Longtime ESPN boxing analyst Teddy Atlas has confirmed that last weekend's removal from calling live ESPN boxing events will be permanent.
There were countless questions on social media last Saturday, regarding Atlas' absence from the ESPN televised card from The Theater in Madison Square Garden in New York City - headlined by WBO super featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko stopping Guillermo Rigondeaux in six rounds.
Atlas has been calling fights on ESPN for 21 years and has at least 2-3 years left on his existing contract with the network.
Last week's broadcasting duties were handled at ringside by newly hired analyst Mark Kriegel, network veteran Joe Tessitore and former world champion Timothy Bradley.
Atlas confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that it doesn't appear that he'll be back to calling live fights for ESPN.
"Doesn't look like it, at least from what I understand is the decision," Atlas said to the paper.
"It wasn't my decision. I can't really talk about it [more] because I'm under contract. I always try to be up-front and honest. I'm not able to speak about it. I don't mean to be vague or be to the point, because that's what I like to be and always try to be, whether people like it or not.
"It wasn't my choice. I've appreciated the 21 years I've been at ESPN and the opportunity I've been given, and I appreciate the opportunity the fans have given me. I still have three more years of a commitment to a company that's been good to me. I'm looking to fulfill my commitment and be true to that. I wish I was able to speak more on it, but I gave my word that I wouldn't."
Atlas has always been an outspoken figure on the network and some of his statements have been controversial.
Sources close to the network told the LA Times that Atlas' behavior during two of their broadcasts was the final straw and led to his removal.
Apparently, ESPN was not happy with Atlas wild eruption during Jeff Horn's disputed victory over Manny Pacquiao in July. Atlas even questioned the validity of the victory during Horn's post fight interview - which created a very awkward situation.
And then last month in Fresno, as part of the Top Rank event headlined by Jose Ramirez, Atlas engaged in an argument with Kriegel and questioned his credentials.
"They gave [Atlas] a bunch of chances," one official said to the paper. "The Fresno show was terrible. He was terrible to Kriegel and it was the straw that broke the camel's back."
Last week, Atlas was used in-studio for some of the pre and post fight features for Lomachenko-Rigondeaux.
According to ESPN executive Stephanie Druley, the network will continue to use Atlas in that type of role.
"Teddy's expertise and knowledge of boxing is unparalleled and he will continue to be a part of our boxing coverage. As we embark upon a new approach with boxing, we are also going to utilize different talent lineups. For example last week, Teddy contributed a feature on Vasiliy Lomachenko; he will continue to contribute to boxing across our platforms."