Video of teenage Mike Tyson learning technique that made him a legend under Cus D’Amato on route to heavyweight glory
In 1986, Mike Tyson become the youngest world heavyweight champion in history.
At 20 years old, he was a sensation and on top of the world, but his path to title glory had been years in the making.
Cus D’Amato had managed world champions before and although he was getting on in age, he still had the fire to hold a wild and young Tyson’s respect.
In his 70s, he welcomed Tyson – fresh out of a juvenile detention centre at the age of 13 – into his home.
“I was introduced to Cus and in a second I could see that he was totally in control of everything there,” he wrote in his autobiography.
“He just sucked up all the air in the room. He shook my hand and there wasn’t a trace of a smile on his face. He showed no emotions.”
Now a video has circulated on social media showing a 17-year-old Tyson with both D’Amato and Rooney in 1983 learning his legendary hooks and developing his explosive power.
“I developed [my knockout ability] through Cus D’Amato telling me repetitiously over and over again to do this movement and to punch with this type of bad intentions.
“And just to have ferociousness and mean intentions whenever you throw punches and stuff. And try and punch through your opponent, not at him.
“It was some nasty stuff that I would never tell my kids to do,” Tyson has said.
At 18, he turned professional and was extremely active, winning 19 straight bouts inside the distance, 11 of them inside a single round.
Sadly, though, D’Amato died in 1985 and would never get to see his starlet achieve the world title glory he had so vividly predicted.
As for Rooney, he was fired by Tyson in 1988 for comments made in an interview about Tyson’s relationship with Robin Givens.
Although Tyson initially thought it was amusing, Don King worked him up about the comments to the point where Tyson then became angry Rooney would discuss his wife at all. The next day, he fired Rooney.
“Firing Kevin Rooney was a disaster for him,” said one of Tyson’s former managers, Bill Cayton.
“Just like trying to fire me was, because Kevin was the one solid hold he had from Cus D’Amato’s training and background. Kevin instilled some disciple in Mike and Mike listened to Kevin.”
Rooney ended up suing Tyson for breaking a lifetime contract and was eventually awarded $4.4 million.
Without Rooney or D’Amato by his side, Tyson’s reign at the top eventually came to a crashing end in 1990 when he was knocked out by Buster Douglas.
Having been crowned as undisputed heavyweight king a few years earlier, his life spiralled out of control with the wrong people around him and he was sent to prison in 1992, though he won the WBA and WBC titles when he came out.
However, losses to Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis, his love for the sport waned and he eventually called it quits in 2005.
But the Tyson hype train is in full flow once again following his comeback to the ring last year against Roy Jones Jr and a trilogy against Holyfield has been talked about.