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Publisher's 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

Editor's Pick

A fighter-philosopher
"Teddy Atlas has earned his reputation as a soothsayer, troublemaker, and generally controversial boxing mainstay. From training to commentating, Teddy’s done it his way, all the way. What I love most about this listen is his unflinchingly honest criticism of boxing promoters and their ruling bodies. He’s an ardent advocate for the fighters as well as the purity of the sport—even when that loyalty has come at great personal cost. There’s tons of appeal for self development fans, too, in Teddy’s hard-won life philosophies stemming from his troubled youth and stellar career."
Sean T., Audible Editor

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What listeners say about Atlas

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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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A+

Loved it was intrigued from beginning to end. Just my latest purchase of atlas products. His courses are great as well.

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Fabulous, and I don't follow boxing

This is a great book, told honestly by the author. The best memoir I've ever read. I can't recommend it enough.

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testament to human will and perseverance

Great book , from a great man unbelievable story couldn't stop listening. A great book for anyone going through hard times or feels hopeless and needs inspiration

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Love this book!!

Teddy is such an inspiration. One of my favorite books. Every athlete should read this book. I can’t believe what a drama queen Michael Moorer was. I don’t how teddy dealt with him that long.

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One of a kind story, for a one of kind life.

Couldn't stop listening. Teddy telling the story himself makes it all that much better.

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Great stories and insights

Great to hear Teddy Atlas’ story from the hall of famer himself. Loved all the life stories and his insights into a fighters psyche and his coaching approaches. I have more admiration now.

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Love Teddy, such truth in his stories

I really enjoyed this book by Mr.Atlas.what an interesting life! Great book by a Great man

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Behind the scenes

This book gives details of many fights I’ve seen as a child, it’s not just all about Teddy and Mije Tyson. I could not turn it off, finished in two days . Teddy Atlas is a bad man!

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An example of the Human Character...

A great insight into the life and experiences of a boxer, trainer, and human being. Atlas demonstrates the human condition in various forms and gives an example of a life lived and a life learned. In life it is hard to simply find a person that is true in all aspects of the word and to have accomplished so much without changing his internal character but yet bring out the best from those individuals that needed him the most. Atlas more than just a book, it's Teddy's experience from childhood to manhood.

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  • Junkets
  • 05-15-20

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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  • Marty
  • 05-23-21

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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  • jay Dodd
  • 05-22-21

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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  • Mr. C. J. Ellis
  • 05-17-21

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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  • M. Mcdermott
  • 05-03-21

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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  • Michael Clark
  • 04-04-21

Fantastic

Fantastic. I wish I could meet Teddy. I highly recommend everyone to read this. 5 stars!

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  • Nabil
  • 01-22-21

the best sports autobiography ever

outstanding, I can't recommend this enough
WOW! this is n emotion rollercoaster and you learn souch about life and how it can defeat you of you are not disciplined.

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  • Tomo
  • 01-14-21

Absolutely loved it

Great experience listening to Teddy read it himself, made a huge difference.
Love the fact they followed up and filled in on the original book with "up to date" status and additional stories.
I went through dozens and dozens of audiobooks, this one is up there with the best of them.

What this book will show and explain to the reader can be summed up in two words,
character and integrity.

And what an amazing character Teddy is. Kudos sir.

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  • STEPHEN LAMBERT
  • 11-28-20

A brutally honest, insightful & inspirational man

I've listened to lots of Teddy's podcasts so it was no surprise to me how solid and honest this autobiography was. Teddy never pulls his punches, but is also a funny and comes across as a very respectful, warm hearted man who deserves as much recognition for his charity work as he gets from being a Boxing Hall of Fame trainer. But I'm guessing he doesn't care about adulation as he gets his rewards helping those in need. Well done Teddy and thank you for this great read. 👍🥊🥊🇬🇧🇺🇸

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-14-20

Quality

Absolutely brilliant didn’t want it to end..
Loved everything about this book.
Teddy Atlas I salute you sir

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-01-21

A Modern Masterpiece

A remarkable telling, of a remarkable life, read by a remarkable man. This would have been a great read but for me it could never surpass having Teddy read it to you in his own voice. hearing him laugh at the jokes or get choked up at the difficult stories.
Full of life lessons, amusing anrecdotes and the tragedies of life. He is a champion of the weak, and down trodden, a teacher and a warrior. Teddy Atlas is is what every man could and should be!
My favourite Audible experience to date and one I plan to revisit again. A must listen or read!!!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-29-20

Amazing

Teddy Atlas knows how to tell a story.
I was sucked right in and it felt as though I was a fly on the wall.

Wes Askew

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-04-20

moving and honest

loved this book. such an amazing life. Teddy Atlas makes you want to be a better person. thank you Teddy

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-05-20

Captivating from start to finish

Pulls back the curtains on boxing and explores the psyche of a fighter and how Teddy pushes everyone not to quit and be honest to yourself.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-22-19

excellent

this book is as good as a teddy atlas punch to the mouth in a street fight. bang!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-18-19

Words to live by

A brilliant story told by Teddy with brilliant lessons that can be applied to life

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-17-19

Captivating Story told by a Fantastic story teller

To date, the best autobiography i have had the pleasure or reading/listening to. Highly recommend, Some fascinating stories mixed in with several life lessons we can all take with us.

Teddy also has a podcast called The Fight if the book leaves you wanting more.