Tyson struggled to separate his past from his future as heavyweight champion.
“I came from Hell and every match I won was a step out of that world. Each victory would bring me closer to immortal glory.” These are the words of Mike Tyson, former heavyweight boxing champion. He’s part of an “old school” of fighters who fought whoever they could to get out of their state. Well known to US gambling news, Tyson was a boxer who carefully studied the boxing history in order to create his own.
Iron Mike Tyson grew up on the harsh streets of Brownsville in the New York borough of Brooklyn. After 38 arrests, Tyson was sent to a correctional facility for youths upstate. It was there he met Bobby Steward who introduced him to Cus D’Amato. Cus would train Tyson out of his home in the Catskills. Tyson would learn how to live as a normal teenager going to school during the week and as street kid on the weekends.
Tyson’s journey as a regular kid training to make history
Life in the Catskills was interesting experience for Tyson. Upon first seeing D’Amato’s home, Tyson response was a question of what part of the house does he have to clean first. Not only did Tyson adjust, he soon rebelled like any teenager against his designated household chores that all the young fighters in D’Amato’s stable had to do. D’Amato ran a tight ship with his wife also at the helm. Nobody had a “free ride.”
• Mike Tyson lived and trained under Cus D’Amato in the Catskills.
• Tyson had to fight in unsanctioned amateur bouts called “smokers.”
• Tyson won Junior Olympic gold, but didn’t make ‘84 Olympic team.
Adjustment to Catskill High school was a bit challenging for Tyson who constantly felt distanced from others because of his ghetto roots and his earlier harassment for his speech impediment. His dealing with girls proved even worse for a shy, awkward Tyson who never was properly told how he should conduct himself. This is another “discrepancy” in Tyson’s training that would bring much trouble in his life.
D’Amato, filled with grief and resent from his past dealings boxing, constantly complained of the boxing world and sharply criticized Mike throughout his efforts. Tyson in time did learn what D’Amato saw in him, the words of his trainer and surrogate father would have an effect on him. Tyson absorbed D’Amato’s stories of boxers and their struggles unknown to most who practice online sports betting in the US.
Tyson was incorporated with the “peak-a-boo” style of boxing that D’Amato typically trained his fighters in. With hands up high covering the face, Tyson would constantly bobbing and weaving towards an opponent until an opening appeared. Throughout the night, Tyson would watch old fight films that D’Amato had archived in his efforts to learn all he could about how to succeed as a short fighter facing taller opponents.
Tyson as an Amateur on His Way to the Olympics
With the training of Kevin Rooney overseen by D’Amato, Tyson started to have fights in the junior bouts in the New York area. Soon Tyson’s size and power was remembered and his reputation preceded him. This became problematic for D’Amato because he found it increasingly difficult to arrange fighters for Tyson since few his age or his size wanted to enter the ring with him.
At times, D’Amato would arrange professional boxers to come to his Catskill home to work with Tyson. But after awhile, that proved to be not so easy. Soon Tyson had to fight in amateur fights called “smokers” that were shady, unsanctioned and corrupted by gambling not in accordance to US gambling laws. D’Amato wanted Tyson learn to fight adult fighters who were fighting to survive. Despite this, Tyson fared well.
Tyson was able to enter the Junior Olympic trials and earn his place. Although there were constant complaints about Tyson’s brutality, he was able to secure two gold medals in the 1981 and 1982 Junior Olympic Games. Every bout Tyson had at during the Junior Olympics was won by knockout. Tyson still holds the quickest knockout of 8 seconds because the towel thrown in by his opponents corner in the first round.
His attempt to enter the 1984 U.S Olympic Team failed at the hands of Henry Tillman who would later win the gold medal. D’Amato then made the decision for Mike Tyson to enter the professional ranks and made a plan which would get Tyson the heavyweight championship title before the age of 21. Incidentally, such an achievement would break the record set by D’Amato’s former protégé Floyd Patterson.