31 May 2020

Anthony Joshua rules out fight against ‘legend’ Mike Tyson, saying ‘if I beat him people would boo’

World heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has dismissed talks of a fight against returning legend Mike Tyson.

’Iron Mike’ recently announced his intention to get back in the ring at the age of 53, sparking debate as to who he could face.

Tyson retired from professional boxing nearly 15 years ago (PA Images)

And while a clash between the two would undoubtedly make a lot of money and attract a great deal of intrigue, Joshua insists he would not take the fight.

Speaking in an exclusive with The Sun, he said: "With all due respect I wouldn’t.

"Even if I fought Iron Mike and beat him, I think I’d be the only one cheering. People would boo. He is a legend. He is the greatest boxer of the modern era.

“There are only two recognised champions the world knows of, Ali and Mike Tyson — the most recognised faces in the world when it comes to boxing."

Joshua has spoken about his admiration for Tyson throughout his career and has often referred to him as the heavyweight he watched and tried to replicate in his early stages.

Tyson first became world champion in 1986 and remained undefeated until his shocking loss to James ’Buster’ Douglas in 1990.

Tyson made history becoming the youngest world heavyweight champion in history at the age of 20 (Instagram: @miketyson)

He then went to prison shortly after following a conviction for rape, meaning he would not return to the ring for more than four years.

In 1995, he resumed his boxing career and regained the heavyweight title against Frank Bruno in Las Vegas in March 1996.

But he was quickly defeated again as he lost twice to former undisputed cruiserweight champion Evander Holyfield, the first thanks to a late stoppage and the second by disqualification following the infamous ear biting incident.

The last major fight of Tyson’s career came back in 2002 when he was knocked out in eight rounds by Britain’s Lennox Lewis.

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