Sports

Longtime boxing coach Adrian Teodorescu dies at 73 after battle with lymphoma

TORONTO — Canadian boxer Mandy Bujold was looking to make some changes after missing out on the London Olympics in 2012. She started working full-time with coach Adrian Teodorescu shortly after the Games and noticed almost immediate results. 

"He was different than other coaches," said Bujold, who won Pan Am gold in 2015 and finished fifth at last summer's Rio Games. "I've been all over the world. I've been to thousands of boxing gyms. I've never seen a coach like Adrian."

Teodorescu, who helped Lennox Lewis win gold at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul and worked with several other top Canadian fighters, died Wednesday. He was 73.

A Boxing Canada spokesperson confirmed Teodorescu's death and the organization issued a statement on Twitter.

"It's with great sadness that we announce the passing of Adrian Teodorescu," the statement read. "His tremendous legacy to the boxing world will always be remembered."

Teodorescu, who was being treated at a downtown Toronto hospital, had been diagnosed with lymphoma. Funeral arrangements were pending.

A Bucharest native who grew up in Constanta on the Black Sea, Teodorescu discovered boxing at an early age. He became an elite fighter in Romania before later turning to coaching.

Teodorescu defected to Canada in 1983 and settled in Toronto, where he would work with a who's who of Canadian boxers.

He joined the national program as a coach and guided Lewis to super-heavyweight gold in 1988 and helped Egerton Marcus win middleweight silver that year. Teodorescu also coached Mark Leduc, who won light-welterweight silver at the 1992 Games in Barcelona.

"He brought the so-called European style to North American boxing," said his son, Armand Teodorescu.

After leaving Boxing Canada in 1992, Teodorescu opened the Atlas Boxing Club and worked as a personal coach for fighters like Steve Molitor, Donovan (Razor) Ruddock, Arthur Biyarslanov and Mark Simmons.      

"I think he really helped shape the sport in this country," Bujold said. "He's really a legend. He's the godfather of boxing. That's what we call him in the boxing world."

Bujold said Teodorescu had so much knowledge and experience that he could handle all boxing styles. He had a tremendous sense of confidence, she added, and his fighters shared that.

"Boxing was a true science to him," said Armand, who coaches at the family gym. "It wasn't sport with just heart and ability. But (it was) something that could be taught ... and my Dad became a master of that. He learned from the best and he had the experience in a time when it was so different from now.

"Boxing was as big as soccer, every country participated ... he would get to see all the best countries and everybody would fight. He lived in an era which would be considered the evolution of the sport in the modern age."

Bujold added that Teodorescu wanted to bring out the best in everybody and was a real people person.

"He loved making people laugh," she said. "He had so many stories from back in the day when Lennox and Egerton were training. Little pranks he would play on them. He just truly loved life, he loved people, and he loved boxing."

Teodorescu would often arrive at his gym in the morning and wouldn't leave until late at night on a near-daily basis.

"When people asked him about God and religion," Armand said. "He said that, 'My religion is boxing and my church is the boxing gym.'"

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