This post was updated on .
Former team Tyson member Steve Lott responds to Questions about Tyson. I found this on a Tyson fan page. This was back from 2006. This was a very interesting read and insight from someone who was so close to Mike in his prime.
Hi Steve. My question is quite simple. Was Mike Tyson over-rated? With Kevin Rooney, the D'Mato numbers methology was implemented during the course of training and indeed the fights. However, once Mike left Kevin, the D'Mato system slowly eroded. Is that simply indicative of Mike Tyson being lazy and becoming a 'head hunter' or does it show that Tyson needed to be reinforced continually to stay at the pinnacle of his chosen profession and thus wasn't the 'fighter' we all think he was. In effect, was his 'greatness' over-rated because he couldn't adapt to foes without the aid of Kevin Rooney's training?
EXCELLENT QUESTION. I DO NOT KNOW IF MIKE WAS OVER RATED. THAT IS A TOUGH QUESTION. BUT I THINK I DO KNOW WHY HIS ABILITY WANED AFTER LEAVING KEVIN.
(click 'Read More' below to view all the questions and answers).
INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH IT WAS NOT PHYSICAL IT WAS EMOTIONAL. IF YOU OR I WENT BACK IN TIME TO ANY OF THE TRAINING SESSIONS POST ROONEY - AND WATCHED MIKE IN THE GYM - HE WOULD LOOK SPECTACULAR. BUT BETWEEN THE TIME THE TRAINING WAS OVER AND THE TIME HE ENTERED THE RING HIS MIND BEGAN TO PONDER HIS POSITION.
MIKE WAS AWARE THAT HE DID A TERRIBLE THIN IN LEAVING CAYTON AND ROONEY. HE WAS AWARE THAT WHEN HE WAS WITH THE ORIGINAL GROUP HE WAS A HERO, LOVED AND ADORED. WITH KING HE BECAME HATED, DESPISED, AND EVEN LAUGHED AT.
WITH THE ORIGINAL GROUP HE WAS DOING COMMERCIALS ON TV. HE WAS THE SPOKESPERSON FOR THE NEW YORK CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT AND THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION. HE WOULD WALK DOWN THE STREET AND MEN WOULD BRING THEIR KIDS UP TO MIKE. THE MEN WOULD POINT AT MIKE AND AND SAY TO THEIR CHILD THIS IS MIKE TYSON - A GREAT FIGHTER - AND A GREAT MAN - I WANT YOU TO TRY TO BE LIKE HIM WHEN YOU GROW UP.?
IN ANY TOUGH FIGHT, LIKE SMITH OR TUCKER, MIKE WOULD COME BACK TO THE CORNER AND LIKE EVERY FIGHTER AND ATHLETE QUESTION HIMSELF. THE MOMENT HE BEGAN TO DOUBT HIMSELF HE WOULD STOP AND REMIND HIMSELF THAT HE HAS GREAT PEOPLE BEHIND HIM LIKE: JACOBS, CAYTON, ROONEY, TORRES. HE WOULD REMIND HIMSELF THAT HE IS LOVED AND ADORED THROUGH OUT THE WORLD. THAT HE IS DOING COMMERCIALS ON TV AND HE IS A HERO.
ALL THAT STOPPED HAPPENING WHEN HE GOT TAKEN OVER BY KING. MIKE WOULD RETURN TO THE CORNER AND SIT DOWN AND DWELL ON HIS LIFE. YOU CANT SEE THIS IN HIS FACE BUT THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENS TO ATHLETES WHEN THERE IS NO ACTIVITY. LIKE A SOCCER PLAYER ON THE SIDELINES WAITING TO BE PUT INTO THE GAME. HE THINKS BRIEFLY ABOUT HIS WIFE AND KIDS. HIS MOTHER AND FATHER. THE PAYMENTS DUE ON HIS HOUSE. AND EVEN THE POSSIBILITY OF HIS WIFE DISCOVERING HE HAS A MISTRESS ON THE SIDE. A LOT GOES THROUGH AN ATHLETES MIND WHEN THEY ARE STILL. LIKE A FIGHTER IN THE CORNER. AND IN MIKES CASE HE KNOWS HE DID A TERRIBLE THING LEAVING CAYTON AND ROONEY. HE KNOWS THAT DON IS STEALING TENS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS FROM HIS FIGHTS. HE KNOWS THAT THE SCUM DON HAS PLACED AROUND HIM HAS SLOWLY INFLUENCED MIKE TO RETURN TO A STREET THUG MENTALITY. THROW IN THE EAR BITING AND THE THREE YEARS IN JAIL FOR THE RAPE AND YOU GET AN IDEA OF WHAT GOES THROUGH HIS MIND. WHEN HE GETS UP FOR ROUND TWO HE IS MENTALLY AND EMOTIONALLY SHOT. THE EMOTIONAL WELL? IS DRY.
TO SUM UP. IN MY OPINION MIKES FALL IS MOSTLY DUE TO THE STRESS FROM HIM KNOWING THAT HE HAS FALLEN FROM GRACE. HE DOESNT LOOK LIKE THE SENSITIVE TYPE BUT BELIEVE ME HE IS.
hi steve .. do you know what mike could punch hard .. did you guys ever mesure his punching pressure power ?
WHILE MIKE WAS WITH US THERE WERE MANY THINGS THAT WERE CRITICAL TO MIKES SUCCESS. PROPER TRAINING, PROMOTION, NEWS STORIES ETC, THAT THE IDEA OF MEASURING HIS PUNCHING POWER NEVER CAME TO MIND. ALSO, BILL CAYTON AND JIM JACOBS WOULD HAVE NO RESERVATION PUTTING MIKE IN WITH ANY FIGHTER. BUT CAN YOU IMAGINE IF SOMETHING WENT WRONG WITH THE MEASURING DEVICE AND MIKE GOT HURT IN AN ACTIVITY WHERE HE WASNT EVEN GETTING PAID. NOW THAT I THINK ABOUT IT JIM AND BILL WOULD HAVE PASSED ON THE POWER METER. UNLESS IT WAS SOME TYPE OF LASER WHERE THERE WAS NO CONTACT.
Hello Steve, around what time in Mike's career did you actually start to see a decline in Mike's skills, especially his bobbing and weaving?
ONCE MIKE LEFT KEVIN AND CAYTON HIS EMOTIONAL STABILITY WEAKENED AND HIS BOXING SKILLS ERODED BECAUSE OF THE PRESSURE HE FELT. THIS IS ALL DETAILED IN MY ANSWER TO THE VERY FIRST QUESTION. IT IS ALL EMOTIONAL - NOT PHYSICAL. MIKE IS VERY SENSITIVE AND HE KNEW HE WAS DOING WRONG. BUT, AS WE ALL KNOW, DON KING IS A MASTER CON MAN.
Hi Steve, It seems most of the boxing greats have had some type of controversy associated with their careers (Ali losing his license for not participating in the draft, along with the many aspects of Liston's career just to name a couple) and Mike's rape conviction in the 90's is certainly no exception. My question is if you think Mike's time in prison and the whole incident all together demoralized Mike to a point where he was never really the same? In other words, if he didn't go to prison at that time, what did you see on the horizon?
EVEN IF MIKE DID NOT GO TO PRISON HE WOULD STILL WOULD HAVE BEEN LOOKED AT AS THE BIGGEST BUFFOON IN THE HISTORY OF SPORTS. ALL OF THE THINGS THAT KING, HOLLOWAY AND HORN HAD HIM SAY AND DO PAINTED A PICTURE OF MIKE TO THE PUBLIC. AND THAT PICTURE IS SOMETHING THAT THE PUBLIC WILL NOT FORGET. MIKE WAS SUCCESSFULLY PORTRAYED AS THE WORLDS MOST FAMOUS STREET THUG.?
THE RAPE WAS JUST ANOTHER NOTCH ON MIKES BELT.
HERES IS ANOTHER WAY OF THINKING ABOUT THE WHOLE ERA. LETS SUPPOSE THAT MIKE DID NOT GO WITH DON. LETS SUPPOSE HE STAYED WITH CAYTON, DID MORE COMMERCIALS, BECAME A BIGGER HERO, WAS MORE LOVED AND ADORED.
AND THEN IS ACCUSED OF RAPE.
SOME OF THE PUBLIC WOULD HAVE TURNED THEIR BACK ON HIM BUT MOST WOULD HAVE STAYED IN HIS CORNER. IN MUCH THE SAME WAY IN 1987 WHEN MIKE WAS ACCUSED OF PUNCHING THE PARKING LOT ATTENDANT IN LOS ANGELES. THE REPORT WAS BAD BUT THE PUBLIC DISMISSED IT COMPLETELY. OF COURSE, A RAPE ACCUSATION IS MUCH WORSE BUT MIKE WAS SUCH A HERO THAT THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN A BIG QUESTION AS TO WHETHER HE DID IT OR NOT.
AND THEN THERE IS ALSO MIKES DEFENSE IN THE RAPE CASE. DON KING CHOOSING VINCENT FULLER, A CORPORATE LAWYER, TO DEFEND MIKE. THE BLUNDER OF THE CENTURY.
THERE IS SOMETHING HERE THAT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER. DON KING, WANTED MIKE TO ACT LIKE A THUG. THE REASON IS THAT THE MORE MIKE ACTED LIKE A THUG THE LESS CHANCE MIKE WOULD STOP AND THINK FOR HIMSELF AND REALIZE THAT KING IS DESTROYING HIS LIFE. IN ADDITION THE MORE MIKE ACTED LIKE A PUNK DON KNEW THAT IT WOULD BE DIFFICULT FOR MIKE TO GO BACK TO CAYTON AND ROONEY AND APOLOGIZE. AND DON WAS RIGHT.
My questions to Steve:
1. I noticed during the ringwalks that along Mike, Kevin and you there was another man with glasses (most of the time in the team trademark Cus D'Amato shirt) as seen on this picture. Who is this (always smiling) man and what was his role in the team?
