Jon Jones has called for Dana White to release him from his UFC contract after insisting he never asked for "Deontay Wilder's numbers" for his next fight.

White claimed light-heavyweight champion Jones had asked for $30million in order to step up to heavyweight and face contender Francis Ngannou, a figure similar to that made by boxer Wilder for his second heavyweight title bout against Tyson Fury.

UFC president White added to reporters: "We have text messages from Jon Jones. It's not like I can't prove what I'm saying is true.

"But I'm not going to put his text messages out in the press. I could."

Jones was not impressed, however, and insisted he never made such demands as he responded to White on Twitter.

"If you're going to stick to these lies, I'm going to stick to defending myself," he wrote. "Please have your lawyer Hunter Campbell release those text messages.

"Don't be a f***ing liar, my reputation has already taking enough hits. I don't need this bulls*** Dana.

"I never asked for Diante [sic] Wilder's numbers. And how about since Diante is making 30 million, we settle for half of that. Since you said I'm the goat and everything.

"I don't even make half of half of what Diante Wilder makes.

"If my reputation causes you to undervalue me this much. Just go ahead and release me from my @Ufc contract altogether.

"I'm sure some promoter somewhere will be more than happy to pick me up.

"And if I wanted to compare money to someone else, I would compare money to my brothers [former NFL defensive lineman Arthur and Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Chandler].

"I see first hand the way the NFL treats their champion athletes, there's a huge difference. I've kept my mouth shut my entire career."

Dereck Chisora has become the latest boxer to express an interest in competing in mixed martial arts after his heavyweight showdown with Oleksandr Usyk was delayed.

The Briton was set to take on Usyk in London earlier this month, but the coronavirus pandemic led to an indefinite postponement.

And Chisora is working with manager David Haye to secure an appearance at Bellator MMA.

"We are trying to sort dates for June or July," he told BBC Sport, with compatriot Dillian Whyte having also been tipped to tackle a crossover bout.

"I see others do it and say, 'I want to try it one day'. Since Usyk has been postponed for a while, then if there's a way I can do that for the time being...

"We're waiting to see the date they give us for Usyk but if there's a bigger gap we're going to jump in to Bellator straight away."

No new date has been set for Chisora's fight with Usyk, but the 36-year-old is not keen on the idea of it taking place behind closed doors.

"This fight needs fans," he said. "Some fights don't but certain fights need fans and this is one where you need people to enjoy it."

 

 

 

 

Babe Ruth knew time was up on his baseball playing career on May 30 in 1935, but his name lives on and many consider him the greatest player to have swung a bat.

Liverpool supporters may look back fondly on memories of 1984 at the Stadio Olimpico, where Joe Fagan's team rocked Roma in the European Cup final.

The brilliant and brute force of Mike Tyson was felt on this day in 1987 by Pinklon Thomas.

And Alastair Cook, the great England opening batsman, made history not once but twice in successive years on this date.

Here is a look at those famous moments in sporting history.

 

1935 – Babe Ruth struck out for the last time

Nothing that happened in his short spell at the Boston Braves could stain his name, yet Ruth's move from the New York Yankees turned out to be an almighty flop. Arriving in February 1935, Ruth – baseball's biggest draw of the era and a player whose name resonates to this day – offered just glimpses of his glory days. On May 25, he thundered three home runs, albeit in a losing cause against Pittsburgh. That feat took his career haul to a then-record 714 homers, and there would be no more, Ruth playing his final game five days later against the Phillies. At the age of 40, out of shape and a shadow of his former self as a player, Ruth called it quits, his retirement announced days later.

