscar needs to keep it on the outside, where he can use that length, and use that reach, and take speed out of the equation.  If he can keep it in those dimensions then he can use timing, and timing can negate speed.  Keep it at a distance with his legs where he can time Floyd before he gets into areas that are good for him.  If Oscar is consitant with that type of fight, and stay with it all night long, and execute that plan all night long, I think that he has chance to win the fight.

BC - Teddy can the fans get your book on still?

TA - The book is doing well, and the people are being nice enough to buy it.  The book goes to paperback next month.  You can get it at Barnes and Nobles, and Borders, and yes at