THE PERSON IS MATT BARANSKI. MATT WAS AN OLD FRIEND OF DAMATO. WHEN MIKE TURNED PRO CUS ASKED MATT TO HANDLE THE CUTS. WHEN WE STARTED TO TRAVEL TO THE BIG FIGHTS IN LAS VEGAS AND ATLANTIC CITY I ASKED MATT TO HANDLE THE SPARRING PARTNERS AS WELL. HIS JOB WAS TO MAKE SURE ALL THE SPARRING PARTNERS GOT TO THE GYM ON TIME EACH DAY. MIKE , KEVIN AND I DID NOT STAY AT THE HOTEL IN EITHER LAS VEGAS OR ATLANTIC CITY. SO WE NEEDED SOMEONE WHO COULD KEEP AN EYE ON ALL THESE GUYS. AT THE SPINKS FIGHT I THINK WE MIGHT HAVE HAD AS MUCH AS EIGHT SPARRING PARTNERS AT ONE TIME.
2. As a cornerman yourself what were your thoughts when you saw Tyson-Douglas and Mikes corner during that fight (e.g. the corners lack of ice to treat Mikes swelling)?
I AM REALLY NOT AN EXPERT ON CORNER WORK. KEVIN PERMITTED ME TO CARRY THE BUCKET FOR MIKE AND THATS ALL I WAS GOOD AT. WHILE I DID NOT LIKE ANYTHING THE CORNER WAS DOING DURING THE DOUGLAS FIGHT IT REALLY MADE VERY LITTLE DIFFERENCE. MIKE LOST THE FIGHT THE MINUTE DOUGLAS SHOWED SOME COURAGE. REMEMBER THE FIRST QUESTION. THIS IS ALL EMOTIONAL AND NOT PHYSICAL. MIKE WINS OR LOSES A FIGHT BEFORE HE GETS INTO THE RING. WHEN HE WAS WITH CAYTON AND ROONEY HE TRULY BELIEVED HE COULD NOT LOSE. BUT ONCE HE GOT CONNED BY KING THAT CONFIDENCE WAS LOST. AND WITH THE CONFIDENCE GO THE HEAD MOTION AND COMBINATION PUNCHING.
THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT OF MIKES CORNER DURING THE DOUGLAS FIGHT WAS MIKE LOOKED AROUND AND SAW LOSERS. SNOWELL AND THE OTHERS. ALL LOSERS. AND MIKE KNEW THEY WORKED FOR DON. THIS GAVE HIM NO CONFIDENCE.
Hi Steve how would you rate the Tyson of the 80's and how would you rate the Tyson of the 90's ?And do you ever talk to Mike anymore? Thanks
THERE ARE PROFESSIONAL FIGHTERS, THERE ARE CHAMPIONS AND THEN THERE IS MIKE. IF SOMEONE ASKED ME IF I WOULD RATHER WORK WITH THE WORLDS BEST FIGHTER OR THE WORLDS MOST EXCITING FIGHTER THERE IS NO QUESTION. THE MOST EXCITING FIGHTER! EVERYONE WANTS TO BE ENTERTAINED BY A FIGHTER. AND THE ONLY WAY TO DO THAT IS WITH FIGHTING. NOT DANCING, NOT MOVING,. NOT BOXING - FIGHTING.
I DO NOT KNOW IF MIKE CAN BE CONSIDERED ONE OF THE BEST FIGHTERS OF ALL TIME BUT IN MY OPINION HE WAS SURELY THE MOST EXCITING. AS MUCH AS I LOVE WATCHING MARCIANO, DURAN, ARMSTRONG, HARADA AND PRYOR MIKE WAS EVEN MORE ELECTRIC. WHEN HE FOUGHT YOU COULD NEVER TAKE YOUR EYES FROM THE SCREEN. YOU NEVER KNEW WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN OR WHEN
THIS WAS THE MIKE TYSON OF THE 80'S. THE 90'S NOT SO MUCH. BUT PEOPLE STILL WATCHED BECAUSE THERE WAS A MYSTIQUE TO MIKE. IN THE SAME WAY WHEN ALI FOUGHT IN THE MID 70'S HE WAS REALLY SHOT. BUT ALL THE CONTROVERSY SURROUNDING HIM OUTSIDE THE RING FROM THE 60'S FOLLOWED HIM AND DREW THE FANS
Hi steve, I notice when Tyson was trained by Kevin Rooney and Cus, he bobbed and weaved and also threw many devastating hooks. But since his return from prison, he not only doesn't throw as many hooks, they're thrown aimlessly, usually missing. My question is what was the factor in that, was it the new trainers that taught him a different style, not practicing on it, or was it because he became less flexible due to more muscle mass?
AGAIN THIS IS ALL EMOTIONAL AND NOT PHYSICAL. I ADDRESSED ALL THIS IN THE FIRST QUESTION. ONE ADDITIONAL NOTE. IF YOU WENT TO THE GYM WHERE MIKE WORKED OUT BEFORE ANY OF HIS LAST COUPLE OF FIGHTS HE LOOKED SPECTACULAR. BY THE TIME THE FIGHT CAME AROUND HE WAS SHOT. THAT IS ALL EMOTIONAL. AS AN EXAMPLE - IN SOCCER IF A PLAYER CAN MAKE POINT AFTER POINT IN PRACTICE BUT LOOKS COMPLETELY INEPT IN THE GAME IT IS NOT PHYSICAL - IT IS EMOTION OVERWHELMING THE PLAYER ON THE FIELD. IT HAS LITTLE TO DO WITH WHAT HE IS TAUGHT. IT HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH THE WAY HE FEELS.?
Hi Steve... - was the Tyson 80s skills better than Ali and how would u rate his punching power in his prime days?
IN HIS PRIME MIKE WAS ONE OF THE GREAT PUNCHERS OF AL TIME.
ALWAYS A TOUGH QUESTION - COMPARING GREAT FIGHTERS. BUT THIS IS THE WAY I DO IT. I NEVER RATE FIGHTER WHEN THEY PERFORM AT THEIR BEST - I RATE THEM WHEN THEY PERFORM AT THEIR WORST.
SO WITH ALI, I DO NOT THINK OF THE ALI THAT LOOKED GREAT AGAINST LISTON 2ND OR CLEVELAND WILLIAMS. I THINK OF THE ALI THAT GOT DROPPED BY COOPER, DROPPED BY BANKS, CHASED OUT OF THE RING BY DOUG JONES, AND THE LEGENDARY? KARL MILDENBERGER. SO AT HIS WORST ALI WAS NOT SO GREAT.
I ANALYZE MIKE THE SAME WAY BUT THE RESULT IS VERY DIFFERENT. I DO NOT LOOK AT THE TYSON THAT SCORED SENSATIONAL KOS AGAINST FRAZIER, BERBICK, BIGGS, HOLMES SPINKS. FOR A COMPARISON I CHOOSE THE TYSON THAT HAD TO WORK HARD AGAINST TILLIS, GREEN, SMITH AND TUCKER.
THIS MIKE, AT HIS WORST, WON ALMOST EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY ROUND, NEVER TAKING A BACKWARD STEP AGAINST THESE VERY CAPABLE FIGHTERS. SO AT HIS WORST? MIKE WAS A STILL A SUPERB FIGHTER.
Hello Steve and thank you for this opportunity.
What is your earliest memory of meeting Mike, and what sort of first impression did he make on you, both as a fighter and as a young boy in general? Also, can you make any observations about Mike today that contrasts with the Mike you first met, and can you share with us your personal opinions on these changes? Thanks.
I MET MIKE BRIEFLY AROUND 1983. HE STOPPED BY THE OFFICE OF BIG FIGHTS FOR A FEW MOMENTS. CUS AND HE WERE ON THEIR WAY TO SEE A HAND DOCTOR AS MIKE HAD HURT HIS HAND IN TRAINING. HE DID NOT LOOK THAT IMPRESSIVE TO ME . SHOWS YOU HOW MUCH I KNEW.
ONCE HE STARTED LIVING IN MY APARTMENT IN 1985 I GOT TO KNOW HIM. HE WAS A TERRIFIC YOUNG KID. EVERYONE IN MY BUILDING FELL IN LOVE WITH HIM. TO THIS DAY IF YOU STOPPED ANYONE WHO LIVED THERE AT THAT TIME AND ASKED THEM ABOUT MIKE THEY WOULD HAVE ONLY GOOD THINGS TO SAY. HE GENUINELY CARED ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE. HE WOULD ASK HOW ARE YOU AND WHAT YOU DID FOR A LIVING. WERE YOU MARRIED? KID? DO YOU PLAY SPORTS? EVERYTHING.
THE MIKE TODAY IS DEFINITELY A TORTURED SOUL. HE IS NOT OBLIVIOUS TO THE FACT THE HE IS A BUM IN THE EYES MOST OF THE WORLD. I UNDERSTAND THAT MIKE IS TREATED WITH A MORE RESPECT IN ENGLAND THAN HERE IN THE US. BUT I CAN TELL YOU THAT WHEN MIKE GOES TO SLEEP AT NIGH HE REMEMBERS EVERYTHING. ALL THE STUFF HE DID THAT WAS GREAT - AND ALL THE STUFF UNDER KINGS GUIDANCE THAT TURNED THE PUBLIC COMPLETELY OFF.
ALSO, YOU MUST TRY TO UNDERSTAND HOW PAINFUL A TYPICAL DAY IS FOR MIKE. AND REMEMBER THAT NOT ALL PEOPLE ARE FIGHT FANS LIKE YOU AND I.
IN THE MORNING MIKE GOES TO BUY A CUP OF COFFEE. THE WAITER LOOKS UP SEES MIKE FACE AND AS HE GOES OFF TO PREPARE THE COFFEE MIKE CAN HEAR HIM SAY, THATS TYSON - WHAT A BUM.?
SAME THING HAPPENS AFTER MIKE BUYS THE MORNING PAPER.
AS MIKE WALKS DON THE STREET, HE CAN HEAR THE WHISPERS, THE WORDS, THE INSULTS. THIS IS ALL A FAR CRY FROM THE LOVE AND ADORATION HE RECEIVED WHEN HE WAS WITH CAYTON AND ROONEY. OF ALL THE CHANGES IN MIKES LIFE THIS IS THE ONE THAT I FEEL MOST SAD ABOUT.
