EPISODE: Episode 17
Adrian Teodorescu | The Scoop with Bola Ray | Talkin Fight
Watch The Scoop from Monday to Friday, featuring Canadian heavyweight champ Bola Ray, who lends his vast experience in the sport and provides his comments boxing – its history and future – featuring on this episode legendary coach Adrian Teodorescu, who led Kitchener’s Mandy Bujold to gold at the 2015 Toronto Pan Am Games and Lennox Lewis to gold at the 1988 Olympics – on YouTube and TalkinFight.com/live. Teodorescu ran the famed Atlas Boxing Club in Toronto with his wife Gina and son Armand and was considered one of the best boxing coaches, not only in Canada, but in the world.
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Hello, there talking fight fans, welcome once again to a new week and a new slate of episodes of the scoop.
I don’t even know what you got lined up champ.
What do you have lined up this week? Uh, how you guys doing um today, uh um, it’s gon na, still be another continuation of uh last week, where we were profiling, some iconic, canadian coaches, and with that being said, i would be completely and utterly remiss if i had left out this one coach.
He is, he is instrumental in making me the fighter that i am um.
He stood in my corner during my first two belt.
Uh championship wins um.
He his resume is littered with canadian champions and, to my knowledge, the only olympic gold medalist in canadian history um.
My name is bola raymond oluwali, and this is the scoop today we’re going to be talking about the legendary trainer coach and my good friend adrian tederescu, unfortunately adrian’s not with us today to actually do this uh interview, so instead i got the next best thing and My fellow partner in crime, armand tederescu, how are you for having me? Thank you.
I’M happy to be here.
Talking about my dad, like i said, we’d, be positively unequivocally remiss if we had overlooked the man he is uh he’s put quite the dent in in uh boxing in canadian history, um responsible.
Quite a lot.
Um he’s dearly missed.
Could you walk us through his beginnings and how he got into boxing in the first place? Well, those were times long ago and before i was born, but there were stories and apparently many of them yeah.
My dad had many friends from back in the day, which was in communist romania.
Basically, he grew up during the cold war and he came from a large family, his uh mom, my grandmother, passed away when he was five and my grandfather when he was about 12 before passing away when he was, you know not that old.
He was only in like his late 50s when he passed away, but communist romania, you know they didn’t, have a long life expectancy, so my dad was looking to last as long as he has and and that’s how he kind of started.
His dad told him to join a boxing club he’s going to have to do it in the army anyway, so he might as well be good at it, and everybody in romania had to become part of the military at some point.
So when my dad finished high school, he had already been boxing for a while had done some junior championships youth championships and went into it with a resume.
So they put him on the fast track to learn and become a coach.
He went from learning in bucharest, romania to doing his masters in switzerland, zurich, switzerland and, after that he did his phd in the sport of boxing in moscow during the height of the cold war and uh, pretty much the beginnings of what we call european boxing here, Because the russians, the tavares, gradu polov and those ogrenko, a couple of very famous people in the sport were the teachers at this university.
Well, my dad attended now not to cut you off, but a couple of things.
One a lot of people over in the west.
Here realize that you can actually get a phd in boxing in russia.
I assume you can get it in almost any sport, but you can actually get a phd in boxing i found it was incredible when i was in moscow to meet a phd in box.
A literal phd in boxing there’s a lot of there’s a lot of people.
Pardon they made it into a real science, not just a sweet line.
Yeah genuinely there’s a lot of proclaimed phd’s doctors of boxing over here in the west.
He was genuinely one, so there you have it that’s right i may have.
I may have a visitor from time to time.
Coming into my screen, my young daughter ashley who’s around in the background.
So how old are you she’s, four now sweet jesus? Yes little mini-me! Even more scary, but going on my dad came back to be one of the top coaches on the romanian team.
He was soon the head coach of the romanian squad and he took them to uh unprecedented metal victories at the 1976 olympics over in montreal.
That’S right, oh during that time, his team of uh 12 boxers ended up having seven medalists silver and bronze.
Only he had to wait until canada to get that gold, but that’s where he was recruited at first way back then they yeah wow.
Okay, now before you go any further, he i kept getting confused.
He he either went to this 1960 tokyo games or sorry, the 1960 rome games or the 1964 tokyo games as a competitor, correct yeah.
I believe it might have been like 64.
, so the 64.
with with uh joe frazier, and he was uh at the time a young middleweight, exactly uh yeah.
He was there at the olympics.
He participated but didn’t get a medal, but at the time every country’s champion would be represented at the olympics as long as they had somebody.
So that was a good time for boxing.
You got you got, you got the olympic experience, yes, and you know what he went back as a coach.
