Anthony Joshua has backed Mike Tyson’s sensational comeback to boxing, despite widespread criticism from others in the sport.
Tyson, 54, will meet fellow old-timer Roy Jones Jr in a one-off exhibition on September 12, having documented his return on social media.
Names including David Haye and Ricky Hatton have tried to dissuade Iron Mike from stepping back into the ring.
But unified heavyweight champion of the world Joshua thinks it is a good move for the sport.
Joshua said: “You see a clip on social media and you think: ‘He’s back in action, he’s fighting fit’.
“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.
“If Tyson wants to come back and fight someone from his era, for the love of the sport? Crack on.
“I hope it adds value to the sport we love.”
Joshua, himself, returns to the ring against Kubrat Pulev next for what should be a warm-up bout ahead of a highly-anticipated fight against fellow Brit and WBC champion Tyson Fury in 2021.
And the Watford-born fighter insists that he isn’t worrying too much about his fellow countryman as he hasn’t been back at the top level for long enough to prove himself.
Joshua said: “What have you seen from Fury? A couple of feints? Moving around? What have you seen that makes him seem so intimidating? Speed?
“If the sport is lacking so much talent then all you need is feints and movement to be classed as a great of this generation…
“With hard work, motivation and studying you can overcome that.
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“So what do people see in Fury that is so fearsome, intimidating, that he can’t be touched at the top level?
“I take him as a serious challenger, of course. But resume? It’s taken him a long time to grow.
“His fight with Wladimir Klitschko was his first real challenge and he overcame it, but it took him eight years to build his experience and confidence.
“Then he had two years out and fought Deontay Wilder.
“He hasn’t been in the deep end for long enough to show me that he can swim there for a long time. You have to continually prove that you belong there. You don’t just come there once or twice.
“For me as a fighter, that’s how you gain my respect.”
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