Hi Steve, I am a huge tyson fan and I would really appreciate if you could answer my question . This question might seem bizarre but here I go . I know it would'nt of suited Tyson's style but did mike have the footspeed and footwork to get up on his toes and move like ali , did mike have the foot speed, balance and athleticism to do that ?
I THINK MIKE WOULD HAVE BEEN OK TRYING TO DO THAT BUT I DONT THINK THAT HIS NATURAL ATHLETIC TALENT WAS UP TO ALIS. IN ORDER TO FIGHT LIKE ALI FOUGHT YOU MUST HAVE EQUAL NATURAL PHYSICAL ABILITY. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE THE NATURAL PHYSICAL ABILITY YOU WILL NOT BE SUCCESSFUL. THINK ABOUT THE FIGHTERS WHO TRIED TO EMULATE ALI AND NEVER MADE IT; JAMES TILLIS, HOWARD DAVIS, JIMMY CLARK. GREG PAGE
PLEASE REMEMBER. ALI WAS SUCCESSFUL BECAUSE HE WAS MUCH MORE ATHLETIC THAN HIS OPPONENTS AND NOT BECAUSE HE HAD BETTER SKILLS. ALIS SKILLS WERE VERY POOR. HE FOUGHT WITH HIS HANDS DOWN AND NEVER MOVED HIS HEAD PROPERLY. HE PULLED BACK FROM PUNCHES AND THAT IS DANGEROUS IF YOU FIGHT AN OPPONENT WHO THROWS MORE THAN ONE PUNCH. AS CUS DAMATO SAID ITS LIKE BEING ON RAIL ROAD TRACKS. YOU CAN ONLY PULL BACK SO FAR. AND SPEAKING OF CUS THATS ANOTHER REASON WHY MIKE DID NOT FIGHT THE ALI STYLE. CUS REALIZED THAT THE FIGHTERS WHO WILL EARN THE MOST MONEY WILL BE THE FIGHTERS WHO ARE EXCITING - THAT MEANS THE ONES WHO ARE AGGRESSIVE AND NOT THE ONES THAT RUN AROUND THE RING.
To Steve I would like to ask:
1.What is the story with the (now Tyson trademark) spare white towel with a hole ripped in the middle which Tyson wore sometime during the ringwalk? When and why was it thought of ?
IT WAS AN OUTDOOR FIGHT IN VEGAS IN 1987 - THE AIR WAS COLD AND OF COURSE WE HAD NO ROBE. THE WAS A 100 METER WALK FROM THE TRAILER TO THE ENTRANCE TO THE ARENA AND KEVIN WANTED MIKE TO STAY WARM AFTER WARMING UP AGAINST THE MITTS PUNCHES IN THE LOCKER ROOM. KEVIN JUST TOOK A TOWEL, CUT OUT A NOTCH AND THE REST IS HISTORY.
2. Whose idea was it to let every Tyson teammember wear those cool Cus D'Amato t-shirts (I assume it was a homage to the great Cus D'Amato)? It really looked awesome.
IN LATE 86 I DISCUSSED THIS WITH JIM JACOBS AND BILL CAYTON. THEY AGREED THAT IT WOULD BE OK FOR US TO WEAR SOME SPECIAL SHIRT WHEN WE WORKED THE FIGHT. I SUGGESTED THE IMAGE OF TYSON AND CUS TAKEN FROM A PAINTING AND OF COURSE BILL AND JIM AGREED WHOLE HEARTEDLY. HOWEVER, WHAT WAS DIFFICULT WAS DECIDING ON THE WORDING ON THE SHIRT. I ORIGINALLY SUGGESTED BAD INTENTIONS.? BUT JIM AND BILL CONFERRED WITH THEIR WISE MARKETING PEOPLE AND WERE TOLD THAT THIS MIGHT EFFECT MIKES POSITIVE IMAGE. SO WE WENT BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD AND CAME UP WITH ANOTHER DAMATO PHRASE. FIRE AND FEAR.?
3. Mike Tysons life has been a journey like no other. He has experienced more than 100 average person combined. There has even been interest to make a movie of his life. What is your opinion on a Tyson movie (which inevitably would star your character)?
I AM NOT CERTAIN OF THE LEGALITY OF DOING A MOVIE ON MIKES LIFE WITHOUT HIS PERMISSION. AND THERE IS NO WAY HE WOULD ADMIT TO ALL THE ITEMS WE HAVE GONE THROUGH IN THIS INTERVIEW. MUCH, MUCH TOO EMBARRASSING. IN ADDITION, THE MOVIE, IF WERE TRUE TO FACT, WOULD HAVE TO SHOW THE NEGATIVE ROLES THAT GIVENS, KING AND FINKEL PLAYED IN MIKES DEMISE. I THINK THE LAWSUITS WOULD BE FLYING AT THAT POINT AND ANY PRODUCER WOULD BE COGNIZANT OF THAT.
4.Mike Tysons ringwalk remain one of the most powerfull ringwalks ever. Especially the music attributes to that. Who would normally choose the ringwalk music to be used for a fight?
WHEN WE WORKED WITH MIKE THE HOTEL/CASINO WOULD ALWAYS SELECT WHATEVER THEY WANTED. MIKE NEVER MADE A POINT ABOUT ANY SPECIFIC MUSIC THAT SHOULD BE PLAYED AS HE ENTERED THE RING.
5.You're now a manager of the upcoming fighter Lenord Pierre. How much does Pierre as a fighter reminds you to Tyson (since he is trained with the same Cus D'Amato system)?
IN TRAINING LENORD SHOW TREMENDOUS ABILITY TO PERFORM LIKE A MIDDLEWEIGHT VERSION OF MIKE TYSON. BUT HE HAS NOT YET BEEN RELAXED ENOUGH TO SHOW THAT DURING THE FIGHT. HOPEFULLY HE WILL LEARN HOW TO RELAX AND DO WHAT KEVIN HAS TAUGHT HIM
6. What happened to Thomas Hayes planned fight against Timor Ibragimov?
I DO NOT WORK WITH TIMOR. THATS A GOOD QUESTION FOR KEVIN ROONEY.
'hi steve' , Do u Believe Mike had the Potiental To be one of the greatest fighters of all time, But blew that opputurnity away .. due to his personal life problems, lack of disiplin, 'leaving roney etc...?
MIKE WAS A SPECTACULAR FIGHTER. NOT BECAUSE HE WAS BORN MIKE TYSON BUT BECAUSE HE WAS SURROUNDED BY THE MOST POWERFUL POSITIVE INFLUENCES IMAGINABLE; DAMATO, JACOBS, CAYTON, EWALD. TORRES, HAMMIL, AND OTHERS.
MUCH IN THE SAME WAY MIKE DID NOT TURN OUT TO BE THE MOST FAMOUS BUM OF ALL TIME BECAUSE HE WAS BORN MIKE TYSON. HE WAS SURROUNDED BY THE MOST EVIL INFLUENCES IMAGINABLE, GIVENS, KING AND FINKEL.
CUS, CALCULATINGLY, SPENT A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF TIME AND EFFORT TURNING MIKE INTO ONE THE GREATEST CHAMPIONS AND HEROS OF ALL TIME.
KING, CALCULATINGLY, SPENT A GREAT DEAL OF TIME AND EFFORT TURNING MIKE INTO A BUM. AS I WROTE BEFORE THIS WAS DONE TO KEEP MIKE FROM GOING BACK TO CAYTON AND ROONEY. SHELLY FINKEL HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO BRING MIKE BACK TO KEVIN BUT SHELLY KNEW THAT KEVIN WOULD TELL MIKE THE TRUTH ABOUT MIKES FINANCES AND THAT IS ONE THING THAT SHELLY, LIKE KING, DIDNT WANT ANYONE TO KNOW ABOUT.
1. In your opinion Steve, would Mike have been as successfull under any other trainer because Mike has had more trainers than weve had hot dinners but hasnt reached the same level of brilliance he acheived under Rooney's and your own guidance.
SINCE MIKE LEARNED THE CUS DAMATO SYSTEM? IT WOULD BE NECESSARY FOR KEVIN TO BE WITH HIM TO KEEP IT FRESH IN MIKES MIND.
ONCE AGAIN, THIS HAS AS MUCH TO DO WITH MIKES EMOTION. IF HE SEES KEVINS FACE IT IS A CALMING EFFECT FOR MIKE. TO BE PERFECTLY HONEST EVEN WITH ROONEY IN HIS CORNER MIKE NEVER, EVER, FOUGHT UP TO HIS PHYSICAL POTENTIAL. HE NEVER PERFORMED IN THE FIGHT THE WAY HE DID IN TRAINING. HE WAS HOWEVER, SUPREMELY CONFIDENT OF WINNING AND IT WAS THAT EMOTIONAL CONFIDENCE THAT MADE HIM THE GREAT CHAMPION HE WAS.
2. On the other hand, Kevin hasnt produced a great fighter of note since Mike, although Omar Sheika had some success.
GREAT QUESTION. THANK YOU. I AM SO GLAD YOU ASKED THIS QUESTION.
AS YOU KNOW KEVIN ROONEY LIVES IN THE TOWN OF CATSKILL NEW YORK. IT IS 250 KILOMETERS FROM THE CITY AND IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. THE TOWN IS ALMOST DEAD. ABOUT ONCE A YEAR A KID WOULD COME TO THE GYM WHO COULD JUST ABOUT WALK AND CHEW GUM AT THE SAME TIME. IN OTHER WORDS THERE WERE NO KIDS AROUND - AT ALL. IF KEVIN HAD MOVED TO NEW YORK CITY AND OPENED A GYM IN THE BRONX FOR INSTANCE, BIG DIFFERENCE. NOW YOU HAVE HUNDREDS OF KIDS ALL AROUND EVERYDAY WHO ARE CAPABLE OF BECOMING GOOD FIGHTERS. IF KEVIN HAD DONE THIS IN THE EARLY 90'S HE WOULD HAVE HAD A NICE GROUP OF WORLD CHAMPIONS BY NOW. KEVINS FAMILY LIVES IN CATSKILL AND THATS WHY HE PROBABLY DID NOT MOVE.
