“I am the best ever, I am the most brutal and the most vicious and most ruthless champion there has ever been, there is no one that could stop me. Lennox is a conqueror? No! I am Alexander, he is no Alexander. I am the best ever, there has never been anybody as ruthless. I am Sonny Liston, I am Jack Dempsey, there is no one like me, I am from their cloth. There is no one that can match me, my style is impetuous, my defense is impregnable and I am just ferocious, I want your heart, I want to eat his children, praise be to Allah!”
Tyson was a smelly kid, an ugly kid; no one wanted him. So Tyson became a bad kid. He learned early on that in the fast, materialistic, life of the hood he could gain acceptance only through crime. He stole anything he could get his hands on and eventually found a group of older neighborhood kids who taught him to break and enter. He finally had the nice clothes, the watches, and most importantly the acceptance of his peers. This didn’t last long as after multiple arrests Tyson was sent upstate to a reformatory where his life was changed forever.
Enter Bobby Stewart, ex national amateur champion. On weekends Stewart helped the children vent their frustration by boxing them. 170 lbs of Irish fury vs. a 13 year old kid. Tyson had his ass beat, but in this he found a focus. Stewart admired Tyson’s dedication and natural skill so he brought him to see Cus D’Amato. With this act Tyson’s life was changed forever.
A Mentor Is Necessary For Success
The first time Cus D’Amato saw Mike Tyson box he knew he was watching the future heavyweight champion of the world. Cus took Mike into his home and nearly overnight Tyson was a changed kid. He was 100% dedicated to the art of boxing. He spent all of his waking hours watching old fight videos, shadow boxing, and reading about the greats. He idolized these men and wanted to be them. Cus fed Mike all of his wisdom and molded Mike’s mind to be a spartan warrior. To be a savage one-focused knockout machine. He did this through teaching Tyson the power of self-talk, affirmations, visualization, and overcoming your emotions. Cus D’Amato taught Mike Tyson that discipline and focus was the holy road to victory. The blank slate impressionability of youth yields nothing without the right direction.
Cus on Fear:
“Fear is the greatest obstacle to learning. But fear is your best friend. Fear is like fire. If you learn to control it, you let it work for you. If you don’t control it, it’ll destroy you and everything around you. Like a snowball on a hill, you can pick it up and throw it or do anything you want with it before it starts rolling down, but once it rolls down and gets so big, it’ll crush you to death. So one must never allow fear to develop and build up without having control over it, because if you don’t you won’t be able to achieve your objective or save your life.”
“Doing something you hate to do like you love it is good conditioning for someone aspiring towards greatness”
People Are Vultures Who Will Scavenge You While Down
It wasn’t long before Mike Tyson was on an exponential trajectory toward the top. He was obliterating nearly all of his opponents and was further being lead by Cus and his vision. Cus may have been selfish in that he wanted the glory of training the heavyweight champion of the world, but he loved Mike Tyson he always had the best in mind. This isn’t the case with nearly every other person Mike Tyson encountered on his rise to the top and subsequent fall. Cus died before Mike Tyson became the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. Cus’ drive was still instilled in Tyson, giving him purpose. He won the title for Cus, but what was next? Hyhenas in human skin circled Tyson, they could smell the weakness, the decay of desire, and the jumped in tearing him apart.
Aside from the sleazy promoters, managers, and trainers who saw Tyson as nothing more than a money making machine, his biggest problems were with women. He never knew how to act around them. He grew up seeing his mother pour boiling water on a cheating lover and then hanging out with her prostitute friends. In his time with Cus, Tyson was banned from getting any pussy. So whats a famous teenaged millionaire to do? He obliged to every woman throwing herself at him and it yielded nothing but trouble. His life was studded with sexual assault lawsuits. He’d have to pay women he’d never even touched tens of thousands of dollars so they do not bring a case to court. But the two women who fucked him the most were his first wife Robin and a false rape accuser Desiree Washington.
“I got married to Robin because she was pregnant and I was thrilled to become a father. That’s the only reason. The problem was that Robin didn’t tell me she was pregnant. Jimmy Jacobs did. And he found out when Ruth, Robin’s mother, called him to tell him. I didn’t know it at the time, of course, but it was all bullshit. Robin was never pregnant.”
On the mother of one of his children:
“I was going to prison, so I called Natalie, the mother of my son D’Amato. ‘Listen I’m going to send you a hundred thousand dollars now. Then when I’m in there I’ll have them send you something every month.’ As soon as she got that money, she went out and got a lawyer and sued me for millions.”
Image Is Everything
One of the defining moments in Tyson’s life is the controversy over his imprisonment for the alleged rape of Desiree Washington. In the book there is an extensive account of the trial and Tyson’s side of the story. Tyson claims he invited her over late one night and met no resistance. After sex he dissed her and as a result she cried rape. Both the prosecution and the defence were shaky, but the factor that led to Iron Mike’s incarceration was the public’s image of him as well as the presented image of his accuser.
Due to the ‘rape shield’ law – a law in which a woman’s sexual past cannot be used against her in a rape trial – the prosecution was able to paint Desiree as “some shy, naive college student who was a Sunday school teacher and an usher at her church.”
Along with this fact the legal teams involved couldn’t even comprehend the claims of bestial sexuality by Tyson. They “made a big deal out of the fact that when I said, “I want to fuck you,” an eighteen-year-old would never answer, “Fine, call me.”” and were baffled when Tyson claimed he ate Desiree out for 20 minutes claiming “his description of the event veered wildly counter to everything I knew about sex.”
Despite giving hundreds of thousands of dollars back to his neighborhood, financially supporting those around him, his hobby of raising pigeons, years of dedication to a sport, and despite having an interest in classic literature and great thinkers the public image of Iron Mike is what lead to his downfall: the “boorish, vulgar and unredeemable sexual animal” the hood-tainted, illiterate, viscous, rapist, addict, megalomaniac, no good nigger – with a hard r. People just couldn’t take his intensity seriously. They couldn’t conceive that a man can be anything more than what they perceive him to be.
However, Tyson did and does battle with depression and addiction. He may be a different man through different periods of his life, but childhood patterns always worked themselves into his existence. The lack of self worth, the poor self image, the lashing out for attention. These all came out in his relentless rise to the top and his equally as intense fall. “Undisputed Truth” is a great read, it is an honest read. It teaches us that man is fragile, but man can fix himself. The only knowledge one needs is that if you conquer your mind, you conquer the world.
Read More: “Undisputed Truth” on Amazon