Legendary boxer Mike Tyson opens up about his traumatic childhood in Brooklyn for a new ABC docuseries.
Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Mike Tyson wasn’t exactly raised in a steady home. Unfortunately, the fighter’s mother died when he was just 16 years old, and his father abandoned the family when Mike was just two.
Mike Tyson became involved with gang activity which led to a criminal background in aiding with armed robberies. According to his biography, by the time Tyson was 13, he had already been arrested over 30 times.
That is where the iconic boxing manager and trainer Cus D’Amato took him in. According to People, D’Amato took Tyson under his wing and gave him a home. He later became his legal guardian.
Mike Tyson Under Cus D’Amato’s Care
In an upcoming ABC docuseries, the show touches on Tyson’s life under D’Amato’s care and the house full of other athletes he was also training. It was here that Mike Tyson learned stability and responsibility.
Ross Greenburg, former president of HBO Sports, notes that D’Amato’s “became very much a home for Mike Tyson, which he had never really had.”
The mentor and trainer required the young athletes to carry their weight around the house. This means Tyson was in charge of performing chores like shoveling the sidewalk and bringing out the garbage.
Cus D’Amato’s companion, Camille Ewald, once admitted in an old video clip that Mike Tyson was neglected of any affection as a kid.
“I think he grew up without any love or affection. He just grew up in the street looking for something. He wanted somebody to pay attention to him.”
On the boxer’s podcast in 2020, Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson, he once revealed he strived for this love throughout his life.
“If Cus was happy, it made me happy,” stated Tyson. “If me knocking out people made him happy, f**k, I wanna do it. I wanna knock out five people a day, really, because that made him happy. That was my job. I just wanted him to be happy.”
D’Amato never doubted Tyson’s abilities, saying he would one day be a world heavyweight champion. He was correct. From 1987 to 1990, Mike Tyson was the undisputed best in the class.
The ABC series titled Mike Tyson: The Knockout will premiere tomorrow, May 25, at 8 p.m. EST on ABC. The second part of the four-hour, two-part series will air on June 1 at the same time and channel.