First, I want to say that I am a big fan of your work with Mike Tyson and I have enjoyed watching the several documentaries you participated in discussing Mike Tyson's rise and fall as a champion. A few in-depth questions:
1. It is well known that you and Mike were really close, but did you ever have any major conflicts or differences of opinion during the time you were with him?
ON THE PERSONAL LEVEL - MIKE LIVED WITH ME IN MY APARTMENT FOR ABOUT 2 Â½ YEARS. NOW YOU MUST REMEMBER THAT THIS IS AN 18 YEAR OLD WITH NO MOM, NO DAD AND UNDER TREMENDOUS PRESSURE OF BEING THE NEXT GREAT CHAMPION? - AND THEN UNDER THE PRESSURE OF BEING THE YOUNGEST HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION OF ALL TIME.
AND THE MEANEST THING HE EVER SAID TO ME WAS, STEVE, HOW COME YOU ATE UP ALL THE VANILLA ICE CREAM?? IN OTHER WORDS HE WAS A DELIGHT TO BE AROUND.
PROFESSIONALLY, MIKE DID EVERYTHING HE WAS ASKED TO DO. SOMETIMES HE WAS NOT HAPPY ABOUT DOING ALL THE PROMOTIONAL THINGS THAT WERE REQUESTED BY THE HOTEL, CASINO OR HBO, BUT HE DID THEM.
2. What happened to your relationship with Mike after Don King took over...Did the fact that you were so wrongfully removed from the camp totally ruin your relationship with him? Did you stay in touch at all after the break? Did Mike ever apologize for what had happened?
AFTER KING TOOK OVER I RARELY SAW MIKE. BUT IT DID NOT RUIN MY RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM. IT RUINED HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH ME. HE WAS EMBARRASSED TO CALL ME OR SPEAK TO ME BECAUSE HE KNEW HE DID WRONG. WHEN MIKE WENT TO PRISON I WROTE HIM AT LEAST 3 OR 4 TIMES A WEEK. I AM SURE I HAVE THE RECORD FOR MOST LETTERS TO HIM WHILE HE WAS IN INDIANA. HE CALLED ME ONCE TO SAY THANKS FOR THE LETTERS. I COULD HEAR THE PAIN IN HIS VOICE. I COULD HEAR HOW DIFFICULT IT WAS FOR HIM TO TALK TO ME FROM BEHIND THOSE WALLS. HE KNEW WE ALL TOLD HIM NOT TO GO WITH KING. GET HIS OWN ATTORNEY, HIS OWN ACCOUNTANT. HE KNEW HE MADE A BIG MISTAKE.
IN MANY OF THE LETTERS I TOLD HIM TO GET HIS OWN MANAGER WHEN HE GETS OUT. GET HIS OWN LAWYER, HIS OWN ACCOUNTANT. WHAT DOES HE DO? GO RIGHT BACK TO DON. THATS WHY I NEVER HEAR FORM HIM. HE IS SO EMBARRASSED ABOUT THE PAST.
3. I have heard many reports stating that Kevin Rooney and Mike had some conflicts over Robin Givens and that Don King had blindly convinced Mike that Bill Cayton couldn't be trusted...Is their any truth to these statements or was most of this just fabricated by the media? What's the inside story on what led to the demise of the original Tyson Camp?
THERE WERE THREE VERY IMPORTANT PARTS HERE.
PART ONE - ROBIN - YOU WOULD THINK THAT A WOMAN LIKE ROBIN, MAKING TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS A WEEK ON TV, WOULD NOT MARRY JUST FOR MONEY. BUT THATS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED. HER MOTHER, RUTH ROPER, WAS A STREET HOOKER IN THE BRONX YEARS BEFORE AND KNEW HOW TO PLAY THE GAME. SHE TAUGHT ROBIN WELL. WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS TELL MIKE YOU ARE PREGNANT WITH IS BABY. IT WORKED.
ONCE SHE HAD MIKE THEN SHE BEGAN TO WORK ON HAVING MIKE GET RID OF BILL CAYTON. THE FOLLOWING IS AN INDICATION OF HOW REALLY EVIL ROBIN IS. MIKE WANTED HIS DEAR FRIEND RORY HOLLOWAY TO RUN THE MERCHANDISING BUSINESS FOR TYSONS APPAREL COMPANY. ON THE DAY OF THE SPINKS FIGHT MIKE ASKED BILL CAYTON TO MEET WITH HIM AND RORY SO THAT BILL COULD GUIDE RORY THROUGH THIS NEW BUSINESS. BILL WENT TO MIKES ROOM, MET WITH MIKE AND RORY AND PROMISED MIKE THAT HE WOULD WORK WITH RORY ON EACH AND EVERY STEP OF THE NEW BUSINESS TO MAKE SURE THAT IT WAS A COMPLETE SUCCESS. MIKE COULD NOT BE HAPPIER. HE THANKED BILL PROFUSELY. THEN THAT NIGHT AT RINGSIDE ROBINS LAWYER PRESENTS BILL WITH A SUMMONS SUING HIM FOR BREACH OF CONTRACT REGARDING MIKES CAREER. NOW, FOR A MOMENT, CAN YOU IMAGINE MIKE KNOWING THAT ROBIN WOULD BE DOING THIS AND ASKING BILL THAT DAY TO COME OVER AND HELP RORY.? MIKE HAD NO IDEA. THATS THE TYPE OF EVIL THAT BEGAN TO SURROUND MIKE.
THEN THE FUNNY STUFF BEGAN. DON KING REALIZING THAT ROBIN HAS SUCCESSFULLY STARTED THIS WEDGE BETWEEN MIKE AND CAYTON INSTITUTES HIS OWN PLAN. HE PRESENTS MIKE WITH A PROMOTIONAL CONTRACT. MIKE , THE DUTIFUL HUSBAND, GIVES THE CONTRACT TO ROBIN. ROBINS LAWYERS REVIEW IT AND REPORT BACK TO HER. THEY TELL HER THAT SHOULD MIKE SIGN THIS CONTRACT DON WILL BE ABLE TO CONTROL THE PATH OF EVERY SINGLE DOLLAR THAT IS GENERATED. ROBIN QUICKLY REALIZES WHAT DON WAS UP TO. THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE THIEF IN THE FAMILY AND THAT WAS GOING TO BE ROBIN.
SHE GIVES MIKE AN ORDER, YOU ARE NOT TO SPEAK WITH DON KING!?
SHE KNEW BILL HAD GIVEN MIKE EVERY DOLLAR THAT WAS DUE HIM SO SHE HAS MIKE SIGN A NEW MANAGERS CONTRACT WITH BILL CAYTON. BILL AGREES TO GO FROM 33/3 PERCENT TO 20% JUST TO BE DONE WITH THE WHOLE MATTER.
THEN ROBIN PUTS MIKE ON THE FAMOUS BARBARA WALTERS SHOW AND EMBARRASSES HIM IN FRONT OF THE ENTIRE WORLD - THAT WAS THE END.
PART TWO - STEVE LOTTS CHANCE AFTER THE BARBARA WALTERS SHOW MIKE CAME BACK TO OUR OFFICE TO APOLOGIZE FOR ALL THE BAD THINGS HE SAID AND DID AT ROBINS REQUEST. BILL TOLD HIM THE MOST IMPORTANT THING WAS TO HAVE MIKE UNDERSTAND THAT HE IS NOT ?MANIC DEPRESSIVE? AS ROBIN SAID ON THE TV SHOW. BILL BROUGHT IN ABRAHAM HALPERIN, ONE OF THE WORLDS MOST RESPECTED PSYCHOLOGISTS TO EXAMINE MIKE. AFTER THE EXAMINATION MIKE WAS PLEASED TO LEARN THAT HE WAS NOT MANIC DEPRESSIVE.
THE DOCTOR TOLD BILL THAT ALL MIKE NEEDED WAS TO GO BACK TO FIGHTING. SOON.
BILL EXPLAINED A SERIES OF FIGHTS HE PLANED FOR MIKE THAT PUT A BIG SMILE ON HIS FACE. AND AS MIKE WALKED OUT OF THE OFFICE HE TURNED TO BILL AND SAID. BILL, PLEASE GET ME SOME MORE OF THOSE GREAT COMMERCIALS!?
HERES WHERE I MADE A HUGE MISTAKE. I LET MIKE WALK OUT OF THE OFFICE. I SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT THE PAIN IN MIKES HEART AFTER THE WOMAN OF HIS DREAMS? JUST WALKED ALL OVER HIM.
I SHOULD HAVE SAID, HEY MIKE WAIT DOWNSTAIRS AT THE ELEVATOR FOR ME FOR A MINUTE.?
THEN I SHOULD HAVE TOLD BILL CAYTON THAT I WAS GOING TO TAKE MIKE DOWN TO RIO DE JANERO AND GET HIM LAID 44 TIMES DAY TO GET HIS MIND OFF OF ROBIN. IF I DID THAT MIKE WOULD HAVE BEEN OVER ROBIN AND KING WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO SWAY HIM.
PART 3 BUT I DID NOT DO THAT - TWO DAYS LATER KING DID. HE FOUND MIKE IN A NEW YORK NIGHT CLUB - FLEW HIM TO OHIO - AND BOUGHT HIM THE MOST GORGEOUS HOOKERS MONEY COULD BUY.
IN TWO WEEKS MIKE WAS ASKING FOR HIS CONTRACTS.
ILL NEVER REGRET THE MISTAKE I MADE.
