Mike Tyson believes Tyson Fury is the finest heavyweight on the planet, but feels Anthony Joshua has plenty to work on ahead of his proposed bout with the Gypsy King next year.
Fury and Joshua share all the heavyweight gold, with the Gypsy King picking up the WBC and Ring Magazine titles with his comprehensive defeat of Deontay Wilder in February.
AJ holds the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO straps, having regained them from Andy Ruiz in December, but despite the number of belts he has in his possession, Iron Mike sees Fury as the best in the business.
Tyson has been impressed with his namesake’s movement, defensive skills and speed in the ring, while Fury also showed his destructive power when he stopped Wilder in the seventh round of their rematch, after their first meeting ended in a draw.
‘I think he’s very good,’ Tyson told ESPN of Fury. ‘He looks like he’s not intimidating, but he’s really elusive, he really knows how to box, he’s really smart and he’s really difficult to hit and he’s 7-foot, damn near. He’s a monster.’
The youngest heavyweight champion in boxing history was much less complimentary about Joshua, who is expected to fight Fury at least once next year.
Tyson did not dismiss the Olympic champion, but he feels he is lacking some tools and his coaches need to work hard with the 31-year-old ahead of any unification bout.
‘I don’t think he’s a paper champion. I just think he’s a big guy — it’s hard to fight being that big,’ said Tyson of Joshua. ‘It’s very difficult being that big and having to fight a smaller guy [Ruiz].
‘That guy could learn some more. He could be taught some more stuff.’
Wilder’s skills got a healthier review from Tyson, who himself is stepping back into the ring in December in an exhibition against Roy Jones Jr.
The Bronze Bomber did get a scalding from Iron Mike for the excuses he has made for losing to Fury, but has been encouraged to stop talking and step back in with the Brit for a third time.
‘When Wilder gets his head out of his butt, he’s good. Wilder just gotta stop internalising stuff, this guy is great,’ said Tyson.
‘Just keep on fighting. Fight [Fury] again. Fight him a third time. Whenever you have an opportunity to fight for the title, he should fight.
‘We [as boxers] can only do this for a certain amount of time in our life, and then we can’t do it anymore. So we have to do it as much as we can before we end this stuff.’
Fury and Wilder were due to fight for a third time but that appears to be off the table, with the Gypsy King set to fight next month in London against an as-yet unnamed opponent.
Joshua fights Kubrat Pulev on 12 December and if both Brits win, they are expected to face each other in the first half of 2021.
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