How did Teddy Atlas get his scar? Face injury from 007 flick knife explained

Eve Edwards May 26, 2021
How did Teddy Atlas get his scar? Face injury from 007 flick knife explained

How did Teddy Atlas get his face scar? If you’ve been watching Mike Tyson: The Knockout, you might be wondering about the boxing trainer turned commentator’s significant facial scar.

Mike Tyson has been the subject of many documentaries throughout his career. Some feared that Mike Tyson: The Knockout would say nothing new. However, the two-part documentary on ABC proves that it has strength in its content, largely from the breadth of its interviews.

One of the interviewees in the ABC doc is boxing trainer Teddy Atlas. Atlas had worked under Mike Tyson’s trainer Cus D’Amato. But, just how did Teddy Atlas get his face scar?

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Photo by Kevork Djansezian

How did Teddy Atlas get his face scar?

Teddy Atlas reportedly had a troubled youth, involving multiple street fights and even a stint spent at Rikers Island.

One of such street fights landed Teddy Atlas with his distinctive scar.

Atlas was involved in a fight in Stapleton, Staten Island. His face was slashed with a “007” flick knife during the fight and he required hospitalisation as a result. The cut took 400 stitches in total to close: 200 on the outside of his face, 200 on the inside.

Teddy Atlas said of the attack: “My attitude wasn’t right. I got into a fight and it should have been fists. I was fighting more than one person. But one of them decided to pull a knife and cut me.”

He continued: “I wanted to put myself in dangerous positions and I finally realised it was to get my father’s attention. The ones who got all my father’s attention were his patients. They were the ones who were sick and had problems. I was a kid that had everything you could ask for except the attention of my father. So what did I do? I made myself sick. I made myself damaged.”

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What is a 007 flick knife?

Although 007 flick knives were sold across the United States, they were very much associated with New York City in the 1970s.

Flick knives are simple pocket knives. One description of the 007 flick knife reads: “Knives like these are called flick knives, folding knives, or gravity knives (due to the fact that when held in a closed position, the weight of the blade should be enough to allow it to open due only to gravity and maybe a flick of the wrist).”

In Teddy Atlas’ self-titled autobiography, Atlas, he described the attack: “I threw the guy with the blackjack to the ground, and then saw the driver coming at me, saw the flash of a knife in his hand. It was this kind of knife called an 007, a flick blade. I remember thinking, That’s a double-oh-seven… It was too late. He stepped back and spun, like a matador, slashing the side of my face. The blade was so sharp, I barely felt it.”

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Eve Edwards is a staff writer for The Focus who has been with GRV Media since April 2019. Having gained a BA (Hons) in History from the University of Bristol, Eve joined GRV starting out as a writer for Reality Titbit before making her way over to HITC. With a passion for music, TV, and cultural news, Eve eventually found a home at The Focus. Eve spent 2021-2022 freelancing for GRV Media while she completed a Masters in Music Performance, and brings her wide array of interests to the company in her written work. In Eve's spare time you'll find her working her way through the day's Wordle, Heardle, and Quordle, or struggling to complete The Guardian's cryptic crossword.