Teddy Atlas, the international Hall of Fame boxing trainer, noted commentator and MMA analyst for ESPN, received the President’s Medal from the St. Patrick’s Society of the Borough of Queens at its 108th annual dinner in Queens Village last week. The event at Antun’s Restaurant was part of the Society’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration.
Patrick J. Mullaney, president of the Society, hailed Atlas for his philanthropy.
“His Irish roots run deep and stem [through] his Irish Catholic mother's ancestry,” said Mullaney. “In 1997, he founded the Dr. Theodore Atlas Foundation to honor the memory of his physician father who provided free medical care to those who could not afford it. The foundation is a not-for-profit community service organization that provides financial support to individuals and organizations in need, with a strong focus on children.”
Atlas, whose mother was from Cavan, told the Echo that being recognized for an award by an Irish organization, has a special meaning for him because, “I believe that culture and tradition are important for our growth as a society and individuals, as it connects us to our ancestors, instilling pride and an expectation of behavior and action to follow.
“It was an honor and an enjoyable night, receiving an award from The Sons of St. Patrick’s Society, and speaking of my travels to Ireland for some great fights, and also talking about my charity foundation. I met a lot of Irishmen at a truly great event for The Sons of St. Patrick’s Society, but the best thing about the night was that I met a lot of very good people.
“I would hope that my mom, the former Mary Eileen Riley, was looking down and smiling, as I was given a medal from the Sons of St. Patrick’s Society.”
Atlas’ name has long been associated with success and excellence in boxing. One of the sport’s most respected trainers and analysts, he’s worked with numerous world champions -- and even some Irish fan favorites.
You can count among the latter former world featherweight titlist Barry McGuigan, aka the “Clones Cyclone;” The late Chris “The Shamrock Express” Reid, who challenged for the world super middleweight title, and Jimmy McMahon, the retired Mayo welterweight.
Other notable fighters linked with Atlas include world heavyweight champs Michael Moorer and Alexander Povetkin; Timmy Bradley, a world welterweight title holder, and, of course, Mike Tyson. “Iron Mike” appeared on Atlas’ resume when both were young and the trainer was serving his apprenticeship of sorts at the Catskills training camp run by the legendary Cus D’Amato in upstate New York.
“Mighty” Joe Ward is back in action on St. Patrick’s Day eve, in a scheduled eight-rounder against the undefeated Mario Andrade Rodriguez at Place Bell in Laval, Canada. The light heavyweight contest will stream live and exclusively in the U.S. on ESPN+ starting at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.
Out of Westmeath, the southpaw Ward is 8-1 with four KOs. In Rodriguez, he faces a 7-0 Mexican also with four stoppages.
Ward, who’s 29, is coming off an eight round unanimous points decision over Frenchman Frederic Julan at Madison Square Garden last December.
FEARLESS IN PHILLY
“Fearless” Feargal McCrory makes it three fights in a row States-side when he returns to the ring April 14 at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. His opponent will be announced later this week.
“I've had different names of opponents given to me and agreed to them all so we will see who signs the contract,” McCrory, a 13-0 [6 KO] lightweight out of Coalisland, County Tyrone, told the Echo on Monday.
“I fought on Feb. 11 and won by first round KO so I'm out to build on that and keep the momentum going,” the southpaw, who’s 30, added.
Tickets are available from McCrory, through his social media accounts and from Legends Bar at 6 West 33rd St. in Manhattan (tel: 212.967.7792).
Before his quick February victory in Atlantic City over Brazilian Aelio Mesquita, McCrory had made his U.S. debut with a six-round unanimous points decision over Cesar Cantu in Brooklyn last September.