Anthony Joshua, who currently holds the WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles, says Mike Tyson was his idol growing up and would relish his return to the sport.
“If he’s back in the ring then I would love to see it, I would definitely be one of the viewers that’s for sure,” Joshua told British GQ. “That’s the man who got me [into boxing].
“Do you know what it was with Mike, when I watched him on YouTube, I see a little kid that was 13 and I truly believe — no matter what anyone has to say about Mike Tyson now in terms of what he went through when he
was fighting, some of the controversy he went through — the guy took himself from his neighborhood, which wasn’t the prettiest of scenes, up to an amateur champion, to the youngest ever world champion, to one of
the most recognized faces of the sport.”
After becoming the youngest heavyweight champion ever at just 20 years old in 1986, Tyson was sent to prison for three years following a 1992 rape conviction. Recent reports have suggested Tyson could return to the ring in a series of exhibition fights in Australia, while Evander Holyfield — who infamously had a chunk of his ear bitten off in a fight with Tyson — admitted he would be open to a rematch.
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Max Markson, who works with Australia’s leading boxing promoter Brian Amatruda, told CNN they hope to bring Tyson to Australia in 2020 or 2021 to fight high-profile names such as All Blacks star Sonny Bill Williams.
However, Rob Hickman, CEO of Tyson’s licensing & branding company Tyson Ranch, said the former world heavyweight champion is instead looking to fight in the US.