The Cyber Boxing Zone Encyclopedia
Cus D'Amato
Trainer/Manager 1939-1985

By Robert Ecksel

   Cus D'Amato was born in the Bronx in 1908. A pugnacious former street tough who out-thought who he couldn't out-box, D'Amato opened his first boxing gym - the Gramercy Gym on 14th Street in Manhattan - in 1939. D'Amato was an honest man who cared little for stuff like money. Despite his purity of spirit, D'Amato was wary of outsiders, pathologically paranoid, subject to fits of manic-depression and gun-toting, a man who lived in fear of the mob and a hit that never came. These quirks aside, Cus D'Amato was a master of ring technique. Cus possessed a profound grasp of the inner workings of a fighter's mind. This boxing genius shepherded the careers of light-heavyweight champion Jose Torres and heavyweight champs Floyd Patterson and Mike Tyson. He served as informal advisor to Muhammad Ali, Gerry Cooney, and countless others. D'Amato also developed several fabulous trainers: Teddy Atlas, Joey Fariello, Kevin Rooney. Cus D'Amato died in 1985 - just before his masterpiece, Mike Tyson, became the youngest man, at age 20, to win the heavyweight championship of the world.

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