Anthony Joshua has backed Mike Tyson’s plans for a comeback.
The 53-year-old Tyson, who last fought professionally 15 years ago, has been teasing a comeback with a series of short training clips on social media.
Old foe Evander Holyfield, 57, and Shannon Briggs, 48, have both been linked to Tyson as potential opponents for what would likely be an exhibition bout for charity.
WBA, WBO and IBF champion Joshua says he understands why Tyson wants to return to the ring.
“This is what we breathe. This is what we are. And especially someone like Iron Mike Tyson, that’s all that man knows,” Joshua told British GQ.
“For everyone else it’s a comeback, but for him it’s just what he does. He’s a fighter, right?
“He’s probably just took a little break but for everybody else it’s like, ‘Oh my God! Mike Tyson is making a comeback!’
“But for Mike Tyson it’s like, ‘This is what I do. I’m a fighter by nature’ so if he’s back in the ring then I would love to see it. I’d definitely be one of the viewers, that’s for sure.”
Joshua revealed he idolised Tyson as a youngster and drew inspiration from the American powerhouse in his own career.
“When I watched him on YouTube, I see a little kid at 13 and I truly believe, no matter what anybody has to say about Mike Tyson now in terms of what he went through when he was fighting and some of the controversies, the guy took himself from his neighbourhood which wasn’t the prettiest of scenes, up to an amateur champion, to the youngest ever world champion, to one of the most recognised faces of the sport of boxing,” Joshua said.
“The only two faces I recognised in boxing, globally, were Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson – they’re the main faces of this sport – so from where he started to where he is now, he’s my ultimate motivation.
“The reason I say that is because he was the closest guy to my generation so he holds a special place in my heart.”
Holyfield, who twice defeated Tyson in the mid-1990s including in the infamous ‘bite fight’ of 1997, said talks were underway for a potential trilogy.
“Well the thing is, he was doing something and I was doing something,” Holyfield told The 3 Point Conversation.
“When I told people about it, they saw me working out and they kind of put two and two together, ‘They must be coming together to do this like this’.
“But the fact of the matter is, I didn’t mind if we do do something like this.
“His people have been talking to my people and we haven’t yet got a solid deal together but it’s coming that way. If it happens, then that’s no problem.”
Holyfield added: “Well the point of the comeback – somebody just made up the names themselves – I’d been telling people that I wanted to start doing exhibitions.
“Meaning that with my foundation, the Holyfield Foundation, I wanted to help the kids.
‘I wanted to come back and be able to show the kids that if you take care of your body at a young age, if you don’t get bad habits, you don’t gotta put them down.
“Then at an old age you ain’t got to be worried about what type of person you’re going to be or if somebody going to have to help you.”
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