Cus D'Amato quotes
January 17, 1908 – November 4, 1985; American boxing trainer and manager of Mike Tyson and Floyd Patterson
A boy comes to me with a spark of interest, I feed the spark and it becomes a flame. I
the flame and it becomes a fire. I feed the fire and it becomes a roaring blaze.
I believe a man is a professional when he can do what needs to be done no matter how he
feels within. An amateur is an amateur in his attitude emotionally. A professional is an
professional in the way he thinks and feels and in his ability to execute under the most trying
Boxing is a sport of self-control. You must understand fear so you can manipulate it. Fear is
like fire. You can make it work for you: it can warm you in the winter, cook your food when
you're hungry, give you light when you are in the dark, and produce energy. Let it go out of
control and it can hurt you, even kill you... Fear is a friend of exceptional people.
A man who's thinking or worried about getting hit is not gonna have a good sense of
anticipation. He will in fact get hit.
It is the mark of a great fighter when he has character plus skill. Because a fighter with
character and skill will often rise and beat a better fighter because of this. Character is that
quality upon which you can depend under pressure and other conditions. Character makes
the fighter predictable. Character helps him win.
I should add that at no time does fear disappear. It's just as bad in the hundredth fight as it
was in the first, except by the time he reaches a hundred fights or long before that he's
developed enough discipline where he can learn to live with it, which is the object, to learn to
live with it.
Boxing is a contest of character and ingenuity. The boxer with more will, determination,
desire, and intelligence is always the one who comes out the victor.
No matter what anyone says, no matter the excuse or explanation, whatever a person does
in the end is what he intended to do all along.
If he weren't here I probably wouldn't be alive today. The fact that he is here and doing what
he's doing, and doing it as well as he's doing it, and improving as he has, gives me the
motivation and interest to stay alive. 'Cause I believe that a person dies when he no longer
wants to live. But I have a reason with Mike here. And he gives me the motivation. I will stay
alive, and I will watch him become a success because I will not leave until that happens.
Cus D'Amato, on Mike Tyson
Every fighter that ever lived had fear. A boy comes to me and tells me that he's not afraid, if
I believed him I'd say he's a liar or there's something wrong with him. I'd send him to a doctor
to find out what the hell's the matter with him, because this is not a normal reaction. The
fighter that's gone into the ring and hasn't experienced fear is either a liar or a psychopath.
Boxing is entertainment, so to be successful a fighter must not only win but he must win in
an exciting manner. He must throw punches with bad intentions.
Remember, it's always good to throw the punch where you could hit him and he can't hit you.
That's what the science of boxing is all about.
When two men step into the ring, one and only one deserves to win. When you step into the
ring, you gotta know you deserve to win. You gotta know destiny owes you victory, 'cause
you trained harder than your opponent. You sparred harder. You ran farther.
I tell my kids, what is the difference between a hero and a coward? What is the difference
between being yellow and being brave? No difference. Only what you do. They both feel the
same. They both fear dying and getting hurt. The man who is yellow refuses to face up to
what he's got to face. The hero is more disciplined and he fights those feelings off and he
does what he has to do. But they both feel the same, the hero and the coward. People who
watch you judge you on what you do, not how you feel.
I'm not a creator. What I do is discover and uncover.
To see a man beaten not by a better opponent but by himself is a tragedy.
There are very few new things in this world, very few. That's why people that are young, if
they're smart, try to profit from the experience of an older guy so they won't have to go
through all the pain and suffering. But a certain amount of pain and suffer is good, because it
makes a person think they've learned.
There is no such thing as a natural puncher. There is a natural aptitude for punching and that
is different. Nobody is born the best. You have to practice and train to become the best.
A fighter has to know fear.
When you get hit that's when you've got to be calm. A professional fighter has to learn how
to hit and not get hit, and at the same time be exciting. That's what professional boxing is
about. You've got to be clever, you've got to be smart, and not get hit, and when you're
able to do this, you're a fighter.