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Summary

"Of all the people who have affected my life and influence the choices I've made, none has been more important than my father."

So begins the autobiography of legendary boxing trainer and commentator Teddy Atlas, who grew from the rebellious son of a doctor to a man who embraces, and lives by, his father's values and code.

In this gritty, spellbinding tale, Atlas recounts his fascinating life as a juvenile delinquent on the streets of Staten Island; as a boxer and Golden Gloves champion under the tutelage of famed trainer Cus D'Amato; as a companion to the dangerous, unpredictable Sammy "the Bull" Gravano, up until the day Gravano turned rat and brought down crime boss John Gotti; and as a trainer of champions and contenders, among them 14-year-old Mike Tyson and heavyweight Michael Moorer, whom he led to the crown with a win over Evander Holyfield.

Equally engrossing are Teddy Atlas's accounts of training Twyla Tharp, dancer and choreographer, for her successful comeback at the age of 42; his work with actor Willem Dafoe, preparing him for his role as a concentration camp boxer in the film Triumph of the Spirit; his journey to Poland to choreograph the film's boxing scenes; and his own performance in movies such as Play It to the Bone

In sharing his stories, Atlas reveals the philosophy by which he lives. Like Teddy Atlas - inimitable, tough, honest, and wise - this book inspires. It is about so much more than boxing. It is a story of overcoming hardships, of compassion for those in need, of tremendous personal integrity, and of personal and professional triumph.

©2006 HarperCollins Publishers LLC (P)2019 Teddy Atlas

What listeners say about Atlas

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Gifted storyteller

Gifted storyteller, great to her the book in his own voice. Full of stories, engaging listen. Listened to Teddy for several years, came here off the back of his YouTube show.

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loved it!

brilliant autobiography, teddy's honesty and the fact he reads it himself makes you feel like your reliving his stories with him . a great man I wish I had a teddy atlas in my neighbourhood

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Fantastic

Having Teddy read this himself was fantastic. His insight into boxing is amazing and this candid insight into his life and career was a pleasure to listen too.

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Authenticity

Great book, great story and great man. Excellently narrated by the man himself.
In a world besieged by too many phonies, and in a sport smothered by corruption Teddy is an antidote. Real, raw and unbowed.
Hats off 👌🏻👏🏻👏🏻

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Simply fantastic! .

A great life story well told by the man himself Teddy Atlas.

I couldn't recommend highly enough, especially for fight fans! Thank you Teddy and Peter

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amazing book

very well told and never a boring chapter, highly recommended. any boxing or sports fan will love this

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Great insight into a great guys life.

loved this, he pulls no punches. Just tells it as it is.
I will listen to this again. thankyou Teddy 👍

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Incredible

This audio book is incredible from start to finish. I love Teddy Atlas and the way he talks about boxing and what it takes to me a prize fighter

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Phenomenal

I have been a fan of Teddy for years and more so after listening to this book, it's an engaging listen for any fight fan and gives some powerful life lessons.

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What a book!

I had no real idea who Teddy Atlas was when my friend suggested this book to me.

I knew his name in vague association with Tyson, but that was it.

Even though his life was centred around boxing, this is not a boxing book, I'm not a huge boxing fan myself.

This book made me laugh out loud on more than one occasion, and brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion, neither of which happen very often to me.

Hearing Teddy read it added so much, the emotion in his voice at times.

Having lived a violent life myself in the past, it was great to hear someone else talk about the psychology of certain things that very few understand.

One of the best books I've listened to.

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  • David
  • 05-01-21

Exceptional

I'm a boxing fan, having followed the sport pretty closely from roughly 2000 (when I started subscribing to HBO) to 2015 (when I cut the cord and found HBO's boxing coverage much reduced on its streaming service). In other words, I'm probably a better fit for this book than most, but I think it might appeal to everyone.

Atlas' life (so far) might not have changed the world, but it sure has been interesting. The book contains many, many compelling moments both relating to boxing and not. What he has to say about facing fear probably makes the book worth reading even for the non-fan.

The audio version was released in 2019 (I was surprised to see the book came out in 2006 - not sure why the massive time lag) and read by the author. Atlas is a terrible narrator. I was accustomed to his style from his work on ESPN's Friday Night Fights, but I think someone who's not familiar with him might struggle at first. Here's the thing though - Atlas isn't really narrating his book, he's reliving it. And from that perspective, he's superb. He laughs during the funny parts and gets choked up during the tough parts, and he was making me do the same. I can't imagine the print experience would be nearly as good.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-11-21

Inspiring

Relationship between Teddy Atlas and Micheal Moorer could be a movie by itself! Inspiring material!!

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  • John Canter
  • 12-10-21

Good Tough Guy Becomes Best Boxing Coach

If your tough or atleast think you are this will be a great listen for you. Teddy gives you a look at some reason tough guys and some professional fighters.

His philosophy on life and truth will give you a perspective on things that you cannot have unless you learn it from a guy like Teddy.

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  • H. Speckter
  • 10-10-21

Excellent insight from a boxing maestro.

Few understand the sport of boxing as well as Teddy Atlas. His book is a fascinating story of his life, challenges faced inside and outside the ring, and dealing with adversity like a pro. Excellent insight from a boxing maestro. Highly recommended.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-10-21

Momentous insight from a proper student of Life.

This book will touch you, not in a creepy unwanted way...but in a friendly shaking way that'll wake you up to a probably neglected part inside. Through some raw events glued together with the greatest qualities of trust, loyalty, hard work and timeless values you will be left as a better fighter in your life, for your life. This geezer will knock your socks off, blow your mind, and then you'll thank him for the privilege.

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  • Frank Daugherty
  • 29-09-21

The Last Respectable Person in Boxing!

maybe not the last one. But certainly one of the very very few during some very dark years of boxing. I followed his career as it was unfolding. So it was very interesting to me to hear what he was going through at the same time. because a lot of the decisions from a business standpoint didn't make sense. But from an ethical standpoint Teddy's life is a case study and ethical or moral behavior.

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  • Jer
  • 09-09-21

great motivational book for boxing and life

I loved it. The Best part was that it was read by Teddy, and commentary from 2019 about the book(2006). I actually chose this book because it was narrated by teddy over mike Tyson's Cus D'amato book because his book was narrated by some actor. It was really good and definately worth a listen. As a fan of boxing, the book was everything I hoped it would be.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-08-21

Warning: You will cry and you will laugh

I've been a boxing fan for years. Anyone who has watched boxing enough has seen Teddy Atlas and his infamous antics in and out of the ring. He has always struck me as a stand up guy and one of the few people in the boxing world to really accept and show interest in MMA. As someone who has trained in boxing, BJJ, and Muay Thai, Teddy serves as a boxing olive branch for me.

Hearing his story told in his own voice gave me a surreal experience. There were many experiences I related to that made this book very emotional for me. I'd encourage anyone to give it a listen (boxing fan or not). Give his podcast a listen also. "THE FIGHT: with Teddy Atlas".

RIP Dr. Atlas

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  • stickenmove
  • 12-08-21

Story of a legend

A legend, sharing his story and his philosophy. A member of the greatest coaching lineage of the United States. It sounds even better in his classic Staten Island accent.

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  • Adan
  • 04-08-21

captivating!

Teddy Atlas does a great job narrating his book. It's full of real his real life stories, it can be gritty and raw at times but that's what makes it great, because you know it all true.