Mike Tyson has praised Deontay Wilder for saying he would defeat him in his prime.
“I don’t know [whether I’d beat him]. I love the fact that he thinks that, because that’s the way I would think as well,” Tyson said to BT Sport.
“He’s supposed to think that way, he is the heavyweight champion of the world and that’s something very special.”
Wilder made the claim he would have the measure of Tyson if he had met him in his prime following his knockout victory over Luis Ortiz last year.
“Me versus Tyson in ’86, I’d kick the hell outta that guy,” he said. “Listen, I’ve got to keep it real. I know people always go back to the old school or look at the new school and there’s no school where I’m not No.1 on earth.”
The WBC heavyweight champion is in the final stage of his preparation for his rematch with Tyson Fury at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada this Saturday night.
Their first bout in December 2018 ended in a controversial draw after Wilder dropped Fury twice late in the fight.
Tyson said he was hoping for a Fury win in the first time around but couldn’t split the fighters in the rematch.
“I like both of them as fighters, they both came from nothing and achieved becoming heavyweight champion, you have to respect that, I was in their position one time,” Tyson explained.
“In the first fight I was hoping for Tyson Fury, I always pulled for him because he was named after me, that is the natural thing to do, right?
“He amazed a lot of people by getting up. He showed he is tough, he got up and won the final round.
“I thought it was over, then he got up and it was like Rocky, he then fought back.
“It was amazing, it made me a fan. It takes great fortitude and belief.”
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