More often he was in the moscow olympics because only uh communists couldn’t right that one.
So it was there over at that one.
He had four medals.
Two uh one silver and three bronze, but over there everybody said it was a little bit harder to win than usual.
Why um that moscow olympics was a tough one? Basically, they, the russian team, was allowed to bring three in each category.
They loaded the categories basically and at the time they had so many awesome boxers on the ussr team.
You know like a combination of azerbaijan, kazakhstan and a lot of other countries that we know there.
She is oh girl, say: hi ashley come in and say hi bye.
There you go now.
You now you’re in now you’ve been on tv, so my dad was recruited because he was doing so well as the romanian head coach and the romanian team was doing better than pretty much any other country that was communist and not part of the ussr.
At the time, so we are doing well.
When my dad came to canada, it was 1983 and he was he was asked to come out.
Basically, the canadian team wanted to inject new blood into the system and bring in a little bit of a different style of training and my dad.
You know i guess that had enough of communist romania by then, so he made everything happen and my mom and dad actually left me behind as insurance yeah.
I came to canada on my own, my mom and dad went to greece on the pretenses of going for a vacation and from uh greece.
They hightailed it to canada, where my aunt and uncle lived on my mom’s side and then about a year and a half or about a year later.
I came over on the plane all on my own wow yeah.
I was like six and a half i i remember it though i remember something.
I only knew how to say two things: orange juice.
That’S all you need.
I got through the whole experience, no problem, just orange juice, orange juice and a smile they’re, your goal.
So once my dad came to canada, the decided to settle here in ontario, because that’s where my aunt lived in oshawa and soon enough we’re on the short path to becoming the canadian head coach at the time, there was a lot of good boxers who had just Done very well at the 1984 olympics, canada was already on an upswing, and my dad coming in had a little bit of controversy, but once he was able to start implementing some of the things he knew and teaching some of the coaches that were at the time Everybody realized that is going to be good for canada all around um.
I can remember growing up, and i was just about like 10 or 11 years old, when lennox and edgarton were in the gym.
Both of them had come from other clubs like pretty much everybody.
My dad coached at the time because we got put in charge of the national team and um some of those other boxers like asif dar, and you can name so many others that were very good at the time.
Definitely dwight fraser, who was around the national team.
All the time there was a lot of people who are still coaching today that were working with my dad as a boxer, including some of the ones from montreal, pretty uh famous person was working with my dad at the time.
His name is yvonne.
Michelle and our team manager for the 1988 olympic team was russ amber.
No, it was like a really you know big deal back in the day, we had like the three pretty much iconic people in boxing in canada, forefathers of modern boxing yeah, not bad, no yeah, not bad between the three of them.
You know they had some great successes.
First at the commonwealth games, then at the pan am that was where lennox beat the named jorge luis gonzalez.
Did he because i know he he lost to jorge luis gonzalez, then he beat him and then never had to face him at the olympics, so it was all over with it was here in toronto at the metro convention center.
I remember ov was the sponsor and i was a little monkey running around and uh.
That was a hell of a tournament we got to meet the cuban team.
They came in with felix savon and arceda sagara, who had been a classmate of my dad’s back in moscow, okay, so yeah.
That was a great time for boxing in canada.
We were ranked, i believe, fifth in the world during the run to 1988 olympics and then 1992, we continued on a pretty good run.
My dad had some other very good boxers on the team.
Definitely the fellain brothers, jerry and dominic were part of our team and dominic ended up going to two olympics.
My dad also worked with a few other guys that you may have heard of like mark leduc and chris johnson, and you know those guys that are out there in uh kitchener waterloo, doing us all proud, yeah that yeah he and uh.
You know he had some other boxers after that, but there was definitely a time where he focused on the pros, so that was one of the few coaches to start working with the pros right after lennox i remember we had donovan boucher yeah yeah.
He ended up beating sean sullivan in a big fight here in uh toronto at the varsity arena.
I love that story.
I love that story.
He came from cabbagetown to atlas, to be canada, sweetheart yeah because he was at cabbage town too.
Exactly remember, sean sullivan was, like you know, the sweetheart of cabbagetown yep.
You know everybody thought donovan had no chance, but you know his daughter yeah.
He definitely didn’t, but he had my dad in his corner, even if he didn’t have him in his corner.
That night, definitely my dad gave him some tips on.
You know what he could do.
That’S actually what started our rivalry with cabbage town over the years, and it’s been a great one and um.
You know not too long ago we had another really good boxer from town by the name of uh, arthur beerzlanov or as he’s known in the prose as a modladen bierzlanos and uh yeah.
He came over to our club and did really well with his uh career.
He was the first boxer to win a gold at the pan am game since 1975.