1984 - Liverpool stun Roma - in Rome

Liverpool's fourth European Cup, like their fifth 21 years later, came thanks to a penalty shoot-out win against Italian opposition. In 2005, Liverpool had their 'Miracle of Istanbul' against Milan, but in 1984 the English giants had the nerve to beat Roma in Rome, in what was the first shoot-out in a European Cup final. Phil Neal's early strike for Liverpool was matched by Roma's Roberto Pruzzo before half-time and there would be no further goals. Fagan's Liverpool were the team that proved steadiest under pressure in the penalty shoot-out, despite Steve Nicol's early miss. Neal, Graeme Souness and Ian Rush stepped up to score, and after Bruce Grobbelaar's wobbly-legged wind-up routine put off Francesco Graziani, who skied his shot, Alan Kennedy stepped up to fire home and clinch the trophy.

1987 - Tyson takes down Thomas

Thomas was a more-than-useful American heavyweight in the mid-1980s, a fighter who had held the WBC belt before and fancied getting it back. The only problem for Thomas was that Tyson owned the belt, and the latter felt it suited him rather better than it suited Thomas. That theory was put to the test on a Saturday night in Las Vegas, and despite Thomas' jab keeping Tyson busy, trouble was soon brewing for the challenger. A thundering left hook from Tyson had Thomas wobbling in the sixth round and was followed by a flurry of punches that sent the 29-year-old to the canvas. Thomas just about managed to get to his feet but trainer Angelo Dundee stepped in, taking his man out of harm's way, Tyson retaining the WBC and WBA titles.

2015 and 2016 - Cook's England landmarks

Cook, born on Christmas Day in 1984, was the gift that kept on giving for England. Plucked from the county circuit as a prodigy who already had a double century for Essex against Australia, Cook piled on the Test runs for his country, including a ton on his debut in 2006 against India. On this day in 2015, the then-captain Cook passed his Essex mentor Graham Gooch to become England's all-time leading Test run-scorer during an innings of 75 against New Zealand at Headingley. Not content with overtaking Gooch's mark of 8,900 runs, Cook went on to achieve another May 30 feat 12 months later, becoming the first Englishman to tally 10,000 Test runs. He reached that total on the way to England securing a nine-wicket win over Sri Lanka at Chester-le-Street.

Dana White said he has not talked to Conor McGregor about his next fight, while the UFC president believes Mike Tyson has something "lined up" ahead of his reported boxing return.

UFC star McGregor has not fought since January and the Irishman is itching to return to the octagon amid the coronavirus pandemic.

McGregor has been vocal on social media, calling out Justin Gaethje earlier this month after the American dominated Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 behind closed doors in Jacksonville, Florida.

Asked about McGregor, White said the former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion just needs to bide his time.

"Conor and I have not talked about fighting," White told ESPN. "If you're Conor, sitting at home, everybody is calling you out, in every weight division. Who's next?

"I'm waiting for [heavyweight Daniel Cormier] to call him out, you know? Conor, his personality, he's going to respond to that.

"I think what Conor needs to do is sit back and let these fights start rolling out. Obviously, the most important division is the 155-pound [lightweight] division. See what plays out."

Away from the octagon and in boxing, legendary fighter Tyson appears to be closing in on a stunning comeback.

Former heavyweight champion Tyson last fought professionally in 2005 but the 53-year-old has cut an incredibly fit figure amid links to Evander Holyfield, Tito Ortiz and Tyson Fury.

"Originally, I came out and said, 'Listen, I'd like Mike not to fight,'" said White. "I even got Mike a TV show, to try and keep him from fighting. But Mike Tyson is a grown man, he can do whatever. The guy is powerful, looks explosive and has gotten himself in great shape.

"From what I'm hearing from them, they have something lined up, something big. He's going to get in there. We talked about it and he said, 'Listen, I feel that fire in my stomach. I want to get in there and mix it up again.' I'm fully supportive of him."

A fight between boxer Dillian Whte and UFC star Francis Ngannou could happen in 2020, according to promoter Eddie Hearn.

Hearn intends to hold talks with UFC president Dana White about organising a fight he claims to have received huge demand for.

Whyte, the WBC interim heavyweight champion, made his first and only mixed martial arts appearance in 2008 and scored a knockout in just 12 seconds, while Ngannou has stopped each of his past four UFC opponents in the first round – three of the past four inside 45 seconds.

