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May 22, 2013


Press Release: Acanthus Publishing has announced it will release Confusing the Enemy: The Cus D’Amato Story, written by co-authors Dr. Scott Weiss and Paige Stover. Available for purchase in July, this biographical novel explores the life of legendary boxing trainer/manager Cus D'Amato with all the accuracy possible, given the host of conflicting stories and contradictory accounts surrounding his enigmatic existence. The story features a mix of characters including Floyd Patterson, Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, José Torres, Frankie Carbo, Howard Cosell, Roy Cohn, Sonny Liston, Drew “Bundini” Brown, Malcolm X, D’Amato himself, and more.

As manager of multiple world champion boxers and creator of the “peek-a-boo” style of fighting, many people loved and respected Cus. Yet others thought he was crazy. To this day, hundreds of boxing fans believe that he was one of the greatest manager-trainers to ever live. Just as many think he so carefully matched his fighters that they ascended to the title more on strategic selection of opponents than on ring prowess. He is often characterized as a knight in shining armor on a quest to clean up the sport of prizefighting. Several others call in to question his personal life and suggest that he was the biggest gangster of them all. Regardless of your position, readers who love boxing will not be able to put this book down.

The authors, Dr. Weiss and Paige Stover, have interviewed virtually everyone in the boxing world willing to discuss Cus D'Amato. Many refused to be quoted. Others only rehashed the same information that has circulated on the grapevine for years. Very few were willing to take a stand. Weiss and Stover have worked tirelessly to uncover the essence of a man who dedicated his life to covering his tracks. In doing so, the authors have discovered aspects unknown to the general public, such as Cus’s relationship with Muhammad Ali and the determination with which he tried to set up the Ali–Frazier fight. This book raises as many questions as it answers about the life of Cus D'Amato, but in doing so tells a captivating story about the most dramatic moments in the history of the heavyweight title.

“Confusing the Enemy is the story of an exceptionally gifted individual who was a mystery to most people who encountered him,” says Paige Stover. “This book offers readers an up-close and personal glimpse of the extraordinary man who had an amazing ability to bring out the best in a fighter and cultivate a life-long bond in the process. It reveals his ascendancy to the elite status he earned in the world of boxing, but also tackles the rumors, scandals, erratic behavior, and conflicting reports that shroud his history.”

“From Cus working to pull together the match with Ali and Frazier, to his advisory relationship with Wilfred Benitez, Gerry Cooney, the Hilton Brothers, and Wilt Chamberlain, this book revoked unprecedented detail of his life,” says Dr. Weiss. “Cus was arrested, had his license suspended, was chased by tax authorities, and was adjudicated bankrupt. His life was threatened on more than one occasion by the likes of Rocky Graziano, Sonny Liston, and various associate of the Five Families of New York. His story will take you on a wild ride that transcends the world of boxing.”

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