57 Cus D’Amato Quotes on Boxing, Fear and Winning

Cus D’Amato was a legendary boxing trainer from the Bronx who helped troubled youths and trained three world heavyweight champions including Mike Tyson.

Born to Italian immigrants he turned to boxing after a street fight injured his eye.

He opened his own gym during the Great Depression and later developed unique training techniques like the peek-a-boo style.

He was a mentor to many including Floyd Patterson and believed in using astrology to pick fighters.

Cus D'Amato quotes

Despite an estrangement from Patterson, Cus’s impact was profound.

Tyson who had a rough childhood and was adopted by Cus after his mother’s death became the youngest heavyweight champion and dedicated his title to Cus.

I have made a list of the top quotes by Cus D’Amato.

Top 10 Cus D’Amato Quotes


A fighter has to know fear. ~ Cus D’Amato.


Heroes and cowards feel exactly the same fear. Heroes just react to it differently. ~ Cus D’Amato.


People who watch you judge you on what you do, not how you feel. ~ Cus D’Amato.


Break your opponent’s will. Constant attack, no let up. Destroy his spirit. ~ Cus D’Amato.


The punch that knocks a man out is the punch that he doesn’t see. ~ Cus D’Amato.


To see a man beaten not by a better opponent, but by himself is a tragedy. ~ Cus D’Amato.


People who are born round don’t die square. ~ Cus D’Amato.


You got to be smart, you got to be clever and not get hit and when you’re able to do this you’re a fighter. ~ Cus D’Amato.


Greatness is not a measure of how great you are but how great others came to be because of you. ~ Cus D’Amato.


Losers are winners who quit. Even if you lose, you still win if you don’t quit. ~ Cus D’Amato.

Best Cus D’Amato Quotes


A professional fighter has got to learn to hit and not get hit and at the same time be exciting. That’s what professional boxing is about. ~ Cus D’Amato.

The man who has the confidence that his ability will not be denied, especially when you know what your ability is, nobody can con you. ~ Cus D’Amato.


You can teach better by setting examples than we do by explaining and talking about them. ~ Cus D’Amato.

Boxing is entertainment, so to be successful, a fighter must not only win, but he must win in an exciting manner. He must throw punches with bad intentions. ~ Cus D’Amato.

I get them in excellent condition. Knowing how the mind is and the tricks it plays on a person and how an individual will always look to avoid a confrontation with something that is intimidating, I remove all possible excuses they’re going to have before they get in there. ~ Cus D’Amato.


I’m not a creator. What I do is discover and uncover. See, my job is to take the spark and fan it. ~ Cus D’Amato.

The thing that bothers me about him is this; too frequently, whether he’s putting it on or not, too frequently he’s been taking solid punches with a consistency that’s bothering me. ~ Cus D’Amato.

Powerful Cus D’Amato Quotes

I don’t succeed when I make a guy become Champion of the World. I succeed when I make that fellow become Champion of the World and independent of me. ~ Cus D’Amato.

There is no difference between a hero and a coward in what they feel. It’s what they do that makes them different. The hero and the coward feel exactly the same, but you have to have the discipline to do what a hero does and to keep yourself from doing what the coward does. ~ Cus D’Amato Quotes.


By getting them in excellent condition, they can’t say when they get tired that they’re not in shape. ~ Cus D’Amato.

A person doesn’t realize what’s making him nervous unless he understands why he’s getting scared, which is the natural, normal thing. When he understands it, he accepts it as such. Then it doesn’t become as intimidating, which is the reason why I take the boy step by step until actually, the bell rings to fight. ~ Cus D’Amato.

When you get to the point where you’re not excited and able, see that’s what you got to tell yourself, completely relax. Be able to see everything that’s going on and sense and anticipate shots, and that can’t happen unless you relax. ~ Cus D’Amato.

Famous Cus D’Amato Quotes

It is the mark of a great fighter when he has character plus skill because a fighter with character and skill will often rise and be a better fighter because of this. ~ Cus D’Amato.

I believe nature’s a lot smarter than anyone thinks. During the course of a man’s life, he develops a lot of pleasures and people he cares about. Then, nature takes them away, one by one. It’s her way of preparing you for death. ~ Cus D’Amato.


Emotions, particularly anger, are like fire. They can cook your food and keep you warm, or they can burn your house down. ~ Cus D’Amato.

I should add that at no time does fear disappear. It’s just as bad in the hundredth fight as it was in the first, except by the time he reaches a hundred fights or long before that, he’s developed enough discipline where he can learn to live with it, which is the object, to learn to live with it. ~ Cus D’Amato.

Just think how many times a day a person would die if he had no fear. He’d walk in front of cars; he’d die a dozen times a day. Fear is a protective mechanism. By talking to the fighters about fear, I cut the learning time by maybe as much as half, sometimes more, depending on the individual. ~ Cus D’Amato.

The hero and the coward both feel the same thing, but the hero uses his fear, projects it onto his opponent, while the coward runs. It’s the same thing, fear, but it’s what you do with it that matters. ~ Cus D’Amato.

A boy comes to me with a spark of interest, I feed the spark, and it becomes a flame. I feed the flame, and it becomes a fire. I feed the fire, and it becomes a roaring blaze. ~ Cus D’Amato.

Though he didn’t have skill, he had that quality of determination, and he just kept coming even though he got hit with some good right hands on the jaw. ~ Cus D’Amato.


