Anthony Joshua insists he would not fight Mike Tyson if offered an exhibition showdown with the boxing great – because he would booed if he beat him. Tyson is hoping to launch a boxing comeback in the coming months and is looking for an opponent.
But AJ has ruled himself out and described Tyson as the ‘greatest boxer of the modern era.
Joshua is gearing up to face Kubrat Pulev when boxing returns following the suspension of sport due to the coronavirus.
He then hopes to face Tyson Fury, as long as he beats Deontay Wilder again, but says a fight with Iron Mike is not on his radar.
“With all due respect I wouldn’t,” he 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.
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“There are only two recognised champions the world knows of, Ali and Mike Tyson — the most recognised faces in the world when it comes to boxing.”
Tyson has been linked with a repeat of his historic fights against Evander Holyfield and Fury even suggested he would throw down with him.
And AJ isn’t surprised by talk of a return, but it’s all he knows.
“I see it like this — how old is David Beckham, 44, 45?” Joshua added.
“If you see him in ten 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.”
AJ got his career back on track with December’s revenge win over Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia and became the two-time unified heavyweight champion.
He takes on Pulev next in a mandatory defence before potentially the biggest showdown in British boxing history with a fight against Tyson Fury.
And he warned Fury, he was on his hit list.
“Undoubtedly the fight I want is Tyson Fury — he is holding something that I want, he’s on my hit list,” he told the Sun.
“You never know what you’re going to get with him.
“He’s either at the top of the world, conquering the world, or at the bottom of the ocean and he needs to find a balance — but at the moment he seems to have found one at home working out with his wife.
“He says things about me all the time, there is so much back and forth, but Tyson Fury is only relevant the day me and him sign a contract to fight.
“The day he and I are going to fight is the only time really that I should be talking about Tyson Fury and I don’t really want to be in that position where I am talking him down.
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