Mike Tyson Reveals Why He Was 'Petrified' Of Former Trainer Cus D'Amato

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Mike Tyson Reveals Why He Was 'Petrified' Of Former Trainer Cus D'Amato

Mike Tyson was 'petrified' of former trainer Cus D'Amato during his illustrious boxing career.

The 'Baddest Man on the Planet' started training at D'Amato's gym in Catskill, Brooklyn at the age of 13.

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."

The former world champion also said he knew his coach could 'embarrass' him if he slipped up.

"I knew I could get embarrassed in front of everyone if I spoke out of line.


"So I learned rather fast not to say anything while he was taking unless he invited me to."

"When he was happy, talking, laughing with the press, I knew that at any moment s*** could happen," he continued.

The 53-year-old also said the public didn't see behind the curtain and past the in-ring celebrations.


"People see the public celebrations of my sensational knockouts but they don't hear Cus talking to me alone after the fight!

"He'd make me feel like s***, play with my emotions. He would put things in your head all day."

Image Credit: PA
Image Credit: PA

But the legendary coach proceeded to take it a step further with his protege.


Tyson added: "They were never around when Cus made me feel two inches tall, when he asked me 'am I wasting my time with you? I'm an old man. you're a phone'.

"The man I worshiped was telling me I was a phony. It was crushing.

"I soon learned to walk on eggshells when I was around Cus."


D'Amato is also credited as the man who helped Tyson unlock his potential as a ferocious striker.

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."

D'Amato also used unconventional methods such as a hypnotist when Tyson was a teenager.

Tyson told Joe Rogan's podcast per Bleacher Report:

"You relax. You go in there and totally focus on blackness, nothing.

"They tell you, 'You're going to be a savage, an intelligent animal, you're working, you're going to do this, you're going to be a ferocious animal, you're going to fight both hands to the body, use your jab in ferocious fashion,' They sinked all that into me when I was younger."

D'Amato died in 1985, just over a year before Tyson became the youngest world heavyweight champion in history at the age of 20.

Featured Image Credit: Boxing Hall Of Fame/YouTube

Topics: Mike Tyson, Boxing News, Boxing

Daniel Marland
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