Years ago exactly on this day…

By
TysonTalk

Published: April 10, 2006

April 10, 1985. Today exactly 21 years ago
Mike
Tyson fought his second professional fight at the age of just 18. While
the
fight against Trent Singleton in the ring looked very easy, the psychological fight was all but
that.
People who have stepped in the ring aswell know this by experience: the crushing
emotional
feelings before your very first fights. Mike Tyson once said it the best
with his
quote: A lot of people dont understand the
psychological trip in heavyweight
fighting. The greatest fighter in the world is not the guy with the
most skills
and most talent. The greatest fighter in the world is good at keeping
his
composure under all the pressure?. This quote goes back to
the very basic of
Cus DAmatos famous teaching of Fire &
Fear.

To
put this
psychological aspect of boxing in light Id like to share the
full video of
this fight along with an excerpt about Tysons fight against Trent
Singleton from José
Torres book Fire & Fear: The Inside Story
of Mike Tyson?.


By José Torres:

On April 10, 1985, Trent Singleton, a fighter with a poor record but an
impressive physique was coolly waiting to fight the relatively unknown
Tyson. He would be Tysons second opponent. I had visited
Singleton, wished him good luck, and told him, as I tell all boxers, to
protect himself.

Tyson, tense and anxious, was not too far away in his own dressing
room, throwing punches at an invisible opponent. He was trying to put
into practices DAmatos teachings: relaxation,
emotional control.

I dont have to tell you,? I told Mike
as he paced the large dressing room he was sharing with a few other
fighters, that feeling of wishing to be somewhere else at
this moment is normal. The other bastard in the next dressing room is
as much or more afraid than you.? Mike, his head down, never
looked up, his face remained expressionless. You know this,
but I must remind you that if you didnt have those feelings
I would tell Cus that youre a dumb, crazy kid not worth
keeping.?

No response. Are you listening?? I asked.

Uh-huh.?

At least youre not shaking like I always
did,? I said.

Before my first professional fight I couldnt control the
trembling of my hands or the butterflies in my stomach. I remember my
teeth chattering so loudly that my opponent, Gene Hamilton, who was
standing next to me, asked if I was cold. I gave him a nervous laugh
for an answer because I had noticed his stomach was quivering out of
control. I couldnt control my own trembling, but I felt my
energy level increasing as the fight approached.

Just try to relax,? I said now. And
when you walk in, dont forget to keep your hands up, your
chin down, and punch always in combination.?

Tyson nodded a couple of times and then I told him to stand up and show
me. He did, and I thought he was loose enough. I said, Now,
youre ready to search and destroy.? He managed a
spiritless smile.

Minutes later, as referee Sid Rubenstein gave the usual instructions in
the center of the ring, Mike stared at the canvas, biting down on his
mouthpiece. Fifty-two seconds after that, Rubenstein made Tyson stop
punching. The referee had probably prevented Singletons
brains from being scrambled. The fight was suddenly over and Tyson was
a happy, beaming teenager. He looked at me as if he was surprised with
the ease of his triumph. Rubensteins instructions had taken
longer than the fight itself.

The full fight can be watched by goldmembers here. Non-goldmembers can download the fight here.