How Cus D’Amato Transformed Mike Tyson Into A Boxing World Champion
Cus D’Amato Was All About The Rough Life
D’Amato grew up learning how to fend for himself, and often got into fistfights on the streets. D’Amato was all about that rough life, so it came as no surprise that when he met Tyson, he knew exactly how to approach the troubled teen.
D’Amato knew exactly how to rein Tyson in, and taught him how to translate that inner rage into his favor. He directed Tyson’s aggression toward boxing, told the young firecracker that he had a future in pugilism, and was able to successfully channel “Iron” Mike’s energy into training. The two worked together every single day in the gym.
D’Amato Gave Tyson Shelter And Guidance
D’Amato took the kid under his wing, bringing Tyson into his own home, providing him food and shelter. He practically raised Tyson from the age of 13.
Tyson was an angry young boy who was easily offended by anyone and everyone. His demeanor only improved under D’Amato’s guidance. Tyson never knew his biological father, so when he came into the D’Amato household, he often referred to D’Amato as his “white father.”
D’Amato Taught Tyson His Unique Technique And Boxing Philosophy
D’Amato’s boxing philosophy banked heavily on utilizing speed and leverage in order to deal maximum damage. Tyson’s trademark peek-a-boo style of boxing, where the gloves hover right above both cheekbones and the head moves laterally, is a product of D’Amato’s genius.
Perhaps the most important lesson D’Amato taught Tyson, however, was that only obsession could lead to immense success. D’Amato instilled in Tyson an insane work ethic, and he always outperformed his opponents in the gym.
He believed In Tyson When No One Else Would
Perhaps most important of all, D’Amato showed confidence in Tyson, and this really captured his heart.
This sort of guidance was essential in Tyson’s upbringing. He could have easily gone the other way, down a road that would have led him to a grim future. But D’Amato’s influence ensured Tyson was set on the right path, and after a stellar amateur career, Tyson turned professional and overpowered everyone he was in the ring with. The rest is history.
Of course, Tyson’s demons came back to haunt him, and he couldn’t really shake them off. It seemed trouble followed Tyson wherever he went. But without D’Amato coming into his life, it could have been so much worse.