Former undisputed heavyweight champion Mike Tyson has offered some frank and fearless advice to former unified champion Anthony Joshua ahead of he rematch against conqueror Andy Ruiz Jr.
The 29-year-old Brit was a suffered a shock loss in his US debut last month when he was stopped in seven rounds by Ruiz Jr at New York’s famed Madison Square Garden.
Tyson, now 53, was considered to be almost invincible when Buster Douglas dethroned him in Japan in 1990. The result is still regarded as one of the biggest upsets in sporting history.
The former ‘baddest man on the planet’ said Joshua must get his head right if he wants to reach the pinnacle of the sport again.
“He made a mistake, got hurt, and s**t happens,” Tyson said on his Hotboxin’ Podcast. “He can win it back though, but his mind has to be right. He ain’t gonna win it back if his mind’s f***ed up.
“His mind’s gotta be right, he’s gotta dedicate his life to doing this. He’s gotta stay away from himself.
“When we go training, we go away in the mountains, we’re staying away from ourself and our thoughts.
“In the mountains away from everybody, just the animals and the woods and stuff. You’re facing your demons alone.”
Joshua and Ruiz Jr are set for an immediate rematch in either November or December this year, with the newly minted champion insisting the fight takes place on either US or Mexican soil. A return to Madison Square Garden remains a distinct possibility.
Tyson recommended Joshua engage in some soul searching regardless of where the fight lands.
“His spirits appear well to you, but in his mind… what’s going on in his mind?” Tyson continued.
“F***. This stage in life is really what makes them.
“Because they already have money now. Now it’s all about: Who are you?
“Now you’re dealing with adversity, who are you? What are you gonna do now?
“Are you gonna lay down now? And say, ‘Hey, I don’t want no more’.
“Do you stay down and give it up? Or do you believe in it? You got any f***ing pride, n****?
“What do you believe in? Do you believe in your ancestors? Your mother, your father, your kids? What do you believe in?
“What have you got to fight for? And then it’s up to him, I don’t believe in s**t maybe. I’ve got money.
“I don’t believe in none of this s**t. And that’s cool too, if it’s not who you are.”