4. We all know that Cus D'Amato had a whole 'bag of tricks' when it came to training his fighters. Specifically, can you point out Mike's typical training program during this time and what he would do from day to day in the gym? Can you explain some of the most effective techniques you used with him? For instances, I heard some things about Mike doing what are known as 'power rounds' where he would just unleash a fury of punches to the heavy bag for 30 seconds followed by a 1 minute rest period...is that true? I've also heard that Mike didn't lift weights at all back then and just did calisthenics (which I found hard to believe since he was so BIG!)...is this true also and what was that routine like? Any insider training information would be greatly appreciate Thank you so much for your time and God Bless!
CUS INSTITUTED THREE BRILLIANT CONCEPTS:
1. HEAD MOTION. - ESPECIALLY AFTER THE LAST PUNCH
2. NUMBER SYSTEM - NUMBERS FOR EACH PUNCH.
3. SPECIFIC COMBINATIONS - DRILLED OVER AND OVER EXACTLY THE SAME WAY.
CUS WOULD NEVER, EVER, HAVE MIKE THROW PUNCHES FOR THIRTY SECONDS STRAIGHT. THAT IS NOT WHAT HAPPENS IN THE RING. YOU THROW A COUPLE OF PUNCHES THEN YOUR OPPONENT PUNCHES BACK. IT IS YOUR HEAD MOTION AFTER THE LAST PUNCH THAT SETS UP YOUR NEXT SEQUENCE OF PUNCHES.
INSIDE TIP, MOVE YOUR HEAD AFTER YOUR LAST PUNCH. REMEMBER, YOUR OPPONENT IS GOING TO THROW A PUNCH TO THE SPOT WHERE YOU WERE LAST.
Hi Steve, Analysing Mike's career as a whole a lot is made of the fact that Mike NEVER got up to win like say Marciano, Holmes, Holyfield etc did. During his prime years of 85-89 when he had the hunger within him, how do you think Mike would have coped had he met someone good enough who would not have been intimidated and bullied? Did Mike have the heart in his prime to come back from the brink?
YOU ARE CORRECT. MIKE NEVER HAD THE CHANCE IN HIS PRIME TO MEET SOMEONE WHERE HE WOULD HAVE HAD TO SHOW WHAT HE REALLY HAD INSIDE. MOST PROBABLY THE PERSON TO TEST HIM WOULD HAVE STILL BEEN DOUGLAS. BUT WITH KEVIN, CAYTON, LORAINE JACOBS, AND JOSE TORRES AT RINGSIDE I BELIEVE THE OUTCOME WOULD HAVE BEEN DIFFERENT. REMEMBER, AS BAD AS MIKE WAS BACK IN 1990, HE DROPPED DOUGLAS WITH THAT GREAT UPPERCUT AND WAS JUST ONE SECOND AWAY FROM RETAINING THE TITLE.
From what you observed, was Cus & Mike's relationship closer to that of a father & son bond or was it more or less a fighter and coach chemistry between the two? Also, after Cus' passing on November 4th, 1985, Mike fought Eddie Richardson just days later. Can you recall how hard Mike took the loss of his adopted father & the atmosphere in the locker room before Mikes first fight without Cus? Thanks.
I THINK MIKE LOOKED UPON CUS AS A FATHER. MIKE TOOK THE LOSS HARD BUT HE KNEW THAT IT WOULD HAPPEN A SOME TIME. CUS TOLD HIM OVER AND OVER THAT HE MAY NOT BE THERE. MIKE HAD CUSS ABILITY TO BE THE CONSUMMATE PROFESSIONAL AND CONTINUE. REMEMBER, MIKE STILL HAD KEVIN, JIM, BILL, LORAINE JACOBS, CAMILE EWALD AND OTHER LOVING PEOPLE AROUND.
IN THE LOCKER ROOM FOR THE RICHARDSON FIGHT MIKE WAS ALL BUSINESS AND HE SHOWED IT IN THE RING.
im very interested in the routine mike followed.
1-What kind of routine in the heavy bag, bodyweights exercises and weight training did he followed?
FIRST OF ALL MIKE LIKED RUNNING EARLY - MAYBE 4 OR 5 AM. BEFORE A BIG FIGHT KEVIN WOULD HAVE MIKE WORK THE HEAVY BAG AND THE PADS IN THE FIRST COUPLE OF DAYS. THEN MOSTLY SPARRING FOR THE NEXT COUPLE OF WEEKS. KEVIN, LIKE CUS, BELIEVED THAT SPARRING WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING FOR A FIGHTER.
2-How much of mikes power and speed do you think is genetic and how much if for hardwork and good teaching?
POWER IS NATURAL. YOU REALLY MUST BE BORN WITH IT. IN ADDITION YOU MUST HAVE BAD INTENTIONS? WHEN YOU THROW A PUNCH. MIKE HAD BOTH
MANY FIGHTERS DO NOT THROW WITH BAD INTENTIONS BECAUSE THEY ARE WORRIED ABOUT GETTING HIT. MIKE WAS SUPREMELY CONFIDENT OF MOVING HIS HEAD SO HE RARELY CONCERNED HIMSELF WITH THE OTHER GUYS PUNCHING POWER.
1. what tyson fight would you like to see in the future? hollyfield, bowe, tua?
I DO NOT KNOW IF MIKE WOULD HAVE THE EMOTIONAL CAPABILITY TO FIGHT AGAIN. HE WAS SO PATHETIC IN HIS LAST FIGHT. AND HE KNOWS IT.
2. why did mike switch to black shorts?
IN EARLY 1986 I WAS DISCUSSING THIS WITH LORAINE JACOBS. SHE THOUGHT THAT BLACK WOULD LOOK GOOD. THEN WE ADDED THE TWO PATCHES, ONE WAS THE AMERICAN FLAG? AND THE OTHER READ GO AMERICA.? THERE IS NOTHING BETTER THAN HAVING YOUR COUNTRY BEHIND YOU.
3. what diet did mike have while training?
MIKE ATE ALMOST ANYTHING. CHINESE FOOD, PASTA, AND EVEN SUSHI. FOR THE FIRST WEEKS IN TRAINING HE CUT BACK ON ALL FOOD TO DROP FROM 240 DOWN TO ABOUT 225
4. what strength building excercises did mike use?, how did he get that huge neck?
ALL MIKE DID WAS RUN AND BOX. FOR HIS NECK HE LIKED DOING THOSE NECK BRACES WHERE YOU LAY DOWN ON YOUR BACK, BEND YOUR NECK BACKWARD, AND SUPPORT YOURSELF WITH YOUR HEAD
5. how would tyson fair against the top 10 fighters today?
IN MY OPINION THE MIKE TYSON OF 1987 WOULD HAVE LITTLE TROUBLE WITH TODAYS HEAVYWEIGHTS. THEY ARE REALLY SAD TO WATCH.
6. how much money does he still owe?
THAT YOU WILL HAVE TO ASK MIKE. BUT THE ONE HUGE MISTAKE MIKE MADE WAS SETTLING WITH KING FOR A FRACTION OF ALL THE MONEY THAT DON TOOK FROM HIM. AND ONE WEEK LATER MIKE GETS STOPPED. BAD, BAD, MANAGEMENT.
7. whos the next mike tyson?
IT WOULD TAKE A VERY UNIQUE SET OF CIRCUMSTANCES FOR A FIGHTER TO BE DEVELOPED TO THAT DEGREE. LETS JUST HOPE THAT WE START BY HAVING TRAINERS GET SOME OF THEIR FIGHTERS TO START MOVING THEIR HEADS.
This is more of a curiosity than a question, but are there any fond memories of Mike that you often go back to that may be interesting or little known to the general public that you feel comfortable with sharing?
I WAS HOPING FOR THIS QUESTION. THANK YOU FOR REMINDING ME OF ONE VERY SPECIAL, SPECIAL MOMENT.
AT THE TIME OF THE SMITH FIGHT IN MARCH 1987 I WAS DATING A VERY BEAUTIFUL MODEL. SHE AND HER FAMILY WERE MY GUESTS AT RINGSIDE. WHEN I RETURNED TO NEW YORK THE DAY AFTER THE FIGHT SHE DUMPED ME. MIKE CAME BACK FROM LAS VEGAS THAT EVENING, CAME TO MY APARTMENT WITH A BUNCH OF HIS FRIENDS READY TO GO OUT ON THE TOWN TO CELEBRATE HIS HARD FOUGHT VICTORY OVER SMITH
THE MOMENT HE SAW MY FACE HE KNEW SOMETHING WAS WRONG. I ASKED HIM TO COME INTO THE NEXT ROOM SO COULD TELL HIM WHAT HAPPENED. THE MOMENT I FINISHED HE WENT OUT SIDE TO THE NEXT ROOM AND TOLD ALL HIS FRIENDS HE WAS STAYING IN AND WOULD NOT BE JOINING THEM AT THE CELEBRATION PARTY. I TOLD MIKE THAT WAS NOT NECESSARY. HE SAID, I AM STAYING HERE WITH YOU.?
HE SAT ME DOWN, LIKE HE WAS MY FATHER, AND BEGAN TO TELL ME HOW SHE DOESNT DESERVE A GOOD GUY LIKE ME AND HOW LUCKY I AM AN SO ON AND SO ON. HERE HE IS, 24 HOURS AFTER A HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE FIGHT COUNSELING ME ON MY LOVE LIFE WHEN HE SHOULD BE OUT PARTYING AND HAVING FUN. HE STAYED THE ENTIRE NIGHT.
ILL NEVER BE ABLE TO THANK HIM ENOUGH FOR THAT.
1. What was Tyson's training routine when he was a youngster starting out boxing (13 years old) and when he was a professional (1985-1988) under D'AMAto and Rooney's Tutleage?
