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This is what we breathe! Joshua backs 'ultimate motivation' Tyson in comeback bid

By Dom Farrell

London, May 22: Anthony Joshua concedes he will be a keen viewer if Mike Tyson makes a boxing comeback - naming the former heavyweight king as his "ultimate inspiration".

Tyson is reportedly ready to fight again at 53 in exhibition and charity bouts, with a series of his explosive pad workouts going viral on social media.

Old rival Evander Holyfield and 48-year-old fellow Brooklyn native Shannon Briggs have been touted as potential opponents, although there has also been plenty of concern voiced over whether a man with such a chequered past should be considering lacing gloves once more.

Speaking to British GQ, current IBF, WBA and WBO champion Joshua explained he was not surprised to see Tyson active again due to his fighting instinct.

"This is what we breathe. This is what we are. And especially someone like Iron Mike Tyson, that's all that man knows," he said.

"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."

Tyson's whirlwind story combining ferocious knockouts, phenomenal achievements, controversies and disgrace means he remains one of the most recognisable sportsmen on the planet, and his exploits unquestionably resonated with Joshua, who explained he used to watch the American's hefty highlights reel on YouTube as a teenager.

"The guy took himself from his neighbourhood, which wasn't the prettiest of scenes, up to an amateur champion, to the youngest ever world heavyweight champion, to one of the most recognised faces of the sport of boxing," Joshua added.

"The only two faces I recognised in boxing, globally, are 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."

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Story first published: Friday, May 22, 2020, 14:00 [IST]
Other articles published on May 22, 2020
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