‘Boxing is a metaphor for life. It’s about hitting the...
Cus and I in the Catskill Gym 1984
It was in Catskill that I met and began to work with the Cus D’amato. He took me under his wing and adopted me after my mother died. D’Amato trained me over the next few years, and taught me the peek-a-boo approach style of boxing, where the hands are placed in front of the boxers face for more protection. D’Amato was assisted by Kevin Rooney, who emphasized elusiveness of movement and would guide me to the heavyweight championship.
D’Amato died shortly before I became the youngest world heavyweight titleholder in history at the age of 20 years 4 months.