Teddy Atlas is the man touted as being instrumental in moulding Mike Tyson into a future heavyweight champion.
He first encountered him when Tyson was just 12 years old, eventually becoming his first trainer.
However, their relationship ended in an incredibly traumatic encounter when the future ‘Baddest Man On The Planet’ was just 15 years of age.
Atlas appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience in 2018 and spoke of a young Mike Tyson and his upbringing calling him ‘as strong a guy as you’re ever going to see but he was a weak of a person as you’re ever going to find’.
The pair had come at odds during the three years that Atlas trained Tyson, however, one incident, in particular, tipped the trainer over the edge.
Atlas spoke to the podcast host about an altercation that saw him pull a gun out on the teenager after he allegedly sexually assaulted a family member.
He said: “Tyson had gone after a family member who was 11-years-old, a girl, and he had been pushing the boundaries more and more and more.
“His restrictions or care about how he treated other people became less and less.”
“I put him out of the gym for his behaviour in school. What he was doing, threatening students, and basically putting his hands on girls in the hallways.
“He knew how to push those parameters. He understood the streets. He understood those rules, those laws. He understood people in those ways. Under those conditions, what he could get away with it.”
Adding: “Tyson was thinking that he could get away with more and more improper behaviour.
“It pushed it into one day, I come home, and I find out that my wife and sister-in-laws are crying because what he did to an 11-tear-old girl in my family. Took him on his word for the things he wanted to do to the 11-year-old girl, in a sexual way.”
It was then that Atlas decided to make sure Tyson knew the behaviour was unacceptable in a move that ultimately ended their partnership.
Atlas continued: “So I got a gun and went and confronted him. I told him, ‘You made a choice to do this, whether or not you think you’re hurting me or you think you’re sending a message to me. You did send a message to me. You sent a message to me you don’t give a damn about other people, that you don’t care if you behave like an animal’.
“‘You will never do it again. You’ll be dead if you ever do it again. There won’t be a conversation. You won’t be seeing me. You won’t even know that there will be repercussions. You’ll just be gone. Understand that very clearly because It’s important for my family and obviously you.’
“I put the gun in his ear, and he didn’t seem like he understood it at that moment.
“So I pulled it out of his ear and pulled the trigger. Missing him on purpose, and he understood it after that. It wasn’t a threat. It was to make it clear that I wouldn’t have to be in that position again, and either was he.”
Pretty harrowing stuff, which led to Atlas’ dismissal from the Catskill Boxing Club.
Tyson’s own recount of the incident in an interview on In Depth with Graham Bensinger says Teddy pulled out the gun because he was leaving Hall of Fame trainer Cus D’Amato.
Atlas wanted Tyson to join him in New York, however, the future champion didn’t want to leave.
Tyson said: “It wasn’t necessarily because I flirted with his niece or touched her butt or something.
“Teddy wanted me to go back with him. Teddy was leaving Cus, and I wasn’t leaving Cus. He wanted me to come back with him. That’s really, basically what happened.
“I wasn’t leaving to go with him. Leave Cus and go to New York and train. Whatever the situation was. That’s what Teddy always wants to tell people. He wants people to think he is a tough guy, he’s a mafia guy.”
Featured Image Credit: UPI / Alamy. PCN Photography / Alamy.
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