He played at cuban and also in toronto in 2015.
yeah and at games where he another one of my dad’s boxers also got gold yep.
We had a good run.
You know from pretty much 1986 to like you know: 2016 we’ve been my dad had an amazing run here in canada, 30 years.
That’S quite the legacy yeah it’s quick legacy and uh.
Now you know everything my dad taught me and gon na put to use.
In my new gym, which we’re reopening very soon so that’s some exciting things.
That’S amazing, amazing, so yeah, that’s kind of like the story in a nutshell.
Now a couple things that you sort of – or at least i found uh quite telling, is when i was with papa adrian um and going to training camps like all over the world.
I found it incredibly heartwarming to know like i thought, the world of them and the information that he brought like it was.
It was different.
I can’t tell you the amount of arguments we’d have on on technique and style and stuff like that.
Like um, when i went internationally, he internationally, he was revered as being the teacher like i i remember several times in germany in hamburg or even even in moscow.
He was known and revered.
Apparently during the times in former ussr, he would go.
He was one of those coaches that would be sent throughout the communist countries, doing seminars and teaching coaches like that is a jewel that canada should be exceptionally proud of.
Attaining, i don’t know if they they uh.
What’S god, i don’t know if they thanked him.
Well, you know some people did some people didn’t whenever you come to another country and you bring knowledge that other people don’t have there’s going to be a degree of like you know, resistance and, honestly, you know the history has just spoken for my dad more better Than anything else he could have done for himself because he was never one to talk himself up or do too much as far as self-promotion.
You know – maybe that’s one of my dad’s, you know faults, he was always quiet about it, but boxers came to him because he honestly wanted to help people yep anytime, that somebody comes in my gym.
I i want to help them become the best boxer.
They are whether they, my boxer from the very beginning or whether they come from somewhere else.
You know, especially in this day and age, with boxers moving from coach to coach.
You have to try, and you know, give people as much as you can in the time you have them kind of like we did with arthur, and you know set him up to do really well and i think he’s going to be one of the more promising Young pro fighters out of canada, i i’d have to agree i’d have to agree with um with that being said, what do you think papa adrian? Well, more importantly, no system is perfect.
The amateur game is a gong, show nothing shy of a gong show.
Actually, i don’t know what that really means i wasn’t around for the gong show.
I was um yeah.
I was yeah yeah yeah yeah you’re still older than me.
Hey um, the old guy is graham, let’s leave it at that.
Oh no uh, there’s been a lot of controversy.
Uh the 2016 games is, is living proof of exactly how corrupt and in just an utter mess aiiba was now moving forward.
Aiba is no longer going to be affiliated with the ioc.
I don’t know whether or not they’re gon na still be affiliated with the commonwealth games.
Another company, another organization, has to step into their shoes.
It’S kind of like the whole covid situation, kind of have to like wait and see and hope that we’ve been vaccinated properly against any kind of shenanigans.
We don’t know what we don’t know what to expect right now.
It’S uh pretty much the wild west again for boxing to see where people are gon na put their allegiances and what those actually mean like what people are gon na be able to do on the international level is going to be determined by what international competitions we Have and if we don’t have international competitions for one year, like we’ve, been through already, you can see that there’s going to be trouble like restarting everything and making it all happen, what uh, what changes are um to the existing model? Would you like to see happen? You know what the way the ioc organized things so that we have a qualifier and everybody who wins at the qualifier they go to the olympics.
I think that’s the best most fair way.
That’S why they implemented it, because it’s simple what aiba had before was a little too convoluted, and you know at least for me as a personal coach, not a national team coach.
I found it that it was a little redundant.
You’D have to go to the commonwealth games and you know the gold medalist there would get a spot.
The pan am games, the gold and silver would get a spot.
The world championships before the olympics, the top four, would get a spot and then what’s left, each continent would get spots according to who qualified come on already.
I’Ve lost everybody who doesn’t follow boxing.
Yes, i can open that there you go.
I don’t know so right now we’re looking at what will the aiba organization do? Will it come back in the same format or will olympic boxing now be run by the olympic committee run by badminton, yeah yeah yeah? It’S a gong show well, linton doesn’t have any stake in boxing, so it can’t be that bad people who do have a stake in boxing have you know completely a little bit of a mess.
Oh, i agree.
I agree yeah.
I agree um.
How would you, how would you like to see it, though? What like what changes? Would you like to see like for me um? As you know, i wasn’t able to go to the 2004 olympics because those 54 days too old, now they’ve changed it to 40.
The the cutoff mark um, should there be an age uh.
Should there be an age group um, another thing we, i did a segment earlier on headgear how now men are wearing headgear.