After Ngannou suggested he wanted to test himself against one of boxing's top heavyweights, Whyte said: "Don't talk about it, let's just do it."

Having initially been sceptical about the idea, Hearn revealed the bout is on the cards for this year.

"I never really thought we would take this too seriously, but in the last week we have to take this seriously," Hearn told Sky Sports.

"The aim for Dillian Whyte is to become a world boxing champion, but I wouldn't be surprised at all to see Dillian Whyte against Ngannou towards the end of this year.

"Obviously we know [Alexander] Povetkin is next, but whether it's October, November, December.

"I'm going to be reaching out to Dana White and saying: 'Tell me how this works? Can we actually do this? Are we doing it in a ring? Are we doing it in a cage? Are we doing one round of each?'.

"It's really got a lot of momentum and a lot of promise. I think there's a really good chance it could happen."

Hearn said Whyte and Ngannou would display "brutality at its absolute rawest" and provide a greater spectacle than the previous crossover fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Conor McGregor in 2017.

"There's not just interest online, there is huge interest everywhere for that fight," said Hearn.

"When I first started discussing it, it was just something that had been mentioned. Fans of both disciplines have always said: 'Whyte against Ngannou is a cracker'.

"I've started to receive a lot of interest from numerous people about staging that fight now. I think it does colossal numbers.

"It's the first real, genuine crossover fight. I know we had Floyd and we had Conor, but this is a different kind of fight. This is a different kind of experience. This is brutality at its absolute rawest.

"This fight does huge numbers. It's got the boxing fans, it's got the MMA fans, it's got the intrigue. It's got everything."

Heavyweight champion Tyson Fury claimed he had accepted a fight against Mike Tyson.

Tyson, 53, is reportedly preparing for a stunning return to boxing, with a bout against old rival Evander Holyfield, 57, spoken about.

Fury, who won the WBC heavyweight title by beating Deontay Wilder in February, said he had accepted a fight against Tyson.

"I did get a phone call with a chance to fight Mike Tyson and I was like, 'What?'" the Brit told BT Sport.

"I had a phone call saying, 'Would you like to fight Mike Tyson in an exhibition fight?' I was like, 'Hell yeah!' I don't think anything materialised out of it to be honest.

"I think he's definitely serious about doing some fights or whatever. He's fought Holyfield twice so they're both old now aren't they?

"I think they're a bit long in the teeth, but then again who am I to say anything, what anybody's capable of after everybody's unbelievable stories. I wouldn't try and kill anybody's dreams of doing anything they want if they're both fit to fight and medically fit then let them do what they've got to do, it's their life not mine."

Former heavyweight champion Tyson last fought professionally in 2005, having lost twice to Holyfield in two epic fights in 1996 and 1997.

Manny Pacquiao has suggested Floyd Mayweather Jr is jealous of his prolonged career after the American labelled the veteran welterweight an "old man".

Mayweather was critical of younger fighters "chasing" a bout with 41-year-old Pacquiao, who won his most recent fight against the previously-undefeated Keith Thurman to claim the WBA super welterweight title last July.

However, Pacquiao has little regard for Mayweather's comments, claiming the 43-year-old, who last fought in 2017 against UFC star Conor McGregor, wishes he was still fighting.

"He is just envious because he's already retired. We're still active and have a crown," Pacquiao told The Manila Times.

"I'm not thinking about that yet. I'm concerned first and foremost about our countrymen. No retirement [plans] yet. I'm still training, God is good."

With the majority of sporting events currently on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, Pacquiao – who is also a senator in the Philippines government – is focused on helping his country's people during the crisis. 

"I'm concerned first and foremost about our countrymen and about how to resolve this [coronavirus] pandemic," he added.

Mike Tyson's first opponent in the heavyweight boxing superstar's attempted comeback could be a UFC Hall of Famer.

Tito Ortiz claims he has been approached to fight the 53-year-old former undisputed world champion and says a clash with Tyson could break pay-per-view records.

