I am glad I satisfied my curiosity about Tyson Ans read this book. The book is actually a memoir of Tyson’s longtime mentor and trainer -Constantine D’Amato (1908-1985). To the world he was known to the world as Cus.
The book recounts how cus discovered boxing obsessed, 13 year old Tyson in a reform centre . A boy filled to overflow with aggression, yet was very sensitive, insecure and sacred.
Before I read this book I wanted a glimpse of what made Tyson tick. I wasn’t dissapointed. Eventhough Tyson grew up in the Bronx, a tough neighborhood, deep down he dreamt of becoming someone great. He didn’t know how or when, but he believed it whole heartedly. This was contrary to his reality, where he spent quite a bit of time going in and out of correction centres.
Cus had a similar tough background to Tyson, being that he grew up in a poor neighborhood and was bullied. He also had a similar self belief, that he would be great someday. Even with all the hardship in his then reality, he realised that there was something unique and different about him and he held on to that. The power of self belief at play. I am inclined to conclude that Tyson attracted cus because of who he was and what he believed. Cus could see through the rough edges, to the inner desire that Tyson haboured.
The book also highlighted the empowerment, freedom and knowledge that comes from reading. There are quite a few mentions and explanations of how reading a book opened and changed minds around and moves both cus and Tyson further along in their goals.
Foe example, Cus who spent some time in the army, learnt how to control his fear and deal with his traumatic childhood experiences after reading ‘Psychology for the fighting man: what you should know about yourself and others. What he learnt he later used as part of his training on Tyson and other men whom he trained to be world class fighters. Knowledge is power isn’t it?
By the time Tyson was 15, cus had him reading philosophy books by Friedrich Nietzsche! This was to help him calm hia aggression, channel his emotions and develop positive affirmations to keep him focused. He was able to apply these principles everytime he got in the ring!! So, fellow 2018 reading challengers, get ready to expand your mind and change your world through books.
Cus is known as one of the most unique men to ever walk the planet. He specialised in taking the weak and making it strong. In the case of Tyson he took a fat, frightened thrirteen-year kid and made him into a man who became one of the world’s biggest boxing stars of this century!
I would recommend this book, not only to boxing fanatics but to anyone who is struggling with self believe and grappling with hope of a better tomorrow. Hope comes from unexpected places. For Tyson, hope came in the form of Cus D’Amato!
Happy reading people, 😘