The Rise of Mike Tyson, Heavyweight

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About the Book

Covering Mike Tyson’s rise through the amateur and professional boxing ranks, this book follows the Brooklyn native from his early years as a young criminal in Brownsville to his 1988 heavyweight unification match with Michael Spinks. The book focuses on the Catskill Boxing Club—where boxing guru Cus D’Amato trained the 210-pound teenager in the finer points of the sport and developed his impregnable defense—and on his home life with D’Amato and surrogate mother Camille Ewald and the other young fighters who lived with them.
Tyson’s boxing education began in the unauthorized “smokers” held every week in the Bronx, matching his skills against older, more experienced fighters. He won the 1981 Amateur Heavyweight Boxing Championship in Colorado Springs at the age of 14 and repeated the amazing feat the following year. By 1985, finding no other challenging amateur competition, he was forced to join the professional ranks where, in November 1986, he became the youngest heavyweight champion in boxing history. Less than two years later, he unified the crown, establishing himself as one of the most dominant heavyweight fighters the sport had ever seen.

About the Author(s)

William F. McNeil is a longtime baseball historian and the author of numerous books on the game. A member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), he is the recipient of five Robert Peterson awards for increasing the public’s awareness of the Negro Leagues. He lives in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

Bibliographic Details

William F. McNeil
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 252
Bibliographic Info: 28 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9648-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1802-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments vi

Prologue 1

1. From Brownsville to Johnstown 3

2. The Man—Cus D’Amato 12

3. The Birth of a Boxer—1980–1981 25

4. The Quest Begins—1982 47

5. A Taste of Glory—1983 64

6. The Fall and Rise of Mike Tyson—1984 77

7. Assault on the Professional Ranks—1985 99

8. The Road to the Championship—1986 129

9. Everest Conquered—November 22, 1986 157

10. The Unification and Beyond—1987 183

11. The People’s Champion—June 27, 1988 214

Epilogue 230

Appendix: The Complete Amateur and Professional Boxing Record to June 27, 1988 231

Chapter Notes 235

Bibliography 238

Index 239