Mixed martial arts veteran Ortiz, 45, said he was unexpectedly asked about the prospect of taking on 'Iron Mike'.

He told TMZ: "I was watching Mike Tyson hit pads with one of my old trainers and Tyson was like the old Tyson, fast and speed and powerful and I was like, 'Wow, Tyson's going to make a comeback?'.

"And all of a sudden, two days later, I get a phone call, and someone starts asking me, 'What do you think about fighting Mike Tyson?'.

"I was like, 'Really? This is the opportunity of my life, I'm in.'"

Ortiz appeared to suggest any fight with Tyson would take place in Las Vegas, citing the need to be passed ring-worthy by the Nevada Athletic Commission.

"I'm not sure if it's going to be boxing or MMA yet, I haven't got that far – I think both of us have got to be cleared by the athletic commission, this Vegas thing," Ortiz said.

"But I've been boxing for 20 years, man, and my boxing skills have got better and better.

"They might not be the same level of Tyson, but has Tyson been punched in the face in the last 15 years? No, he hasn't, and I have, and I've been able to subdue everyone I've competed against over the last four years."

Ortiz, sporting a T-shirt bearing the slogan 'Donald Trump Real American Hero', said he had "nothing but respect" for Tyson, who last fought in 2005.

He sees their fight, should it happen, breaking television box office records.

He cited the fight between boxing great Floyd Mayweather and UFC star Conor McGregor in 2017, which was bought by 4.3million people in the United States.

"You know what Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather did, I think we could double that," Ortiz said. "I just think it would be amazing, I think it would be fun. It would be a great opportunity for both of our brands."

Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez has learned from his mistakes against Floyd Mayweather Jr and is on course to end up on a very selective list of fighters.

That is the verdict of WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman, who has praised Alvarez for the way he bounced back from a first defeat - and tipped him to further enhance his legacy before hanging up the gloves.

The Mexican superstar's solitary loss as a pro came back in September 2013, as he came out on the wrong side of a points verdict after going 12 rounds with the undefeated Mayweather.

Sulaiman feels that, at 23, Canelo was not ready for such a challenge at that stage in his career but has recovered impressively to build a case to be viewed as the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet.

His impressive record includes a points win in a rematch with middleweight rival Gennadiy Golovkin - their first meeting ended as a split-decision draw - while his most recent bout saw him step up to light-heavyweight to stop WBO champion Sergey Kovalev.

Speaking to Stats Perform News courtesy of @trcksuits, Sulaiman explained how Alvarez - who does not turn 30 until July - has time on his side to further his reputation.

"He's still building his legacy," the WBC chief said. "He's young, he's active and he's hungry to be and become the greatest.

"He learned from his mistakes. He fought Floyd Mayweather when he was too young and that could have ended his career.

"But then he focused, he came back, he learned from that fight and now has evolved into a very mature, highly competitive world-presence fighter.

"I think when his career is over, we're going to have Canelo Alvarez in a very selective list of fighters from history."

Alvarez had appeared set to fight again in May this year, only for the coronavirus pandemic to put a hold on his future plans.

Frank Warren thinks Anthony Joshua's promoters want to avoid a heavyweight unification fight with Tyson Fury as it would be too risky for their fighter.

Bob Arum, Fury's co-promoter along with Warren, has held preliminary talks with Matchroom Boxing boss Eddie Hearn over the prospect of a mouthwatering all-British bout.

WBC champion Fury faces a third fight with Deontay Wilder next, while Joshua is due to step into the ring with Kubrat Pulev after their bout - scheduled for June - was called off amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Warren believes the main issue getting in the way of a deal being agreed for Fury and Joshua to fight is Matchroom promoters do not want it to happen.

He told talkSPORT: "My concern, first and foremost, although they talk about it a lot, Matchroom, I don't think they want the fight. I don't think they want to put AJ in with Tyson, I really don't think so.

"I hear all the noises, but actions speak louder than words and at the moment it seems to me – and I'm not normally wrong on things like this – I've got a gut feeling they don't want it and I think that's for a reason.

