- April 17th, 2008
Status: ESPN 2 boxing commentator. World class trainer.
DOB: July 29, 1956 In: Miami, FL
Childhood Heroes: “Fran Tarkenton, Willis Reed.”
Favorite Movies: “The Godfather. Mr. Smith Goes To Washington – a movie my father told me about. He liked it. A person that’s committed to do something and everyone was against him. He showed a lot of passion in what he believed.”
Favorite TV Shows: “Soap used to make me laugh. Crazy show. All kinds of nuts in there. Cheers.”
Musical Tastes: “Old music, where you can understand it. Says something. Nice melody. Like Ray Charles singing America The Beautiful. He sang it with such passion, emotion. Bobby Darin – Beyond The Sea. Whitney Houston – The Greatest Love of All. That kind of stuff.”
Early Boxing Memory: “I remember the first time Tyson came to the house. We’d seen him in the gym and already decided he’d come live with us after he got released on parole. He was spending his first weekend on good behavior, trying to impress everyone. We were at this big oak table, full of food. The table was so heavy, it would take two people to move it. He was saying, Yes sir, No sir and all this crap. We knew it wasn’t real. He already showed he could punch like hell. That’s all that mattered to Cus. Camille (Ewald) asked him to get a fork or spoon, which was behind him. He turned so quick – to show his obedience – his thigh was stuck on one of the divisions of the table. He picked up the whole thing. It was just funny to see everyone’s reactions. Camille was going, Oh my God! Tyson was covering his face in shame, like he did something wrong. Cus was going, Look at that power! He don’t know his own power! I’m watching all this like, look at these nuts.”
Favorite Meal: “Spaghetti and meatballs.”
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: “French vanilla.”
Pre-Fight Feeling: “Depends on the guy. Depends on the circumstance. How the training went, and who we’re fighting. It’s relative. You always feel like you did everything. Fully prepared, done the homework – then you feel a confidence. You’ve done everything you can.”
Greatest Sports Moment: “My children, and being lucky enough to have Michael Moorer beat Evander Holyfield and having my children there. When Michael Buffer said, …New…” It had made worth and valid 19 years of doing things and working in the business. I did things that cost me personally, like Tyson and Lalonde. It validated all of that. Glad it happened. In the 12th round I said a prayer to my father. Privately.”
Most Painful Moment: “Seeing Michael Moorer get knocked out by George Foreman. And knowing how hard he worked and that he was starting to find himself as a champion. Starting to actually feel like a champion – which is hard for that kid. And that conspired against him in a way – by fighting harder, he made himself probably more vulnerable in a fight with that particular guy. And just knowing that he was just starting to feel like a champion. And really come together in so many ways. And have it taken away with one punch. It hurt me for him. Just knowing what it meant to him.”
Favorite Boxers To Watch: “I think Floyd Mayweather is a very complete fighter. He’s very complete – mentally, technically, talent-wise, style-wise. I like to watch a guy like Ricky Hatton who fights with that kind of passion. Doesn’t have the most talent of anyone but fighting with that great, great passion. And fighting in front of a crowd that has equal passion. You don’t see that that often – some fighter with that passion – and a crowd behind him with that kind of love.”
Favorite Fights: “Bobby Chacon-Cornelius Boza Edwards. A network fight. Chacon was down, was cut and came back. Great comeback. I like comeback fights. Lamotta-Robinson. Graziano-Zale.”
Favorite Trainers: “Cus D’Amato – of course. My teacher. Freddie Brown – he always talked to me. I liked him personally. He told me, Don’t trust anybody. Make sure you get yourself protected, whatever you do. You deserve to make it. A lot of guys just put a towel over their shoulder. You belong there. It was guidance sort of talk. Inspiring. Jack Blackburn – Joe Louis’s trainer. I read a lot about him.”
Embarrassing Boxing Memory: “I don’t know. Embarrassing…I don’t know. Sorry.”
People Qualities Most Admired: “My father (Teddy Sr.). He was a doctor. Practiced until he was 80, doing housecalls. He charged $8. Sometimes he charged them nothing, but he’d take a cup of tea so they could keep their dignity. He founded two hospitals. At home he’d set up mattresses on the floor for people who couldn’t afford to stay in a hospital. And he was tough. Tougher than any fighter I ever had. At 60 he had a double hernia. Was supposed to be in the hospital for two weeks – he left in two days. But he never talked about it. He treated people sitting on the couch, obviously in a lot of pain. He didn’t talk about much. He’s a guy I didn’t realize how much I learned from. The Israeli army. I know it sounds crazy but always admired them. What impressed me the most is they’d track down people who killed their people. They care about every person that they lost.”
Family: Wife, Elaine; son, Teddy; daughter, Nicole.
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