Legendary trainer Cus D’Amato created two of the great heavyweight champions in 30 years

Cus D’Amato was a legendary American boxing trainer and manager. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest trainers in the sport’s history. Two of D’Amato’s star pupils were undoubtedly Floyd Patterson and Mike Tyson, whom D’Amato had trained in separate eras. As such, D’Amato mentored Patterson before Tyson, and their journey started in the late 1940s. At the time, Patterson was just a teenager whom D’Amato had discovered after recognizing Patterson’s potential.

Subsequently, D’Amato started training him in the custom style that he developed. This boxing style is heavily focused on a boxer’s defensive skills, head movement, and counterpunching. In addition, Cus D’Amato instilled in Patterson the importance of a strong mental game, teaching him to stay calm under pressure and to use strategy in the ring. Patterson went on to make history under D’Amato’s guidance, and in 1956, Patterson became the youngest heavyweight champion at the age of 21.

This achievement would be later broken by D’Amato’s second pupil, Tyson, 30 years later, in 1986. Furthermore, Tyson became the youngest heavyweight champion at the age of 20, and D’Amato sadly passed away a year before witnessing this.

Both Patterson and Mike Tyson are known as two of the most dominant heavyweights to emerge in the sport. Furthermore, except for having the same mentor, Patterson and Tyson shared a very similar fighting style inside the ring. However, both Patterson and Tyson added their personal touch to D’Amato’s boxing style.

Muhammad Ali vs. Floyd Patterson

Patterson and Muhammad Ali fought each other twice during their careers. The bouts took place in the 1960s, and the first fight took place at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. There was a significant buildup to the fight, with Ali verbally taunting Patterson in the pre-fight promotion. Subsequently, Ali referred to Patterson as the “rabbit” due to his defensive style, which D’Amato taught.

Ali dominated the bout, displaying his superior speed and skill. Patterson struggled against Ali’s unorthodox style, and the referee stopped the fight in the 12th round, declaring Ali the winner. As such, the rematch between Patterson and Ali took place at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Ali again proved the superior fighter in their rematch, but Patterson fought hard. Subsequently, in the 7th round, Ali knocked Patterson down multiple times, and the referee stopped the fight, giving Ali the victory.


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