Teddy Atlas: If I were Deontay Wilder’s trainer, I’d FIRE myself
By Sean Jones: Teddy Atlas thinks Deontay Wilder needs a lot of help for him to have a shot at beating Tyson Fury in their trilogy fight this year. Atlas doesn’t have high hopes that Wilder’s training team will be able to fix the holes in his game, as they’ve let the flaws exist all this time.
According to Atlas, he would fire himself if he was the trainer for the former WBC heavyweight champion Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) because there are too many things that he HASN’T learned in the sport. All these years, Wilder has been relying on his right-hand power to win his fights, and he’s finally found someone he can’t knockout.
Atlas maintains that if Wilder had the boxing skills to fall back on, he would be in better shape than he is now, but he hasn’t developed his game. For Wilder to learn now what he should have learned years ago, it’s an impossible task.
Given the short period that Wilder has before facing Fury this year, he has little hope of learning enough to win.
How are Wilder’s team going to change anything?
“If I were his trainer, I’d fire myself because I’ve always not taught him,” said Atlas to Seconds Out about Wilder. “I think there’s a lot of things he wasn’t taught before. This isn’t news, and he paid the price for the things he wasn’t taught, something he never learned other than he’s got power.
“That’s [Wilder’s power] not even taught. That’s born, not made,” said Atlas. The power that he’s got in his right hand. Great power, and it makes up for mistakes sometimes. It makes up for errors sometimes, a lot of mistakes.
“But if that’s all you have and you don’t build other things around it, then one day you’re going to be in a situation where it’s not enough. You’re going to pay the price for the things that you didn’t develop, and didn’t learn.
“As far as the question, ‘what are they going to change?’ How are those people going to change anything? If they haven’t taught him up to to this point, how are they going to teach him now? Are they going to wait until he lost to bring out the real artillery?
“Did they wait until he lost to say, ‘Now, I’m going to teach you.’ Really? I don’t think that was in anyone’s plan. That’s not a good one if it was. It’s not too good. If they were going to teach him something, it would have been taught already,” said Atlas.
We don’t know what’s been doing on during Wilder’s training camps for his entire 12-year pro career. Perhaps attempts were made to teach Wilder boxing skills, but they didn’t take.
In other words, Wilder grasped some basic things like throwing right hands, but he’s not learned much else.
Wilder needs someone like Atlas to take over as his trainer, but he’s not likely to make that move.
Atlas advises Wilder to bang Fury’s body
“Take coal out of the engine room. Bang him in the body a little bit. Use that jab. Sometimes when the punches come, here’s something you can learn new. Move your fricken head, hows that?
It wasn’t because of the weight of the costume that you were into the ring,” said Atlas to THE FIGHT with Teddy Atlas in talking about Wilder and his loss to Fury. “It was the weight of the doubt that you carried into the ring.
“Start with that. Start with putting that on a barbell and lifting it an x-amount of times in the gym. And as far as motivation, looking for a thing called redemption. Look in that mirror and be angry, be embarrassed, and be mad. I know he got hit behind the head.
“I know he got hit behind the ear in the third round that threw his equilibrium off. Be one of those who overcome it. You’re ready to be more than just a puncher. A champion and a guy that behaves like a champion” said Atlas.
It would be a good move on Wilder’s part to change things up by targeting Fury’s ample middle. No matter how much training Fury does, he still has a dad’s body and that flabby midsection is an inviting target.
If Atlas is telling Wilder to target Fury’s body, it’s a good idea that he follows his instructions to the letter. Atlas is offering FREE pearls of wisdom without WIlder needing to hire him as his new trainer.
It would still be a good idea for Wilder to sweep out his entire old training team with a big broom and start over with Atlas. The training camp with Atlas would be a giant cram session for Wilder with him trying to learn an entire career’s worth of information in eight weeks.
Deontay needs a delivery system for the right hand
“That’s kind of a big matter,” said Atlas in talking about Wilder needing to find a way to land his right hand against Fury. “Cus D’Amato once told me,’Teddy Atlas, you’d better your guy a couple of delivery systems for backups because a punch is like a bomb.’
“It only has value if you have a way of getting it to the target, even when it’s an evasive target.’ Will Fury live up to his responsibilities to keep his title, and will he do a Ruiz? Three it is, Ruiz. Fury has to make sure he doesn’t do a Ruiz, and Wilder has to do a Joshua.
