BoxingMike TysonMMASport News

17-Year-Old Mike Tyson Sparring Grown Men Without Headgear Under Cus D’Amato Supervision


Tales of Mike Tyson’s sparring battles are legendary; he left many a fighter in tears up in the Catskill Mountains of New York.

Under the watchful eye of legendary trainer and father figure Cus D’Amato, Tyson wreaked havoc on the limbs and bones of his sparring partners before embracing them.

Despite the vitriol and spite he seemed to expel inside the ring, there was never malice in camp with Tyson.

However, footage from his days as a teenager would go some way to disproving that theory.

A video from the Boxing Hall of Fame Las Vegas on YouTube shows a 17-year-old Tyson sparring undefeated contender Jimmy Clark without any headgear.

Despite his tender years, ‘Iron Mike’ was still able deliver venomous shots to the far more experienced and mature Clark thanks to advice from D’Amato.

There would certainly be no fear displayed from the youngest heavyweight champion in history, who admitted the only man to strike terror into him was D’Amato.

Writing in his book Iron Ambition: My Life with Cus D’Amato released in 2017, Tyson explained: “I was petrified when I was alone with him.


“If he called me – ‘Mike, I need to talk to you’ – I didn’t feel good going over to him.

“That’s when he’d start giving me his detailed criticisms of my fights.”

Despite revering D’Amato to almost reaching levels of anxiety, Tyson credits his former legal guardian with unlocking his savage punching power.

He told GQ magazine: “I think I was born that way.

“But I developed [my knockout ability] through Cus D’Amato telling me repetitiously over and over again to do this movement and to punch with this type of bad intentions.

“And just to have ferociousness and mean intentions whenever you throw punches and stuff. And try and punch through your opponent, not at him.

“It was some nasty stuff that I would never tell my kids to do.”


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button