TRAINING WAS THE MOSTLY THE SAME ROUTINE AS MOST FIGHTERS DO SHADOW BOXING IN FRONT OF THE MIRROR. HEAVY BAG MITTS SPARRING
THE TWO AREAS WHERE MIKES TRAINING WAS VERY DIFFERENT WAS 1. THE ATTENTION TO HEAD MOTION AND
2. THE WILLIE - THE WILLIE WAS A MATTRESS ATTACHED TO A VERTICAL POLE. IT WAS ALMOST LIKE A DUMMY THAT YOU PUNCH AT. BUT WITH ONE MAJOR DIFFERENCE. THERE WERE NUMBERS ON THE VARIOUS SPOTS ON THE DUMMY THAT DUPLICATED THE SPOTS ON A REAL BODY. AND THESE NUMBERS WHERE THE BASIS OF THE BRILLIANT NUMBER SYSTEM THAT CUS DEVELOPED, THIS WAS PURE GENIUS TO HAVE THE FIGHTER REMEMBER A PUNCH BY A NUMBER RATHER THAN BY A NAME
2. What chance is there of you, Rooney and Tyson reconciling with each other again, burying the hatchet (if there is one) and letting bygones be bygones?
NO CHANCE. MIKE IS MUCH TOO EMBARRASSED TO COME BACK. AND MIKES MANAGER, SHELLY FINKEL, WOULD NOT WANT TO LOSE MIKE TO ANYONE ELSE. EVEN THOUGH HE HIS NOT FIGHTING HE IS STILL A MAGNET THAT MANY YOUNG FIGHTERS LOOK UP TO. THESE FIGHTERS WANT THE SAME MANAGER THAT MIKE HAS. WHAT THESE FIGHTERS DO NOT NOW IS THAT MIKES MANAGER HAD ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH MIKE BECOMING THE HERO HE ONCE WAS. THE EXACT OPPOSITE. FINKEL IS THE REASON WHY MIKE HAS REMAINED A HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT.
Hey Steve, I have grappled heavily with the following occurences. Maybe you could shed some insights on Mike's behavior post prison? Okay, here goes...
1. Why do you think Tyson bit Holyfields ear? Why did he become a dirty fighter after Holyfield beat him? Whats your take on Tyson trying to break Botha's arm, and then fighting very dirty against Saverese, Norris, Mcbride?
GOOD QUESTION. MIKE KNOWS THAT HE HAS MADE HUGE BLUNDERS IN HIS LIFE. HE GOT TAKEN BY GIVENS, THEN KING, AND NOW FINKEL. WHEN THE PRESSURE IS TREMENDOUS, LIKE IN A BIG FIGHT, HE EXPLODES. YOU MUST REMEMBER THAT THIS EXPLOSION HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE OPPONENT - IT HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH MIKE BEING UNHAPPY.
ILL GIVE YOU AN EXAMPLE - JUST IMAGINE YOU HAD THE WORST DAY OF YOUR LIFE. YOUR CAR BROKE DOWN ON THE WAY TO WORK. THEN YOU WERE LATE ON AN ASSIGNMENT AND THE BOSS EMBARRASSES YOU IN FRONT OF THE ENTIRE OFFICE. AT LUNCH YOU ACCIDENTALLY SPILL TEA ON YOUR NEW PANTS. ON THE WAY HOME YOU STOP BY YOUR ACCOUNTANT AND HE TELLS YOU THAT YOU OWE A HUGE BACK TAX. YOU FINALLY GET HOME AND YOUR KIDS START IN. YOU BLOW UP AND START YELLING AT THEM. YOU DONT MEAN TO TAKE IT OUT ON THEM BUT ALL THIS OTHER? STUFF WAS JUST TOO MUCH FOR YOU TO HANDLE.
THAT IS WHY MIKE DID ALL THESE STUPID THINGS IN THE RING. HE BROKE DOWN UNDER THE PRESSURE.
2. This isnt the same Tyson who was undisputed and under Rooney. Whats with the stark contrast in mentality? Besides Tyson himself, who else is to blame?
VERY GOOD QUESTION.
OF COURSE, MIKE HIMSELF IS PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL THE HORRIBLE THINGS HE HAS DONE. WITHOUT QUESTION HE IS PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE.
BUT ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN HE MUST BE PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL THE WONDERFUL THINGS HE ACCOMPLISHED BACK IN THE 80'S.
NEITHER SCENARIO HAPPENED BY ACCIDENT. WHO WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR MIKE BEING THE HERO HE WAS ? CUS, JIM AND BILL.
THEN MIKE WAS CAREFULLY MANEUVERED INTO BEING A BUM. WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT? I THINK WE ALL KNOW - DON KING.
Hi Steve, If Mike had gone back to Kevin Rooney when he came out of prison in '95 would he of been more successful or did prison ruin him as a Fighter?
GOOD QUESTION. GOING BACK TO KEVIN WOULD NOT, BY ITSELF, BEEN ENOUGH. WHEN MIKE GOT OUT OF PRISON HE SHOULD HAVE DUMPED ALL THE SCUM THAT SURROUNDED HIM. KING, HORN, HOLLWAY, AND THE REST. THEN MIKE WOULD HAVE BEEN HAPPY ENOUGH TO BE CAPABLE OF RETURNING TO THE FIGHT GAME WITH SOME EMOTIONAL STABILITY.
1. Is it true Tyson carried a 50lb bag on his back while running during his childhood so he wudnt grow any taller coz it didnt suit his style?
THATS NEWS TO ME.
2. Was tyson a hard puncher when he just came in to meet cus the first time or did cus make it hard by technique and training?
AS I SAID BEFORE PUNCHING POWER IS SOMETHING YOU ARE BORN WITH. IT HELPS TO HAVE THE CONFIDENCE TO KNOW THAT YOU WILL NOT BE HIT IN RETURN.
3. How heavy were tysons heavy bags which he hit?
WE USED WATER BAGS BECAUSE THEY SIMULATED THE FEEL OF HITTING A HUMAN AND WERE NOT HARD ON THE HANDS. IF I REMEMBER CORRECTLY THEY WERE THE HEAVIEST BAGS THAT RINGSIDE MADE AT THE TIME - I DO NOT REMEMBER THE EXACT WEIGHT - EITHER 125 POUNDS OR 150 POUNDS - SOMETHING LIKE THAT.
1. could mike win title today if he had rooney!??
MY OPINION IS YES - BUT THE FOLLOWING WOULD HAVE TO HAPPEN FIRST.
1. DUMP ALL THE BUMS THAT STILL SURROUND HIM.
2. DUMP FINKEL.
3. BRING IN JOSE TORRES, LORAINE JACOBS AND OTHER FRIENDS LIKE THOSE TO MAKE HIM FEEL BETTER.
4. A FEW MONTHS OF PSYCHIATRIC COUNSELING.
MIKE IN THE GYM, EVEN TODAY, LOOKS GREAT. BUT IN A FIGHT HE CAN NOT STAND THE EMOTIONAL PRESSURE OF ALL THE BAD THINGS HE HAS DONE UNDER KING AND FINKEL.
2. Did Mike had allways problems with big guy's!??
GREAT QUESTION. THANK YOU. I WAS HOPING FOR THIS ONE.
LETS EXAMINE THE WORD YOU USED - TROUBLE?
WHEN ALI HAD TROUBLE? HE WAS CLIMBING OFF THE CANVAS FROM LEFT HOOKS BY COOPER, BANKS AND FRAZIER.
WHEN MARCIANO HAD TROUBLE? HE WAS CLIMBING OFF THE CANVAS FROM SHOTS BY WALCOTT AND MOORE.
WHEN LOUIS HAD TROUBLE? HE WAS BEING ROCKED BY 175 POUND BILLY CONN AND THE LEGENDARY TAMI MAURIELLO.
MIKE, AT HIS WORST, WAS CHASING TILLIS, GREEN, SMITH, TICKER AND HOLMES ALL OVER THE RING - NEVER TAKING A BACKWARD STEP - WINNING ALMOST EVERY ROUND. IF THATS WHAT YOU CALL TROUBLE ILL TAKE THAT EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK.
3. How you think could Mike at he's prime beat prime Lennox Lewis!??
I THINK THE TYSON - LEWIS FIGHT WOULD HAVE BEEN MUCH LIKE THE TYSON SMITH AND TYSON TUCKER FIGHTS. LENNOX WOULD HAVE BACKED UP ALL EVENING ( LIKE HE DID AGAINST TUA ) AND MIKE WOULD HAVE OUT JABBED HIM LIKE HE DID AGAINST SMITH AND TUCKER.
how do you feel the mike tyson that faught spinks would have fared against the guys who beat him. he was obviously less of a fighter but people seem to forget just how good he was. thanks for this opertunity. all the best.
THE TYSON OF THE LATE 80'S WAS A VERY COMPETENT FIGHTER. I THINK HE WOULD HAVE DOMINATED THE FIGHTERS HAD HE STAYED WITH KEVIN AND CAYTON. REMEMBER ONE THING - TYSON CRUSHED LARRY HOLMES IN 1988 AND THEN A NUMBER OF YEARS LATER LARRY GOES THE DISTANCE WITH HOLYFIELD.
1. What were your thoughts when tyson lost to Douglas?
I WAS VERY SAD FOR MIKE BECAUSE I LOVE HIM.
2. What do you think of Mikes cornermen during that fight?
AS I WROTE EARLIER THEY HAD LITTLE TO DO WITH MIKE WINNING OR LOSING THE FIGHT. THAT IS ALL IN MIKES HEAD BEFORE HE ENTERS THE RING. AND WHEN HE ENTERED THE RING THE NIGHT OF THE DOUGLAS FIGHT HE WAS NOT THE FIGHTER, EMOTIONALLY, THAT WORKED WITH KEVIN AND CAYTON.
Hi Steve, My question is why hasnt Kevin Rooney been able to develop any other fighters that have been succesful on a championship level, (besides Paz and almost Sheika) using the D'Amato style. Its been said Rooney is a difficult person to work with, thus having trouble holding onto most of his fighters throughout their careers, any truth to that?
GOOD QUESTION. I ANSWERED THIS EARLIER. THERE ARE NO YOUNG KIDS AT ALL IN CATSKILL. AND I MEAN NONE.
Hi steve, how do you think the Tyson of the 80's would fare as a heavyweight fighter today? Are there any notable fighters today that might give the 80's Tyson a good challenge?