“I would say there’s less chance of Fury being a Ruiz because of what he’s been through in his life. He’s already been to the other side. He’s not a candidate of you’re Wilder and sit back and depend on him not coming in ready.
“He knows how to win at the moment that the money is on the line,” said Atlas about Fury. “Some people know how to do that, and some people know how to win when the pressure is not there,” said Atlas.
Fury seems to know when Wilder’s going to throw his right-hand bombs, as he’s studied his tendencies. Wilder needs to change his game during camp so that he doesn’t give away when he’s about to throw a right hand, which is his only weapon.
If that’s the only thing that Wilder changes in his game during training camp, it still might be enough for him to land a higher percentage of his right-hand shots. With Wilder’s power, he only needs to land one clean shot on the chin of Fury to put him to sleep.
Did Deontay not train hard enough for the rematch?
“Everyone talks about the 273 pounds that Fury came in,” said Atlas. “The increase in weight, alright? But I just find it curious and interesting that nobody talks about the 17 pounds that Wilder put on. Nobody talks about that.
“Why did he put that weight on? I’m a trainer. It’s like being a detective. Maybe because he dropped him twice in the first fight, and he thought that the extra weight would keep him down this time. But there’s got to be a reason.
“I want to know the reason. Maybe the other reason was, he [Wilder] just didn’t give a damn. And I’m not really saying that. Maybe he just thought that was enough. He had the attitude, ‘I dropped him [Fury] twice.
“I was this far away from having him out of there. All I have to do. I have to train as hard; I don’t have to worry about weight.’ I’m not saying he wasn’t in condition. I’m just saying, ‘I don’t have to worry about other things.
If Wilder purposefully bulked up to 231 lbs rather than him slacking off during camp, then he needs to forget about that idea for the next clash. He needs to trim back down to a sleek 212 lbs because he doesn’t have the legs to carry the added 19 pounds.
Atlas tells Wilder to be ready next time
“All I’m saying in all seriousness is be ready this time to make the right choices, and to fight where you’re not looking for help where you’re on your own,” said Atlas.
“What do I mean by that? If the attitude was, ‘I’m going to land a big punch,’ then you’re not prepared to put the work and to go to battle. To be prepared for the utmost and the ultimate.
“If you just went in there with ‘I’m going to land this and go home,’ then you’re not prepared. Then you’re not ready to do what you’ve got to do. This time you’ve got to be ready. You’ve got to depend on you, not your power.
“That depends on you. If I were his trainer, I’d say, ‘You’ve got to put your own work in there tonight.’ You can’t go in there, depending on your right hand. You’ve got to go in there depending on you because it’s always about you,” said Atlas.
Assuming Wilder is going to stick with his old training team, then it’s not realistic to assume that he’s going to be better prepared for the third Fury fight. As the saying goes, ‘Junk in, junk out.’ If Wilder isn’t getting quality training, then he’s not going to produce great results.
Fury has changed his fighting style
“He [Fury] completely changed himself [for the second Wilder fight],” said Atlas. “He’s a boxer, and he’s not a come seek and destroy the guy. I don’t think he’s a heat-seeking missile, but all of a sudden, he became that.
“All of a sudden, when he had to be that on that night when he was cut [against Otto Wallin], he became that. It wasn’t pretty, but he won. It was gritty. Something clicked in his head, this genius that he is.
“From that, he said, ‘Maybe I should use that in my next fight when I fight Wilder instead of using my legs and dancing around the ring, where I thought I won.’ I don’t know that he won that night.
“I thought Wilder probably won, but that’s OK. A lot of people thought Fury won. He danced around that night, but he still got caught twice and almost got knocked out. Now he said, ‘You know what? Something I did tonight, now I know I can do it, I’m going to use this.’
“This was kind of like a dress rehearsal. I’m going to become a different person, and I’m going to become a different fighter,” said Atlas in analyzing Fury vs. Wilder 3,” said Atlas.
“All I have to do is show up, and sooner or later, this punch is going to land again, and I’m going to go home and celebrate as I have before.’ Maybe he went into it with that attitude.
“Wrong attitude. It’s kind of like one of those game shows. ‘Wrong answer,'” said Atlas.
Fury’s fight against Otto Wallin last year turned him into a slugger. That fight gave Fury the confidence that he stand and slug with Wilder, and that idea worked for him. I don’t know if it’ll work a second time though with Wilder lighter, and better prepared for war.
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