Lessons I've Learned from the Man Who Made Me a Champion
By Mike Tyson and Larry Sloman
The story of the relationship between the most devastating heavyweight boxer in history and the mentor who made him.
The key to Mike Tyson's unprecedented success in the ring and in overcoming the demons that success laid in his path was his relationship with Cus D'Amato. When the well-past-his-prime boxing trainer and 13 year old felon met, D'Amato saw his one last shot at glory and redemption via the young thug. IRON AMBITION is the epic story of that five year relationship as well as a guide to the lessons D'Amato imparted that enabled Tyson to become the most devastating heavyweight in boxing history and, later, to achieve sobriety and intimacy with another person.
Cus D'Amato possessed a brilliant mind and a flair for innovation. Well before any sports figure had ever written about Zen or getting in the zone, he realised that the key to success was to achieve a state where thoughts and emotions didn't interfere with a person's intuition. Freed from allowing those thoughts to intrude, D'Amato's successful students reached an exalted level that allowed them to perform at their physical peak. D'Amato also studied fear. Rather than pretending that fear didn't exist for his fighters, he implored them to acknowledge their fear and taught them ways to harness that fear and use it to reach another level of performance. Perhaps most important, D'Amato communicated the vital importance of discipline and schooled Tyson on how to instill discipline in his own life, a skill that has served him to this day. Paradoxically, the very skills D'Amato instilled in Tyson that garnered him untold riches and fame, opened the door to the biggest challenge of the fighter's life, when legions of corrupt bloodsuckers came to prey on him. Only after many years of hard knocks did Tyson return to his roots and use the lessons D'Amato had taught him so long before in the house on the Hudson to restore his sanity and straighten out his life. Tyson's layered path to stability and serenity is a story of uncommon richness and texture.
Mike Tyson is the former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, and the first boxer ever to hold the three biggest belts in prizefighting - the WBC, WBA, and IBF world heavyweight titles - simultaneously. Tyson's enduring appeal has launched him into a career in entertainment: he was a standout in the blockbuster films The Hangover and The Hangover Part II, and recently he has earned tremendous acclaim for his one-man show Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth. Tyson has launched a clothing company, Roots of Fight, and Tyrrhanic Productions, which currently has several film projects in development. In 2011 he was inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame. He lives in Las Vegas with his wife, Kiki, and their children.
Larry "Ratso" Sloman is best known as Howard Stern's collaborator on Private Parts and Miss America. Sloman's recent collaborations include Mysterious Stranger, with magician David Blaine; Scar Tissue, the memoir of Red Hot Chili Peppers lead singer Anthony Kiedis; and Undisputed Truth with Mike Tyson. His biography of Houdini, The Secret Life of Houdini, is soon to be a major motion picture for Lionsgate.
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- Publication date:
25 May 2017
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