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“What Do You Mean Nice Guy?”: Mike Tyson Once Revealed to Joe Rogan About a “Paranoid” Incident Involving Legendary Coach Cus D’Amato

Published 05/10/2023, 2:00 PM EDT

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Mike Tyson revealed the relationship he had with his coach Cus D’Amato in his book, ‘Iron Ambition: My Life with Cus D’Amato’. He was the reason behind not only Tyson’s career but also the careers of legends like Floyd Patterson and Jose Torres. ‘Iron’ once told Joe Rogan about the only instance D’Amato got mad at him on the latter’s $200 million-dollar podcast, the ‘Joe Rogan Experience’.

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Mike Tyson and Cus D’Amato shared a very special bond with each other. However, there was one time when D’Amato got paranoid and lashed out at the legendary boxer. Let us take a look at what the former world heavyweight champion had to say.

Mike Tyson narrates the story of Cus D’Amato getting mad at him


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‘The Baddest Man on The Planet’ appeared on the #1805 episode of the JRE podcast and reiterated the instance when a person came up to him and congratulated him on an impressive performance in one of his fights. Tyson said, “One day, a guy came up to me and said, ‘Great fight last night. You looked good.’ I said, ‘Thank you very much, sir.’ “

However, it did not sit well with Cus D’Amato. Tyson added, “Cus came in and went like this, ‘You know him?’ I said, ‘No, it was just a nice guy.’ He [D’Amato] said, ‘What do you mean nice guy? Explain nice guy to me.'”


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This prompted ‘Iron’ to change his whole attitude and apologized to his coach. But it didn’t just end there. D’Amato went straight to the supposed ‘nice guy’, and gave him a warning. Tyson added, “And then Cus goes to the guy, ‘Hey, don’t ever talk to my fighter again. Do you hear what I am saying? Do you listen to me? Don’t ever talk to my fighter again.'”

 Mike Tyson revealed that D’Amato’s paranoia was a result of other people stealing his fighters. “He was paranoid. Before he had fighters, people stole his fighters,” said the legendary boxer.

How did Cus D’Amato meet ‘Iron’ Mike?

Mike Tyson was in a very rough place during his early teens. Former boxer Bobby Stewart discovered Tyson when he was 13 years old. The former champion was a petty thief living in a detention center at that time. Stewart introduced Tyson to D’Amato after recognizing his potential. Cus D’Amato took care of him, trained him, and even welcomed him into his home.


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The Italian-American coach also became Tyson’s legal guardian and things remained that way till the day he died, in 1985. D’Amato put in a lot of work to make his protégé one of the greatest boxers to grace foot inside the squared circle. His highly critical attitude helped Tyson build the ferocious attitude that he became known for.


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It is safe to say that without Cus D’Amato, we wouldn’t have had the Mike Tyson we know and admire today as one of the biggest athletes in the history of sports. And it is evident that the ‘Baddest Man on the Planet’ still fondly remembers what his first coach and mentor taught him as he grew up to become one of the greats.

WATCH THIS STORY: How did Joe Rogan get famous?



Himanga Mahanta

1171 articles

Himanga Mahanta is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. He has a passion for combat sports and a deep understanding of the intricacies of MMA. With his expertise and extensive knowledge, Himanga provides in-depth coverage of UFC events and fighters, bringing his readers closer to the action and the athletes they admire.