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From Street Kid to Champion: How Cus D’Amato Transformed Mike Tyson’s Life

by | Career in Public Speaking | 6 comments

Mike Tyson credits Cus D’Amato for changing his life. He said without Cus, he probably would not be alive today. Mike said “Cus told me I was going to be the world’s youngest boxing champion.”

What’s remarkable about the interview is when Mike said, “I believe everything Cus told me. Even if he were lying, I believed him.” Isn’t that powerful?

Every single one of us can be a Cus D’Amato for someone. You can literally call somebody right now and share some uplifting words that boost his or her confidence or self-esteem.

Mike Tyson is a household name who is massively successful. He has achieved what most can never achieve in a lifetime. His remarkable career as a global champion boxer and larger-than-life personality is something to emulate.

It should motivate us to step up our game in life. His boxing career should inspire us to put our nose to the grind to perfect our craft.

However, in spite of that, he still significantly credits a portion of his spectacular success to his coach and mentor, Cus D’Amato. What’s more impressive is the fact that Tyson said without Cus, he probably would have been dead. Incredible!

Cus D’Amato infused in Tyson the belief that he could achieve the impossible. He could be the youngest champion in history. Tyson believed every single one of his words. 

What’s even more shocking is when Tyson said he would believe his mentor even if he told him a lie. Wow!

Hopefully, you are reading between the lines. That should be an indication for you about the power of words.

The impact you and I can have on another human being by simply using deliberate chosen words is incalculable. 

The thing is, you have that and power. You can step into someone’s life and prophesize over them. Your conviction and confidence will make them believe you even if you were lying. Isn’t that mind-blowing?

I strongly encourage you to take this lesson from Cus D’Amato and apply it to your life. Be an elevator for someone. Cheer them on. Inspire them to greatness. 

It doesn’t have to be someone you know. You do it for a total stranger. You do it for someone who is serving at a restaurant or in the valet parking. 

Isn’t that what motivational speakers do? 

Well, you are a motivational speaker. You are a thought leader. You are an influencer. Go be a Cus D’Amato for someone today!


  1. Faith QM

    He is SO different than the image I had of him from media. I LOVE hearing how much he has grown and I like hearing that he is in such a healthy mental/ emotional place after all the things he has been through in his life. I respect you very much, Rene and this is why I gave this a chance – I may not have done so otherwise. Thank you!

    • Rene Godefroy

      Thank you very much, Faith. I value your respect. You are right! Mike has changed dramatically.

  2. christopher Mapfumo

    Wow Mr so inspiring. Was really motivated.
    It’s really a gem.
    Keep up the good work mentor.

  3. MagicJack

    Hi Rene, I became a fan in 2012, my book is a go, I did the 10/10, you know 10 pages, 10 chapters, now I need your help with my speaking.

    Please call-skype 916-913-9992, landline 916-476-4667, cell-916-825-4774

    • Rene Godefroy

      That is awesome! Please contact us through the contact form on the website.


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