Out of the Humidor
From the Print Edition:
Andy Garcia, Mar/April 2004
(continued from page 2)
I thoroughly enjoyed Geoffrey Gray’s article, “Tyson vs. King,” in your February issue of Cigar Aficionado. Mr. Gray is an excellent writer. However, there is often more to truth than just facts. As one who has followed Mike Tyson’s career since he was a 12-year-old, there were some important aspects to Mike’s life that were omitted, which I feel your readers should be made aware of.
First, had Cus D’Amato lived, Mike’s life would have been entirely different. Cus was not only Mike’s mentor and father figure who adopted him, but Mike knew Cus cared about him as a human being and was always there for him to discuss his innermost thoughts. In fact, in one of the many books written about Mike, he mentions that when Cus was alive he had someone to talk to about his feelings, but after Cus died, he just kept everything bottled up within himself. This withholding of feelings was a form of lying that not only affected his self-esteem, but also created psychological baggage that affected his ability to focus. Mike soon found himself immersed in a negative self-image cycle and actually created negative events in his life based on how he felt about himself. This is not unlike many other inner-city kids who get into trouble because they have no one in their lives who genuinely cares about them and is there to listen to their issues and problems without being judgmental.
In addition, Mr. Gray neglected to mention two important figures in Mike’s life: Jimmy Jacobs and Kevin Rooney. Jimmy Jacobs was Mike’s co-manager and Kevin Rooney was his trainer. I knew Jacobs and have interviewed Rooney. Jacobs was my son’s handball coach at a handball camp in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Rooney was the one whom Mike would kiss at ringside just before every fight.
What has happened to Mike Tyson in his career is really quite sad and yet the media tends to be relentless in their attacks upon him. As Mr. Gray stated, Mike is an insightful heavyweight boxing historian. This came about as a result of his watching hours and hours of films supplied him by Jimmy Jacobs. I am pulling for Mike 100 percent so that justice will be done in his lawsuit with Don King. Tyson is not a bad person. But life has thrown him a curveball and it all began with the death of Cus D’Amato.