By Rick Reeno
Credible sources have informed BoxingScene.com that Teddy Atlas has been suspended for one-week by ESPN. While the reasoning has not been confirmed, it doesn't take a genius to figure the situation out. On January 18, I wrote a report with respect to a verbal confrontation which took place between Atlas, ringside analyst for ESPN's Friday Night Fight Series, and the network's boxing program director, Doug Loughrey.
The below is a reprint of what I wrote on January 18.
According to one source who was present for the "heated" argument, Atlas confronted Loughrey over allegedly showing favoritism to certain promoters and matchmakers, who were abusing their ESPN connections by taking fighters from other promoters with promises of potential ESPN dates.
Loughrey allegedly told more than one person that Atlas tried to physically confront him during the argument. Loud words were exchanged, but the situation never became physical. The story going around of Atlas attempting to physically attack Loghrey, according to one insider, is nothing more than a swerve to direct the attention away from the actual problem which caused the argument in the first place.
One major promoter, speaking to BoxingScene on the condition of anonymity, says favoritism is nothing new at the network and he's fully aware of how some promoters are abusing their ESPN ties.
"There is a history of corruption in the past at ESPN and Teddy was one of the people who spoke up and when he did - he was penalized for it. There is clearly a difference between corruption, favoritism and stupidity. At the very least, there is clearly favoritism and stupidity in the manner that ESPN shows are given out," the promoter said. "There is a promoter out there right now who is telling fighters that he can get them on ESPN if they sign with him and they can't get on the network otherwise."
Editor's Note: Warriors Boxing, who put together the show in Florida, is not the promoter in question or the promoter of topic which caused the Atlas-Loughrey argument.
And again, while the reason for the suspension has not been confirmed, the fairytale stories of Atlas attempting to physically confront Loughrey, was certainly a catalyst in the decision.
Once again, Atlas, is being penalized for voicing his opinion to better the sport of boxing and to change some of the behind-the-scenes dealings that have plagued ESPN in the past. There is obviously a serious situation going on and Atlas took this hit for reason, because hopefully, some changes are made within ESPN for the better.
One insider told BoxingScene "the situation is only beginning to heat up."