You can’t play down the importance of family.
Your family’s your family. There’s no changing it. It’s a bond like no other. If any one of your family had their little finger chopped off, it would impact you in some way. You’d feel it.
So, to have everybody comfortable and happy is a great thing for a fighter, especially one in Tyson’s position. He’s a wealthy man right now. He’s surrounded by family. Family is your blood – you care what happens to each and every one of them.
We’re a very close family, us lot. We care about each other. Yeah, we shout, and we argue and we have our differences, but really, when the chips are down, you die for your family.
His dad being out of prison is a massive lift for us all, not just Tyson. It feels like a grey cloud over us has gone. We don’t have to think about what John might be missing or how he might be feeling. He’s home; he’s done his time, and onwards we go.
We need peace of mind going into a fight like this. We need to be able to concentrate on the job in hand, rather than worrying about other things. We’ve got that.
As for training Tyson – a member of my family – it’s like second nature now. Tyson is very good. He never gives you lip. He just gets on with it and does what he’s told. We’re family – I want what’s best for him. It’s all about winning. We’ve got that relationship; we know what we’re doing, and that’s it.
Being family makes it very easy. We live under the same roof, and we’re used to being in each other’s company. We do everything together – eat, sleep, drink, laugh. There’s nobody making calls to the family because the family’s all here. We don’t miss each other during camp because we spend every day together.
Of course, you’ve still got to be professional. You’ve got to step back, see the flaws and work on things and get them right. When they’re not right, they’re not right. There’s no point holding something back because you’re scared of upsetting a loved one. If we don’t improve, as a team, we’re letting each other down. The good thing is, I’ve only got to speak once, and they only have to hear the tone of my voice to know I don’t like something.
Also, because there’s only family in the gym, Tyson’s never put up there as any kind of role model or icon. He’s always just one of the lads. He’s no different. The outside world will see it differently, but we don’t. We’ve just got a job to do. Tyson is like the big brother in camp.
Every one of them in the gym is programmed to fight, though. Don’t forget, they’ve been doing it since they were six years of age. They don’t know anything else. They’ve never come across fear before. They’ve lived in a boxing gym all their lives. That’s the big advantage we have over a lot of others…