Mike Tyson finally revealed what influenced him to become a “badass” in boxing.
“Iron Mike” was the youngest heavyweight champion at 20 years old in 1986. Aside from being extremely powerful and athletic, Tyson was also known for his “badass” attitude and notorious image.
Some boxing fans may not know, but it was Cus D’Amato who brought the young Tyson into the boxing world at the age of 13. Reports claim that the moment Tyson walked into the gym at Catskill, D’Amato was instantly impressed with the kid’s physique and power.
However, there was more in D’Amato that impacted Tyson aside from being a talented boxer – his attitude.
Tyson wrote on “Iron Ambition: My life with Cus D’Amato” the real story behind his “thuggish” reputation in boxing. According to him, D’Amato may look like calm and peaceful but what lies beneath the old and graying man was something cruel and full of “rage,” Daily Star reported.
“Cus was just a bunch of rage. You would never think he was a ferocious old man but he was,” Tyson revealed.
“He’d talk to me about getting threats and guys putting guns to his head.He was big on being tough and hard, unafraid of confronting death,” Tyson added.
As a kid, Tyson absorbed everything D’Amato infused him. In fact, the iconic boxer even stated that it was D’Amato who influenced his “I don’t give a f—“attitude which he carried with him almost in his entire career.
“He’d say ‘I don’t care, I’m an animal. They had to kill me to stop me’. Cus fuelled my ‘I don’t give a f***’ attitude,” Tyson stated.
It was only a matter of time before Tyson finally applied what he learned from D’Amato. The legend can vividly remember how the man would talk about disturbing things that went beyond just destroying an opponent inside the boxing ring. However, D’Amato did it in a way nobody would ever imagine.
“Every fight I had, Cus would be talking about breaking ribs, exploding livers, pushing a guy’s nose into his brain. But he didn’t shout it– he delivered the message cooly and calmly,” Tyson recalled.
To this day, the 53-year-old boxing great still feels the chills whenever he remembers how D’Amato would talk to him.
“He talked about hurting people with no feeling. If you could have heard Cus talking to me, it was scary what he wanted me to do to somebody else,” Tyson noted.