Mike Tyson has reacted to comments from George Foreman about his ring return against Roy Jones Jr in an eight-round exhibition bout in Las Angeles on September 12.
Foreman, who returned to the ring after a 10-year retirement to become the oldest world heavyweight champion at 45, has expressed concern for the 54-year-old Tyson’s health.
“Don’t worry about us. [Foreman] wasn’t worried about getting hurt when he went on his tour of coming back and fighting. Tell George I love him for caring,” Tyson told TMZ.
“We’re both professionals. We know how to handle ourselves and whatever happens, happens.”
California State Athletic Commission executive director Andy Foster has suggested that the fight will be stopped if it gets too violent, but Tyson insists he will be going to the knockout against the 51-year-old Jones Jr.
“This is search and destroy and I’m looking forward to recapturing my glory,” Tyson said.
“If the opportunity comes [I’ll go for the knockout], I’m always looking for it.
“The fighting game is what I’m about and hurting people is what I’m about.”
Meanwhile, WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua warned fans they should temper their expectations of the bout.
“You see a clip on social media and you think: ‘He’s back in action, he’s fighting fit’,” Joshua told Sky Sports.
“But it’s like an old-time footballer doing a crossbar challenge!
“Tyson hitting pads with ferocious behaviour is second nature to him. But to someone watching from home? It’s like he’s going to rule the heavyweight division.
“It’s a passion they both love, it’s what they know. Tyson has been fighting since he was 13. Jones’ dad pushed him to be a great.
“It’s all they know. They haven’t got to compete with the young lions of the division. We’re bigger, stronger, science has improved so we have more technology.”
Joshua said he still thinks Tyson can add value to the sport.
“If Tyson wants to come back and fight someone from his era, for the love of the sport? Crack on,” he added.
“I hope it adds value to the sport we love.”