Unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua 23-1 (21) has rejected the idea of a Mike Tyson 50-6 (44) fight.
Tyson, 53, has recently teased a comeback with short videos of himself in training being posted to social media. He hasn’t fought for 15 years.
But the 30-year-old Joshua, who regained his WBA, IBF and WBO championships with a 12-round decision win over Andy Ruiz Jr in their rematch in Saudi Arabia in December, says it won’t be him standing across the ring if Tyson decides to lace up the gloves again.
“With all due respect, I wouldn’t [fight Tyson],” Joshua told The Sun. “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 recognized champions the world knows of, [Muhammad] Ali and Mike Tyson, the most recognized faces in the world when it comes to boxing.”
Joshua added that while he’s not in favour of a Tyson return, he can understand why he would do it.
“I see it like this: how old is David Beckham, 44, 45?” he continued. “If you see him in 10 years kicking a ball, doing 100 kick ups, a round-the-world and hitting the crossbar and then an overhead volley into the top corner, people would love it.
“But because Mike Tyson is the embodiment of like, the killing machine, he hits the pads for 15 seconds and the whole world goes crazy, it is normal.
“It is what Tyson knows. But for him to fight… would you be shocked if Beckham came back? You would. But for boxers, it’s all they know.”
Tyson became the youngest heavyweight boxing champion in history at the age of at 20 years, four months and 22 days when he knocked out Trevor Berbick in two rounds in Las Vegas in November 1986.