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"Cus DAmato on how the most important lessons were not learned in the gym, but were learned at the dinner table: 'I never teach until Ive spoken to the fighter. I have to first determine his emotional state, get his background, to find out what I have to do, how many layers I have to keep peeling off so that I get to the core of the person so that he can recognize, as well as I, what is there."

~ Cus D'Amato

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Fan Talk: Mike Tysons Candles are Still Lit

Posted on Saturday, July 02, 2005 @ 17:25:06 UTC by tysonian

Source: saddoboxing
By Shaun Rico LaWhorn

Mike Tysons latest match left me in amazement; I was ready for surprise, shock and perplexity. Of course, I had no clue that Tyson would leave his impression on boxing and that his so-called last match would prove so defining. Tyson is a fighter that can make you watch his fights like no other, even if he has no chance in hell of pulling out a win. The man of many comebacks and during his early career days, he was the fighter, boxer combined with devastating power, relentless forward progress and movement of the head. People can try to downplay his accomplishments as mere knockout destruction of journeymen, past their prime fighters and no name fighters. Regardless, the man placed a high wave of boxing into the public eye. The public was yearning for this rescue, and he also placed his mark in the history books, as being the youngest ever to claim a heavyweight championship. Unlike certain ringside commentators, I am not going to determine Tysons past as nothing and only weigh in on his current downfall as measures on understanding Tysons career. This is not an article to place you into the sympathy line to support Mike Tyson, even the fighter himself, refuses to live in that self pity.

Tyson came up in the hard environment of Brooklyn, New York, a place where he could have easily ended up in the penal system way before boxing saved his life. He always had the urge and timing of a street fighter, he was fortunate enough to end up being trained by Cus DAmato and from there, DAmato discovered something inside of this street tough kid. Trainers have two elements of appreciation for a fighter; one is his belief that anybody can do it if they apply their heart and determination to it. The second one would be what Cus witnessed in Mike Tyson, the natural ability to do it.

More quotes available in the extended section of this post (click 'Read More' below).

With this inspiring Cus to believe in Tyson, in turn, Tysons self-esteem became sufficient and he started to understand the appreciation of compliments and he always wanted to prove to Cus that he was not going to let down the inspiration he had in him. During his DAmato days, Tyson was exposed to the whole old school methods of training; he trained like a boxer, despite his size. He moved his head like a middleweight, he countered like a lightweight and his power was everything a heavyweight wanted, the man had cannons in both hands. The passion he contributed in the ring, when he had to earn a win was breathtaking. The drive was there, his eyes had a mission in them, and his pupils had The best ever? in their center.

Ive always believed a part of Tyson died when Cus died and Tysons hunger went head first into a deep cave of self-destruction. Don Kings leadership didnt help and only added another storm to the hurricane Tyson was fighting. The Buster Douglas fight was clearly a moment in sports history that will remain as one of the biggest upsets. It wasnt news to know that Tysons once hardcore training methods were evaporating into all night partying, drug usage, many women and no strict authority figure to tell him, No, you are better than that.?

One of the most profound questions I tout around in my mind is, What happened to Mike Tyson?? Imagine the potential if Tyson would have landed in the camp of Emanuel Steward after DAmatos death. Another option is Mike settling his dispute with Kevin Rooney, a man who knows Cus training regime extremely well. If he had the guidance and security of growing and concentrating on fighting, would he have been in the position to be debated in the top five heavyweights, ever? Of course, his room on any all time list is falling deeper into the back room, and many do not even mention his name. It is a buzz in the boxing world that Tyson is exploring a ring return in the area of fighting four round bouts. Talk about pushing your legacy into the basement of laughter and amusement.

I knew from Tysons fight weight against Kevin McBride that he was not in top condition, nor had he been training with fire as he used to. Tyson weighed 233-pounds, and yet Tysons best fighting weight was always under 225. During his somber press conference, Tyson shared to the world that his gloves were in the locker for good, but people need to understand that a post-fight press conference is like a boyfriend, girlfriend argument, the following day, you dont really feel as lost and your words were light and emotional. Plus, McBride did not beat Tyson, the brain cells crashed and Tyson just did not want to be there. Tyson did not receive a boxing beat down, and these factors will all be a bonus on Tysons decision on the notion of retiring or returning to a heavyweight division that has a firecracker pop.

Now, we are at a red light in the boxing world, where Tyson is on the verge of becoming a stage show. I am hoping he changes his direction and even though I am not a supporter of a boxing comeback, Tyson needs to apply some wisdom in wanting to fight and not wanting to fight. Tyson could do a reality show, another form of a circus act, or he could share his boxing knowledge with younger fighters as he has an enormous amount of boxing knowledge. Kevin Rooney, opened his gym doors to Tyson, the same Catskill gym where Tyson mastered his skills. George Foreman even had some promotional and training advice, along with some positive guidance for the man for a meaningful comeback.

Could Foreman and Rooney combine and shape Tyson into his former self? Well, the answer is inside of Tysons harbor of thoughts. I am optimistic in every area when it comes to Tyson. Yet, in my mind, right next to his legendary knockouts, when he was in his early twenties, tells me Tyson is going to shut the Foreman and Rooney resolution down, because he thinks the people who love him, will allow him freedom to do whatever he wants. As for the people who really want to show Tyson some love, he does not see it, because the laughter and profit cash registers are too loud and taking away the sounds of the people who really want to help him. Happy belated birthday Mike Tyson.


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