Tyson is a fascinating self discovery story who reflects on his earlier years both his private and publicly viewed life. Reflecting on his childhood years growing up in Brownsville, Brooklyn New York to becoming the youngest ever Heavyweight World Champion. Dealt with bad hand in life Tyson explains growing up in troubled household and a crime ridden area lead him to a life of crime. When Tyson discovered boxing a trainer called Cus D'Amato took him under his wing. Taken from such a deprived area into a Victorian mansion in the country, D’Amato not only psychically trained Tyson but psychologically mesmerized him into being the best. Being bullied all his childhood life, D’Amato taught Tyson discipline and self-respect. Till this day it still brings Tyson to tears. Building his confidence and guiding him to a better path. D’Amato became more than a trainer or mentor but a father figure to Tyson. James Toback’s Tyson is a captivating and emotional journey of the stages of Tyson life as; Kid Dynamite, Iron Mike and The baddest Man on the Planet. Who better to explain the life one of the most controversial boxing icons that brings a sympathetic and objective light to the story then the man himself.
Exploring his upbringings we realise that Tyson’s childhood was a very unforgiving cruel world. As D’Amato took Tyson and looked after him as he was his own. We see that D’Amato had a very profound effect on Tyson both emotionally and psychologically. We realize that D’Amato wasn’t only training Tyson to become a boxing champion but given Tyson a reason to live, change his life from crime and drugs. Through boxing Tyson became a better person, with countless hours of intense training. D’Amato began breaking Tyson down and rebuilding him. It wasn’t just Tyson’s incredible speed and his physical perfection. D’Amato mastered the art of the emotional and psychological elements into boxing and that the key success to being a champion wasn’t physical but psychological. Tyson would become what was known as the “Spiritual Warrior” way of fighting. By installing fear into the opponents, already before they enter the ring Tyson had already psychological beaten them. With this psychological win the opponent emotionally now has lost the will to win.
When Tyson become the youngest and undisputed World Boxing Champion, his young age and rise to stardom become both a blessing and cures for the champion. Having achieved so much at such little time his personal issues began to intervene with his personal life also. Being so young and immature lead him to his downfall in life. Going to prison had a very psychological effect on Tyson. Again back to a cruel life but instead of Brownsville, Brooklyn New York it was prison. Having only himself to keep him company, he became his own best friend and began talking to himself. When released Tyson didn’t know how to handle the media or anyone which always lead to furious outburst of rage. It always seemed that Tyson was always surrounded by people constantly using him for their own gain. It seemed that everyone wanted to be his friend all for the wrong reasons. After D’Amato died he signed with what he referrers to as “Slave Masters” taking a third of his wages. He then signed a contract with Don King who stole from Tyson also. Constantly being used he lost all faith in life. Becoming; bitter and sacred it’s almost as if he never left the streets of Brownsville.