Cus D’Amato, on money

As far as sports quotations are concerned, no sport beats boxing. It’s a font of cracker barrell philosophy.

At the Fights is a marvelous new collection of American writing on boxing. It’s full of colorful quotes of possible use by speechwriters.

Like this one, from Cus D’Amato, the legendary trainer to Mike Tyson and a long list of champions before that. D’Amato lived in an office in his gym. He worried that money would corrupt him.

“You can’t want too many things,” he told Pete Hamill. “The beginning of corruption is wanting things. You want a car or a fancy house or a piano, and the next thing you know, you’re doing things you didn’t want to do, just to get the things. I guess maybe that’s why I never got married. It wasn’t that I don’t like women. They’re nice. It’s nice. It’s that women want things, and if I want the woman, then I have to want the things she wants. Hey, I don’t want a new refrigerator, or a big TV, or a new couch.

D’Amato liked to quote the writer Gene Fowler on the subject. “Money is something to throw off the back of trains.”

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