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Boxing – 1989 – Larry Merchant Interview Former Mike Tyson Trainer Kevin Rooney After Being Replaced

After the death of Heavyweight Boxing Champion Mike Tyson’s trainer and mentor, Cus D’Amato…and from that day of November 4, 1985, Iron Mike’s life spun out of control…..as he got into drugs and married actress Robin Givens….while making more money than imaginable at the time…..something in the range of $100 million during the 1980’s…..but he had lost his rudder in life with Cus passing….and the only semblance of that important element in the Champ’s life was his trainer Kevin Rooney.

After Teddy Atlas, who was Rooney’s cornerman during his boxing days, was relinquished of his duties as a trainer of Mike Tyson, D’Amato assigned Rooney to be Tyson’s trainer. Rooney was with Mike Tyson since the late 1982….when Tyson was 16 years old and just won the National Junior Olympics….while overseeing the second half of his amateur career (44 fights….and saw him start his professional career in 1985, followed Tyson throughout his world championship days….until Tyson’s bout with Michael Spinks in 1988….when on the insistence of Don King, Tyson fired Rooney along with all other staff that comprised the Team Tyson from the beginning. In the words of sportswriter Jack Newfield, “the day Tyson fired Kevin Rooney there was a cap put on Mike Tyson’s development as a fighter, he did not develop anymore behind that day.”  Rooney addresses that firing and more in this interview seen herewith in this insightful interview by HBO’s boxing analyst Larry Merchant.

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