Cus D’Amato – The Legend Who
Made The Legend
By Ewa Turalska - (Pound4Pound is proud to debut
our newest writer, Ewa Turalska. Ewa will be our main
correspondent in The United Kingdom. She will be covering
all the big events as well as writing articles for our site
like the one your are about to read and enjoy, We welcome
Ewa to the Pound4Pound team.)
Mike Tyson took thirty eight seconds to sparked out Lou
Savarese in 2000. After that The Beast gave the most
memorable and pumped up speech in history of boxing.
“I'm the best ever. I'm the most brutal and vicious, and
most ruthless champion there's ever been. There's no one can
stop me. Lennox is a conqueror? No, I'm Alexander, he's no
Alexander. I'm the best ever. There's never been anybody as
ruthless. I'm Sonny Liston, I'm Jack Dempsey. There's no one
like me. I'm from their cloth. There's no one that can match
me. My style is impetuous, my defense is impregnable, and
I'm just ferocious. I want your heart. I want to eat his
children. Praise be to Allah.”
Let’s look back, a way back and think... Alexander the Great
arrived on the shores of Persia along with his men. As soon
they got there they realized there were vastly outnumbered.
Alexander’s men pleaded that they retreat at once, returning
at later date with more men. Alexander the Great however
decided to take a slightly different approach. He ordered
his men to burn their boats at once, he turned to his men
and said "we go home in Persian ships, or we die". Tyson was
a Alexander of boxing in any meaning. But Alexanders are not
made by themselves. Neither Tyson was. Behind his build up
importable force and confidence stood Cus D’Amato. One of
the finest coaches and boxing philosophers. When Tyson was
walking into the ring the boats were already burnt thanks to
Cus D’Amato. He transformed this street, trouble boy with
low self -esteem into mental warfare and one of the best
fighters in the history of boxing.
Constantine "Cus" D'Amato handled the careers of Mike Tyson,
Floyd Patterson, and José Torre. He was a proponent of the
peek-a-boo style of boxing, in which the fighter holds his
gloves close to his cheeks and pulls his arms tight against
his torso. But mainly he was known for his incredible
knowledge, life wisdom which he successfully was using and
mixing with his boxing skills. If he lived nowadays he would
be one of the greatest life coaches or motivational
speakers. Let’s get it closer to his great lessons – I have
picked two, which I believed where the most significant in
the career of Mike Tyson.
Discipline and repetition.
Discipline is a key in boxing, every fighter knows that.
D’Amato believed that greatness will come with repetition,
and no one is born with the skill.
Mike Tyson day regiment planned by Cus:
Wake up and jog 3 miles
Return home from his jog, shower and go back to sleep
Wake up once again and eat oatmeal
12 pm 10 rounds of sparring in the ring
Eat steak & pasta while drinking fruit juice in preparation
for next training session.
Back in the ring for more sparring and technical drills
followed by 60 minute session on the exercise bike
2000 sit-ups; 500-800 dips; 500 press ups; 500 shrugs with a
30kg barbell (this was broken down into 10 rounds, circuit
style). Tyson also performed 10 minutes of neck exercises
during this workout
Eat steak and pasta while drinking fruit juice
30 minute session on the exercise bike
After his final workout for the day Tyson would study tape
of the boxing greats that came before him, analyzing their
Another remarkable idea of him was how he explained the
fear. Protective mechanism that what it was – and that how
he used to teach Tyson. Fear can motivate you and help you
achieve whatever you want – that was his philosophy. Many
years later we could hear Mike Tyson saying:
“While I m in the dressing room five minutes before I come
out, I m breaking my gloves down, I m pushing the leather to
the back of my gloves, so my knuckle could pierce through.
When I come out I have supreme confidence. I m scared to
death. I m afraid. I m afraid of everything. I m afraid of
losing. I m afraid of being humiliated. But I m confident.
The closer I get to the ring the more confident I get. The
closer, the more confident. The closer the more confident I
get. All during training I ve been afraid of this man. I
think this man might be capable of beating me. I ve dreamed
of him beating me. For that I ve always stayed afraid of
him. The closer I get to the ring the more confident I get.
Once I m in the ring I m a god. No one could beat me. I walk
around the ring but I never take my eyes off my opponent.
Even if he s ready and pumping, and cant wait to get his
hands on me. I keep my eyes on him. I keep my eyes on him.
Then once I see a chink in his armor, boom, one of his eyes
may move, and then I know I have him. Then once he comes to
the center of the ring he looks at me with his piercing look
as if he s not afraid. But he already made that mistake when
he looked down for that one tenth of a second. I know I have
him. He ll fight hard for the first two or three rounds, but
I know I broke his spirit. During the fight I m supremely
confident. I m making him miss and I m countering. I m
hitting him to the body; I m punching him real hard. And I m
punching him, and I m punching him, and I know he s gonna
take my punches. He goes down, he s out. I m victorious.
Mike Tyson, greatest fighter that ever lived.
These words are a bigger picture of what D’ Amato was
capable to do with Tyson’s mind, even though he did die
shortly after his first professional fight – he showed in
him values which drove Iron Mike toward championships and
made him the most recognizable boxer next to Mohammed Ali.
He took him from the bottom to top, as he saw his potential
before anyone else did, and drove him to succeed until his
vision came to life. Although, a question is about how much
further and better Tyson’s career could go if Cus D’Amato
would live another ten years and could have been in his