Legendary fighter Mike Tyson will destroy training partners in minutes to get home early to watch TV – not just for pleasure.
Tyson often managed to turn the planned five-hour sparring sessions into less than 60 minutes of destruction because he was desperate to see the cartoons.
That’s the insight from Tyson’s confidant, former bodyguard and driver Rudy Gonzalez, who had a ringside seat in fights and home fights during the New Yorker’s infamy.
Gonzalez said: “When we trained in Vegas his sparring sessions were from 12 to 5 p.m.
“He’d be the best guy to ask formerly feuding partners: ‘How are you doing today, how’s the family?’
“Then he’ll just get five guys out within an hour so that no one is left.
“I punched him so hard that he broke the chains several times and the other boxers just walked away saying: ‘We’re not with you today. I don’t care how much money you pay me.’
“Anyone who thought they were ready to take it would hit them and they would pounce. Immediately after that they would pack their bags.
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“So one day I asked: ‘Boss I’m confused, isn’t it about working on technology?
“He replied: ‘We’ll miss the Tom and Jerry cartoon if I keep going.'”
Tyson has kept his love of cartoons intact, creating his Mike Tyson mystery series for Adult Swim.
Gonzalez was on Tyson’s side as he rose from the most formidable teenage boxer in history to the youngest heavyweight champion ever at age 20.
Under the guidance of legendary coach Cus D’Amato, who became Tyson’s legal guardian after serving time in juvenile prison, he transformed from a juvenile delinquent into a street fighting outlaw and eventually a polished power punching boxing phenom.
While with D’Amato in his Catskills home, his training was far more regular.
building a boxed frankenstein
D’Amato passed away a few months before Tyson became the heavyweight champion in 1986.
Gonzalez said: “When I first worked with him, he had to get home by 9 p.m. because we were running 10 miles in the morning.
“Their manager Jim Jacob and coach Kevin Rooney made sure that I implemented that training program.
“Mike was so disciplined. He used to sit upstairs in the house studying boxing movies for hours, watching how different fighters move and hit.
“Kuss was injecting him with centuries of training. The peek is a booze technique that he found very clean and natural to him. Kuss created a boxed Frankenstein.
“Kas would repeat to Mike over and over from the beginning, ‘Do you know you’re going to be the heavyweight champion of the world someday?’
“If you say it enough times, you believe it. And if you believe it, you will have no doubts.”
Gonzalez, whose book about Tyson’s experiences — The Inner Ring — is being developed into an animated film, said other employees were intimidated by Tyson’s training time.
Gonzalez has made headlines in the past with her book about her time with Tyson, pointing the finger at promoter Don King for the star’s many troubles.
He claims that King ‘psychologically broke him’, adding: “Mike’s story would have had a different ending if Kuss had lived longer.
“His sister Denise always promised me to keep Mike away from Don, calling him a clown.”
He claimed he witnessed Tyson ‘committed deceit, betrayal and fraud’
The Inner Ring (Premium Edition): Mike Tyson’s set-up and the Uncrowning of Don King paperbacks available for purchase now.