Women aren’t and i don’t care what they say.
There’S no science that depicts men versus women.
True, it’s just nonsense.
So the fact that we have uh three minute rounds for women in the amateurs and two minute rounds in the pros.
You know there’s like a little bit of discrepancies there.
I think and are pretty much ready to be doing three minute rounds like men are.
I think that should change across the pro um so, like you see, there’s quite a few variables that could be tweaked.
I think headgear should go back on, especially for tournaments to have the headgear off when you’re fighting multiple fights in a short span of time.
You know that you don’t want to be taken out by a cut and believe it or not.
Headgears are there to protect.
You from cuts not to protect you from concussions.
Precisely that’s why i started my uh, my um, my episode on on headgear no headgear.
At the end of the day.
There are they.
They gave three arguments as to why headgear was uh removed.
One was that the headgear impedes your vision, your field of vision.
You have worn headgear, i’ve, worn i’ve, worn headgear with lugs with uh cheek protectors.
I have never once had my vision, impaired.
Never i’ve never had now keeping in mind.
I’Ve never used the one with the the bar across the nose.
I call it george foreman um because that’s what he used um yeah but open face, especially because that’s the only one you’re going to use for competition.
There’S no impediment, there’s no impediment.
Secondly, they say that headgear with headgear on gives a false sense of security, so fighters are going to take um more risky chances.
I’M like yeah you’re, blessed you’re out of your mind, because at the end of the day you get hit once once.
You learn real quick that it does not prevent, does not deflect, does not absorb power.
You you, you eat it like people, you feel, like you, you’ve spoken about this a few times right.
It’S a hot topic for you, just a wee bit just a wee bit.
No concussions happen even in sparring, even when you’re sparring, if you’re not careful, to take care of these concussions, they have a detrimental effect.
Much like in the movie concussion, which talks about football.
Yes, kind of thing happens in boxing, so concussion prevention and dealing with concussions is a very important topic for us over here in the amateur game.
That’S actually what we just spoke about on our last town hall meeting.
So because of that, i can tell you very clearly that everybody i’ve spoken to in the amateurs would like to see headgear go back on at the national level and then at the international level, here’s hoping that it becomes a reality man.
I think it will.
Even you know, i don’t think they can change it for the olympics coming up, but i think we’ll see headgear back on for the following one has a ba has no no way to get insurance on and off the field for boxers who don’t you know, take Care of their head properly, so now it’s a big deal.
We have to do scat five before we do tournaments before we go to nationals, there’s quite a bit of concern about that.
Now again, here’s hoping here’s you’re, hoping that that common sense impacts the powers that be, we hope we hope and then, but we hope it will there you go.
We have some new people in charge of aiba right now, let’s see what they do with it.
I want to be hopeful and see the best of them come out.
I’Ve heard some good things about them.
I’Ve heard some bad things about them, but ultimately, that’s how everybody is so, let’s see what they actually do.
That’S what will determine their legacy? Fair enough? Let’S, let’s, let’s sit back and wait time will tell okay harman.
I want to thank you for coming on.
I want to thank you for your time.
It was great reminiscing about papa adrian anytime.
I definitely love doing that and i would love to actually bring you back.
I wanted to talk a lot more about uh your involvement within the amateur ranks and going forward.
How can how cannot just canada, or but even ontario, improve upon its its place in the world of boxing i’m right in the middle of it? Right now i have uh one of our boxers from atlas: jay, juan carty who’s, fighting to get uh to the 2021 tokyo yep and uh yeah he’s right there in the battle for it trying to get on the you know squad to get to the olympics.
Right now, everybody who’s canadian champion has to go and qualify at america’s continental qualifier in argentina later on this year, fair enough, wow, okay! Now this is going to be a good episode there you go right in the thick of it.
Thank you thanks again for coming on all right, great talking to you as always and nice to meet you craig great, take care, take care, and that was the well that was armin talking about his dad legendary adrian tederescu any points.
No, i thought that was great.
Um he’s uh he’s reopening atlas if i’m not mistaken.
Okay, so when they came when adrian came to canada, he opened up a facility called thistletown and with it in opening thistletown boxing club, that was a national training center.
After that he opened up atlas.
I have known atlas to be in one two: three four locations in the past 30, some odd years um and now that it’s going into a fifth one, so yeah it’s uh, it’s it’s a landmark.
At least the name is a landmark gym right.
So right right but anyways if you uh, if you liked that episode, if you liked this episode and uh like to learn more about adrian turner’s, rescue, first and foremost, smash the like button, it’s your boy, bola and that’s a scoop.
Oh don’t forget to subscribe.
Also where’s my head, thank you.
Champ we’ll see you tomorrow, all right.