I DO NOT THINK THAT MIKE WOULD HAVE MUCH TROUBLE WITH THE FIGHTERS OF TODAY. AS A MATTER OF FACT I THINK THERE ARE ABOUT 4 OR 5 FIGHTERS OF MIKES ERA THAT COULD BE CHAMP TODAY: TUCKER, THOMAS, SMITH, TUBBS, FERGUSON, BIGGS AND EVEN TUBBS..
1. How were holidays such as christmas and birthdays celebrated in the D'Amato household? I know Cus didn't bother with marriage so I'm interested in hearing his views on Christmas and if he even celebrated at all. If so, how were they with Mike around? Did he look forward to birthdays and presents or was he always such an introvert when it came to bringing attention to himself?
I REALLY DO NOT KNOW HOW THE HOLIDAYS WERE CELEBRATED IN THEIR HOUSE. WHILE MIKE LIVED IN CATSKILL WITH CUS AND CAMILE, I LIVED IN MY APARTMENT IN NEW YORK CITY 200 KILOMETERS AWAY. AFTER MIKE TURNED PRO HE BEGAN STAYING AT MY APARTMENT FOR EXTENDED PERIODS OF TIME IN BETWEEN FIGHTS.
2. Mike Tyson's Punch Out! was released for Nintendo in 1987. How did Mike feel about having his own video game on such a popular system at the time? What were Cus' and Rooney's plan regarding Mike's promotionship with the game and other products?
AS YOU PROBABLY KNOW CUS DIED IN 1985 SO HE NEVER GOT A CHANCE TO SEE MIKE IN ANY COMMERCIAL.
MIKE LOVED THE IDEA THAT HE WAS DOING COMMERCIALS ON TV. AS A MATTER OF FACT SOMETHING INTERESTING HAPPENED WHILE WE WERE SHOOTING THE THIS NINTENDO PUNCH OUT COMMERCIAL THAT WILL GIVE YOU AN IDEA OF HOW PROFESSIONAL MIKE WAS WHEN HE WAS SURROUNDED BY CAYTON AND JACOBS. WE DID A NUMBER OF TAKES? OF A CERTAIN SHOT AND WHEN IT WAS OVER WE WENT BACK INTO MIKES DRESSING ROOM. HE TURNED TO ME AND ASKED ME HOW HE PERFORMED. I SAID IT WAS OK. HE LOOKED AT ME AND SAID VERY CAREFULLY, STEVE, IF YOU THINK I COULD DO BETTER THEN TELL ME.? I TOLD HIM I THOUGHT HE COULD DO BETTER. THEN HE SAID, STEVE REMEMBER THATS YOUR JOB, YOUVE GOT TO TELL ME IF I CAN DO BETTER. ITS YOU JOB TO MAKE ME LOOK GOOD.?
THAT MIKE IS LONG GONE.
3. Did you ever have much interaction with Robin Givens or her mother during Mike's courtship, marriage, or divorce? Was there a quiet consensus that she wasn't in Mike's best intrest as their relationship progressed?
I DID NOT HAVE MUCH CONTACT WITH ROBIN OR RUTH. BUT, WHENEVER I SPOKE TO ROBIN OR RUTH THEY WERE EXTREMELY POLITE. IF I NEED TO FIND OUT WHERE MIKE WAS ROBIN WAS ALWAYS HELPFUL ABOUT THAT. THAT ALL ENDED THE DAY THEY GOT MARRIED. TWO DAYS LATER WHEN MIKE, KEVIN AND I WERE ON PLANE TO TOKYO FOR THE TUBBS FIGHT ROBIN AND RUTH WERE IN MIKES BANK DEMANDING HER MONEY.?
AT THAT POINT I HAD A BAD FEELING.
4. Were there any fights talked about that never materialized with any well known boxers? Fighters such as Tommy Morrison, Tex Cobb, Riddick Bowe, and even George Foreman were active during Tyson's boxing career. Just how close was a Tyson vs. Foreman fight to happening?
AS I WROTE EARLIER, AFTER THE BARBARA WALTERS SHOW MIKE RETURNED TO OUR OFFICE AND WAS CLEARED TO FIGHT BY DOCTOR ABRAHAM HALPERIN. AT THAT MEETING BILL CAYTON DID LAY OUT A SERIES OF FIGHTS. TO THE BEST OF MY RECOLLECTION THEY WERE; BRUNO IN LONDON, ADDILSON RODRIQUES IN BRAZIL ( DURING MARDI GRAS ), HOLYFIELD IN THE US AND ONE OR TWO MORE.
5. Did you ever watch "Tyson", the HBO origonal movie? If so, how accurately do you think the film portrayed Mike's actual life at that time? Did yourself or Rooney have any influence in the making of that film?
NEITHER KEVIN OR I AHD ANY INVLOVEMENT IN THE MAKING OF THE FILM. THE FILM WAS OK. IT DID NOT QUITE CAPTURE A COUPLE OF IMPORTANT THINGS.
1. THE TIME, EFFORT, AND BRILLIANCE OF CUS DAMATO IN DEVELOPING MIKE
2. THE WISDOM OF CAYTON AND JACOBS IN THE MARKETING OF MIKE
3. THE EVIL THAT ROBIN AND RUTH WERE CAPABLE OF
4. THE ENORMOUS DEPTH OF THE CESSPOOL THAT DON KING CAREFULLY AND CALCULATING PLACED TYSON.
6. Did you have many 1 on 1 discussions with Mike about his future and some of his aspirations as a young man? He's been known to say that becoming the champ was Cus' idea, and he wanted to please his step father. I can tell he's a very curious & insightful man, did Mike have many other hobbies or intrests other than boxing and pigeons that he either did or wanted to do?
THINKING BACK I NEVER DISCUSSED MIKES FUTURE WITH HIM AT ALL. THATS A GOOD QUESTION THAT ONLY CAYTON AND JACOBS COULD ANSWER. WHILE MIKE SPENT TIME IN THE CITY AT MY PLACE HE LIKED LISTENING TO MUSIC AND GOING TO THE MOVIES.
ONE INTERESTING THING. HE NEVER SPENT ANY MONEY. NO CARS, NO JEWELRY, NO EXPENSIVE CLOTHES. JIM AND BILL ALWAYS ENCOURAGED MIKE TO BE CAREFUL ABOUT HIS MONEY. AS A MATTER OF FACT THEY ONCE GAVE ME A SCOLDING ABOUT MIKE. IN 1987 MIKE GOT HIS OWN APARTMENT IN THE BUILDING IN WHICH JACOBS AND I LIVED. MIKE ASKED ME TO GET HIM A GREAT AUDIO/VIDEO SYSTEM. I BOUGHT HIM SOME STATE OF THE ART EQUIPMENT. I THINK IT COST ABOUT USD $30,000. I DID NOT THINK THIS WAS AN OUTRAGEOUS SUM FOR A ONE TIME EXPENSE FOR A MAN EARNING A COUPLE OF MILLIONS DOLLARS A FIGHT. WHEN JACOBS AND CAYTON HEARD WHAT I HAD DONE THEY WENT BALLISTIC.
I STILL REMEMBER THE PROPHETIC WORDS JIM SAID, STEVE, MIKE MAY NEED THAT MONEY SOME DAY.?
7.I've heard a story about Mike punching a hole in the wall before one of his bouts, with his fist ending up in the other locker room, just under his opponents nose. I know how tall tales and Mike Tyson can go hand in hand, but is there any truth to this myth and can you describe a typical pre-fight locker room situation for Team Tyson? What did Mike do to warm up? Was he very anxious, quiet, or loud and confident before his fights?
IT WAS THE HOLMES FIGHT AT THE ATLANTIC CITY CONVENTION CENTER. MIKE WAS AT HIS CALMEST IN THE DRESSING ROOM BECAUSE HE KNEW THE TRAINING WAS OVER AND THE FIGHT WAS MINUTES AWAY. AS HE WOULD DO BEFORE EACH FIGHT HE WOULD WARM UP SLOWLY, GET TAPED UP BY KEVIN. THEN KEVIN WOULD PUT THE GLOVES ON AND HOLD THE MITTS FOR MIKE TO PUNCH AT.
SOMETIMES, DURING THIS SEQUENCE, MIKE WOULD WALK OVER TO THE CORNER OF THE LOCKER ROOM AND THROW SOME SOFT PUNCHES AT THE WALL JUST SO HE COULD GET THE FEEL OF THE GLOVES AND MORE IMPORTANTLY GET HIS KNUCKLES RIGHT UP TO THE EDGE OF INSIDE OF THE GLOVE.
WHEN MIKE DID HIT THE WALL THIS MEANT HE WAS THROUGH WITH THE WARM UP AND READY TO GO INTO THE RING. AT THIS POINT KEVIN WOULD NOT EVEN BE WATCHING MIKE. KEVIN AND I WOULD BE PACKING SOME THINGS WE WOULD NEED AT RING SIDE.
FOR THE HOLMES FIGHT HE WALKED OVER TO THE CORNER AS HE NORMALLY DOES WHEN ALL OF A SUDDEN THERE IS AN EXPLOSION. KEVIN AND I LOOK OVER ACROSS THE ROOM AND THERE ARE SHIPS OF PLASTER FLYING THROUGH THE AIR AND A HOLE IN THE WALL ABOUT 1 METER ACROSS. I WALKED OVER TO MIKE TO CHECK TO SEE IF HE WAS OK. HE SAID HE WAS FINE AND ALMOST EMBARRASSED ABOUT THE MESS.
THEN I WENT OVER TO LOOK AT THE HOLE. IT WAS UNBELIEVABLE. I LOOKED THROUGH THE WALL OF THE CONVENTION CENTER AND I COULD SEE THE STREET OUTSIDE. I COULD SEE CARS DRIVING BY AND A BIG PARK HERE? SIGN ACROSS THE STREET.
THE DAY AFTER EACH FIGHT SPORTS ILLUSTRATED USUALLY CALLS ME TO GET ANY INTERESTING INFO. WHEN I TOLD THE REPORTER ABOUT THE WHOLE THEY ACTUALLY SENT A PHOTOGRAPHER BACK TO TAKE A SHOT THAT APPEARED IN THAT WEEKS ISSUE OF S.I. I REMEMBER THE WAY THE WRITER BEGAN HIS STORY OF THE TYSON - HOLMES FIGHT.