You do what I tell you to do, and if it doesn’t work, then you can leave. ~ Cus D’Amato.

There are very few new things in this world, very few. That’s why people that are young if they’re smart try to profit from the experience of an older guy so they won’t have to go through all the pain and suffering. But a certain amount of pain and suffering is good because it makes a person think they’ve learned. ~ Cus D’Amato.

Boxing is a sport of self-control. You must understand fear so you can manipulate it. Fear is like fire. You can make it work for you; it can warm you in the winter, cook your food when you’re hungry, give you light when you’re in the dark, and produce energy. Let it go out of control, and it can hurt you, even kill you. Fear is a friend of exceptional people. ~ Cus D’Amato.

I never teach until I’ve spoken to the fighter. I have to first determine his emotional state, get his background, to find out what I have to do, how many layers I have to keep peeling off so that I get to the core of the person so that he can recognize, as well as I, what is there. ~ Cus D’Amato.


No matter what anyone says, no matter the excuse or explanation, whatever a person does, in the end, is what he intended to do all along. ~ Cus D’Amato.

Inspiring Cus D’Amato Quotes

There is no such thing as a natural puncher. There is a natural aptitude for punching, and that is different. Nobody is born the best. You have to practice and train to become the best. ~ Cus D’Amato.


When a person’s interested in something, they’re willing to tolerate any kind of problems that may come up. ~ Cus D’Amato.

Fear is the greatest obstacle to learning in any area, but particularly in boxing. For example, boxing is something you learn through repetition. You do it over and over, and suddenly you’ve got it. However, in the course of trying to learn, if you get hit and get hurt, this makes you cautious, and when you’re cautious, you can’t repeat it, and when you can’t repeat it, it’s going to delay the learning process. ~ Cus D’Amato.

I feel that all boys growing up in the environment that he did would require help, patience, and perhaps understanding cos’ I try to make them feel, and I hope I did, that I understand this kind of life. I grew up in a tough neighborhood myself. ~ Cus D’Amato.

I believe a man is a professional when he can do what needs to be done no matter how he feels within. An amateur is an amateur in his attitude emotionally. A professional is a professional in the way he thinks and feels and in his ability to execute under the most trying conditions. ~ Cus D’Amato.


If you learn to control it, you let it work for you. If you don’t learn to control it, it’ll destroy you and everything around you. ~ Cus D’Amato.

The fact that he is here and doing what he’s doing, and doing as well as he’s doing and improving as he has, gives me the motivation and interest to stay alive. I believe a person dies when they no longer want to live. ~ Cus D’Amato Quotes.

Inspirational Cus D’Amato Quotes

I know you know how to handle them. I know you have an answer for anything they may try to do for you or would do. So I think the outcome is predictable. ~ Cus D’Amato.

When two men step into the ring, one and only one deserves to win. When you step into the ring, you gotta know you deserve to win. You gotta know destiny owes you victory cause you trained harder than your opponent. You sparred harder. You ran farther. ~ Cus D’Amato.


Believe in yourself. A guy can feel it if you don’t believe in yourself. Set your mind to make yourself do it. ~ Cus D’Amato.

If he weren’t here, I probably wouldn’t be alive today. Nature is smarter than people think. Little by little, we lose our friends that we care about, and little by little, we lose our interest until finally, we say, ‘What the devil am I doing around here if I have no reason to go on?’. ~ Cus D’Amato.

Legendary Cus D’Amato Quotes

Boxing is a contest of character and ingenuity. The boxer with more will, determination, desire, and intelligence is always the one who comes out the victor. ~ Cus D’Amato.


Character is that quality upon which you can depend under pressure and other conditions. ~ Cus D’Amato.

When two men are fighting, what you’re watching is more a contest of wills than of skills, with the stronger will usually overcoming skill. The skill will prevail only when it is so superior to the other man’s skill that the will is not tested. ~ Cus D’Amato.

Remember, it’s always good to throw the punch where you can hit him, and he can’t hit you. That’s what the science of boxing is all about. ~ Cus D’Amato.

The boy can do everything a champion is required to do, and if he does everything that he’s capable of doing, I tell you he may go down as one of the greatest fighters of all time. ~ Cus D’Amato.

The fighter that’s gone into the ring and hasn’t experienced fear is either a liar or a psychopath. ~ Cus D’Amato.


I don’t allow people to intimidate me, for no other reason than to set an example for my boxers. ~ Cus D’Amato.

Every fighter that ever lived had fear. A boy comes to me and tells me that he’s not afraid. If I believed him, I’d say he’s a liar, or there’s something wrong with him. I’d send him to a doctor to find out what the hell’s the matter with him because this is not a normal reaction. ~ Cus D’Amato.

A man who’s thinking or worried about getting hit is not gonna have a good sense of anticipation. He will, in fact, get hit. ~ Cus D’Amato.


You get used to everything. Even the idea of dying is something a person gets used to, and he accepts it. ~ Cus D’Amato.

The ability to do what needs to be done regardless of the pressure and do it with poise, with no reflection of his inner feeling or conflict if it exists, is what makes a professional. It has nothing to do with their knowledge. I’ll show you many amateurs with far superior knowledge and ability than top professionals. ~ Cus D’Amato.

So these were the 57 top Cus D’Amato quotes on discipline, boxing, fear, winning and life.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Steve Martin quotes and Bill Belichick quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar