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Publisher's Summary

From the former heavyweight champion and New York Times best-selling memoirist comes an intimate look at the life and leadership lessons of Cus D'Amato, the legendary boxing trainer and Mike Tyson's surrogate father.

When Cus D'Amato first saw 13-year-old Mike Tyson spar in the ring, he proclaimed, "That's the heavyweight champion of the world." D'Amato, who had previously managed the careers of world champions Floyd Patterson and José Torres, would go on to train the young Tyson and raise him as a son. D'Amato died a year before Tyson became the youngest heavyweight champion in history.

In Tyson's best-selling memoir Undisputed Truth, he recounted the role D'Amato played in his formative years, adopting him at age 16 after his mother died and shaping him both physically and mentally after Tyson had spent years living in fear and poverty. In Iron Ambition, Tyson elaborates on the life lessons that D'Amato passed down to him and reflects on how the trainer's words of wisdom continue to resonate with him outside the ring. The book also chronicles Cus' courageous fight against the mobsters who controlled boxing, revealing more than we've ever known about this singular cultural figure.

©2017 Mike Tyson (P)2017 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“In this tender and disturbing hybrid of memoir and biography, former heavyweight boxing champion Tyson examines one of the most unusual characters in boxing history…. Tyson’s love for Cus D’Amato is more than apparent, but it doesn’t lead him to downplay his teacher’s myriad faults.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

"The boxing champion, infamous for biting and beating, reveals his soft side in this memoir of his longtime mentor and trainer.... [Tyson] writes respectfully and affectionately [about Constantine 'Cus' D'Amato], though some of the old toughness hangs on.... A belated but welcome homage to a boxing legend who died shortly before Tyson's career took off. Fans of the sweet science will want to have a look." (Kirkus Reviews)

What listeners say about Iron Ambition

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this book is greatness just like Mike

This book was very well written and read very well. I love the fact that you get a first hand look into the thought process of Mike and Cuss. I'm actually sad that I finished this book. I'm really hoping they make a movie about Cuss... One of the last true Great Heros!

5 people found this helpful

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Lots of info not needed

Missed hearing more Tyson. Spent a lot of wasted time on Cus vs IBC going back to early 1900-1960. Not fun to listen to for 5 hours. Other Tyson story is much better to listen.

2 people found this helpful

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One of the best books I've read for years✔

it's just a masterpiece. Having had a teacher and mentor that reminds me of Cus, made it somehow a bit hard at times.
A must read for any martial artist or entrepreneur

2 people found this helpful

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Iron Ambition

Flawless. Tyson pens yet another magnificent read. A harrowing tale of Cus D'Amato's everlasting influence.

1 person found this helpful

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Waaay better than expected

If you’re a fan of boxing history & Mike Tyson PLEASE get this book. That’s all I’m going to say.

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Imagine you hear Cus

The personal moments from the book - still recite them in my mind. Although Mike told the story both about Cus & the boxing stage at that time, the personal stories & the voice of the narrator is what make it memorable.

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Amazing book!!! Haven’t been this inspired in a long time

I just started boxing. I researched different fighters’ styles to perfect my technique.

Then somehow I came across this book when practicing Tyson’s peekaboo style. Never had I thought his story with Cus D’Amato would be this interesting, saddening, and inspiring!

Definitely a must read from a psychological perspective. Be better, have discipline, control your emotions and fear, create your own ego!

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Best Boxing book ever

This book was fantastic. Many forget Tyson was a child prodigy. He was raised as a fighter by Cus and achieved their dream to become heavy weight Champion of the World.

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Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth

This was a revealing look at the origins of the fighting psychology that brought Iron Mike Tyson from the crime-riddled streets of Brownsville, Brooklyn to the pinnacle of the boxing world and beyond.

It seems that the pairing of Cus D’Amato and Mike Tyson was preordained when the world was being sculpted. Clearly, D’Amato was the perfect teacher for an intense extremist like Mike Tyson.

The psychology is unflinchingly vicious and brutal at times, but it yielded incredible results. I really enjoyed the lessons that D’Amato relentlessly infused into the mind of his young and developing fighter.

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Incredibly moving

It seemed at times, that Mike himself was doing the narration, every once of emotion was there as I listened. There were times I laughed out loud and times I had tear in my eyes, it’s such a great and inspiring story and life these two men shared. I’m a 54 year old man, and it makes me want to push myself and be better in every way. Thank you for sharing your stories Mike. Much love to and your family.