SOMETHING LIKE, THIS IS THE STUFF THAT LEGENDS ARE MADE OF - IN THE TYSON LOCKER ROOM BEFORE THE FIGHT.....?
8. Finally, and from a credible source, what main things do you attribute to Douglas' destruction of Iron Mike that night in Japan? Do you chalk it up to a lack of training & overestimation of Buster & wild party life, or do you accept the fight as a prime Mike Tyson being out boxed by a prime and motivated Buster Douglas?
AS I WROTE EARLIER, THE PHYSICAL PART OF MIKE HAD VERY LITTLE TO DO WITH THE DOUGLAS FIGHT. MIKE WAS ALREADY AN EMOTIONAL WRECK. IT WAS HIS EMOTIONAL STATE AND NOT HIS PHYSICAL STATE OR DOUGLAS ABILITY THAT RESULTED IN THIS KO LOSS. COULD NOT BARE THE PRESSURE OF THE MOMENT.
Of all the opponents that Mike has beaten, which opponent do you actually think gave mike the biggest challenge?
I THOUGHT RIBALTA WAS THE TOUGHEST - HE CAME TO WIN AND ACTUALLY BACKED UP HIS INTENTIONS WITH AN EXCELLENT PERFORMANCE.
1. Mike use to wear a white sweat/sauna-suit while training. What material was this made out of & where can this be purchased?
THIS WAS AN UNDERGARMENT USUALLY WORN IN THE WINTER. IN THE UNITED STATES IT IS REFERRED TO SIMPLY AS WINTER UNDERWEAR OR SOMETIMES - LONG JOHNS.? IT WAS MOSTLY SOFT TEXTURED COTTON. YOU COULD PROBABLY GET THESE AT ANY SPORTS APPAREL SHOP OR EVEN A HUNTING STORE.
2. As an amateur boxer, I am interested in knowing other fighter's training regime. Can you give me a summary of Mike's prime training, diet/nutrition, strength/conditioning exercises etc?
RUNNING A FEW MILES A DAY CALISTHENICS: PUSHUPS, SIT UPS, LEG RAISES,
JUST BE INTELLIGENT
BUT - ALL OF THE ABOVE MEANS NOTHING IF YOU DO NOT MOVE YOUR HEAD. THAT IS WHAT SEPARATED MIKE TYSON FROM EVERY OTHER FIGHTER. THE DAMATO SYSTEM.
I FEEL VERY BADLY FOR TODAY'S AMATEUR FIGHTER. THEY ARE TAUGHT A VERY AMATEURISH? PECK AND RUN STYLE MEANT TO SCORE POINTS AND WIN THE AMATEUR BOUT. BUT THIS PECK AND RUN STYLR PREVENTS THE FIGHTER FROM BECOMING A PROFESSIONAL IN TWO VERY CRITICAL WAYS.
1. IT PREVENTS THE FIGHTER FROM BECOMING EXCITING. AND THE PRO FIGHTERS WHO GET PAID THE MOST WILL BE THE "MOVE FORWARD" FIGHTERS - NOT THE ONES THAT PECK AND MOVE.
2. MORE IMPORTANTLY IT PREVENTS THE FIGHTER FROM LEARNING TO MOVE HIS HEAD - ON THE INSIDE? - WITHIN PUNCHING DISTANCE FROM THE OPPONENT. UNFORTUNATELY, NONE OF THE TRAINERS TODAY UNDERSTAND THESE TWO VERY IMPORTANT POINTS. THE RESULT IS THAT MOST FIGHTES ARE DEATHLY DULL OR THE EXACT OPPOSITE - NEITHER FIGHTER CAN GET OUR OF THE WAY OF THE OTHERS PUNCHES.
3. If Mike had stayed with the 'Original Team', how far do you think he could have gone on in terms of Boxing greatness, and could he have improved as a fighter, more so than when he beat Michael Spinks?
GOOD QUESTION. AS I WROTE EARLIER MIKE WAS NEVER 100% IN ANY FIGHT. HE WAS VERY EMOTIONAL BUT HE DISGUISED IT WELL. HE MIGHT HAVE BEEN 20% - 30% OF WHAT HE WAS CAPABLE OF DOING IN THE GYM. PERHAPS AFTER ANOTHER YEAR OR TWO HE MIGHT HAVE SETTLED DOWN AND PUT ON A DISPLAY. THERE WAS A SMALL GLIMPSE OF THIS WHEN HE BOXED JAMES QUICK TILLIS IN AN EXHIBITION IN CHICAGO IN 1987. MIKE WAS RELAXED AND SOME OF THE THINGS HE COULD DO IN THE RING BEGAN TO SHOW; SPECTACULAR HEAD MOTION AND GETTING TO THE SIDE OF THE OPPONENT.
My least complex question, but I'm surprised it hasn't been asked yet.
Ali Vs. Tyson -- who wins?
IT IS INTERESTING BECAUSE TYSON NEVER LOOKED GREAT CHASING ALI? STYLE FIGHTERS AROUND THE RING. THESE INCLUDE TUCKER AND GREEN. BUT MIKE DID WIN ALMOST EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY ROUND AGAINST THAT TYPE OF FIGHTER.
ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN ALI NEVER LOOKED GOOD AGAINST THE TYSON? TYPE OF FIGHTER. THE TYPE OF FIGHTER WHO WOULD COME FORWARD THROWING BIG SHOTS. THESE INCLUDE; DOUG JONES, COOPER, FOLEY, CHUVALO, MILDENBERGER, AND PATTERSON. BUT ALI REALLY LOOKED TERRIBLE AGAINST THE TYSON? TYPE OF FIGHTER. DONT FORGET THAT 54 YEAR OLD ARCHIE MOORE CHASED ALI FOR A COUPLE OF ROUNDS BEFORE BEING TAKEN OUT. REMEMBER THAT ALI GOT DROPPED BY COOPER AND ROCKED BADLY BY A 178 POUND DOUG JONES. THINK ABOUT TYSON COMING IN AT ALI - AND ALI AND PULLING STRAIGHT BACK WITH HIS HANDS DOWN ILL LET YOU DECIDE THIS ONE.
I WANT TO THANK YOU ALL FOR THESE EXCELLENT QUESTIONS. I HOPE THIS GIVES YOU A BETTER IDEA OF THE MAN AND THE FIGHTER
Thanks, Kurt. Brilliant info here. Man, I really wish Tyson had kept his head on straight. He had the tools to be the greatest heavyweight of all time but he blew it. And before the age of 23. Ali was less talented than Tyson in my opinion, but he was consistent in his career and has the better resume. He was also a Civil Rights activist and won almost all of his legacy fights, so a lot of people feel he was the greatest.
No problem AJ. Yea its a shame. But Tyson still holds a lot of records, like being the youngest heavyweight champ ever, earning the most money of any boxer ever, the most flash KO's in boxing history (KO in less than 1 min). And he was without a doubt the most exciting; no matter who he faced.
Jack Dempsey and David Tua had quicker knockouts than Tyson. David Tua KO'd John Ruiz in 19 seconds, and Michael Moorer in 30 seconds. Dempsey finished people off as early as 14 seconds. Tyson's quickest knockout was his 30 second demolition of Marvis Frazier. Dempsey had the most first round KOs, then Earnie Shavers, then Tyson.
As for being youngest champ, we have a thread on that here. There's a gray area on that one because although Tyson is the youngest man to hold a title, Floyd Patterson was the youngest man to hold the official championship. (WBA) He was also the youngest lineal champion. Some people recognize Tyson as the youngest belt holder, but Floyd is the youngest universally recognized heavyweight champion. You could make a claim for either man.
Tyson definitely made more money than any other fighter, though. Did you know that Showtime was created just for Mike Tyson? When he announced his split from HBO, Showtime was created as a rival network and Tyson was the star.
Tyson mentally became a wreck so early on. The money, fame and women came to him when he wasn't mature enough to handle it all. If he had kept his head on straight and maintained Kevin Rooney as a trainer, he would have went undefeated. There was no one to beat him, especially considering Holyfield was still a crusierweight, Lennox Lewis was a novice, and Riddick Bowe wouldn't last with Tyson either. All those guys were in their prime when Tyson went south.
I'll give the distinction of youngest champion to Floyd Patterson because he was the WBA champion when that was the original and only heavyweight title. He is without doubt the youngest lineal champion. He didn't beat Marciano to win it, but he was the best heavyweight around at that time since Rocky quit and Sonny Liston was still inexperienced.
Mike Tyson is another super talented individual who wasted it all. I'm just glad he hasn't wound up dead like Elvis, Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe, etc.
Mike Tyson achieved a level of popularity not seen since Muhammad Ali. I'll bet if he could do it all over again and do things differently, he would.
Zorro, I agree. I thought Tyson was going to tragically die young too. He lived in the fast lane for so long. I'm glad he turned things around and is happy now. I still don't think he was the best fighter ever but he was exciting for sure.
In reply to this post by Duggerman
I got the from Guinness world records. lol. I was looking in their 2011 book the other day and it said that Tyson had 9 fights that lasted less than a min. A world record. But then again Guinness isn't the end all be all ad they've changed records before, so I don't know. haha.
But wow, I didn't know about the showtime thing.
But in this interview with Kevin Rooney, he said Tyson was supposed to beat Rocky's 49-0 record an retire with all this endorsement money. he was supposed to make more money from endorsements than Michael Jordan.
I could be mistaken. Maybe Earnie Shavers had more first round knockdowns than Tyson, but not knockouts. As for Jack Dempsey, some of his fight records are missing. All we have to go on are newspaper articles on box rec. I know David Tua and Shannon Briggs had a large number of first round knockdowns and knockouts too. It's been a while since I looked up the exact figures.
KB50MJ, have you checked out boxrec? It's like wikipedia, but it's factual. It's all about boxing. You can look up fights, records, bios, pics, boxers, refs, promoters, trainers, everything. Here is a link to start you off.
I get lost on this site for hours!!
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