"I think Tyson's the best heavyweight on the planet, there's no doubt about that, and it's a big risk for them. It's a feeling from me, I’ve never had any conversations [with Matchroom] because I don't deal with them.

"I know they've had talks with the MTK people [Fury's managers], I know there's also been conversations with Bob Arum, but I've told them all the way through this I don't think they want it.

"If Tyson, which I believe he will do, beats AJ, then they've got a problem."

Warren also revealed that an offer has been received for Fury to fight Wilder in the Far East, but refused to confirm Macau in China was the location.

"I can't say that [the offer is from Macau] at the moment, [but] it is from the Far East," he said.

"The fight will be back end of the year. All of the big fights are gonna be back end of the year."

May 23 is a date in which Milan earned a measure of Champions League revenge on Liverpool and Ayrton Senna continued his majestic Monaco run.

The Rossoneri became champions of Europe for the seventh time on this day 13 years ago against familiar opponents.

It was also a notable date for Senna, who made history on the street circuit of Monaco, a track no one in Formua One has celebrated success at more.

Here's a look back at the sporting archives from this day in years gone by. 


1981 – Benitez becomes youngest three-weight world champ

Considered one of the best Puerto Rican boxers of all time, the American-born Wilfred Benitez was already the sport's youngest world champion when he won the WBA light-welterweight strap from Antonio Cervantes as a 17-year-old.

A little under three years later he defeated Carlos Palomino to become WBC world welterweight champion.

On May 23, 1981, the brilliant Benitez stepped up a category once again to take on WBC world little-middleweight champion Maurice Hope in Las Vegas.

Still only aged 22, Benitez knocked out Hope with an overhand right to become the youngest three-weight world champion in history.

Benitez was the first man in 43 years to win belts in three divisions and was inducted into boxing's Hall of Fame in 1996.


1993 – Senna makes Monaco history

The legendary Senna mastered Monaco like no other driver has ever managed.

In 1993, the Brazilian great was top of the podium for a fifth straight year – no F1 driver has won as many in succession at a single track – and sixth time overall, which saw him break clear of the record for Monaco wins he held with Graham Hill.

There was some fortune on this particular occasion. Pole-sitter Alain Prost was pinged for a jump-start and had to fight through the field at a track where it is notoriously difficult to pass, while Michael Schumacher was well clear before retiring with hydraulic trouble.

Sadly, Senna was unable to go for a sixth in a row as he tragically died at the San Marino Grand Prix in 1994.


2007 – Inzaghi helps Milan exorcise Istanbul demons

Two years prior, Milan suffered a Champions League final collapse as Liverpool fought back from a 3-0 half-time deficit in Istanbul to triumph in a penalty shoot-out.

There was to be no Greek tragedy for the Rossoneri in Athens, though, as Carlo Ancelotti's side gained revenge in the 2007 showpiece of Europe's premier competition.

Filippo Inzaghi scored on the stroke of half-time and again eight minutes from the end as the game slipped away from Rafael Benitez's Reds.

Dirk Kuyt scored in the last minute of normal time to give Liverpool hope, but Milan were not to be denied a seventh European crown.

Tyson Fury recently declared he was "unstoppable", but heavyweight rival Dillian Whyte claims to have floored the WBC champion on "multiple occasions".

Whyte is scheduled to receive a mandatory shot at Fury's world title by February 2021 at the latest.

But he must first wait until the champion has taken on American Deontay Wilder for a third time.

There is also a strong push for Fury to face Anthony Joshua in a unification contest after that, but Whyte is tired of being the odd man out.

Whyte, whose only career defeat came against Joshua in 2015, feels Fury would have fought him already if he did not know he would be in for a testing outing.

"He just needs to stop talking rubbish and let's have a go," Whyte, who is preparing to fight Alexander Povetkin next, said about Fury to Sky Sports. 

"It will be a major fight. Let's have it out.

"He's the one who came out and said he beat me up in the gym and stuff like that. I can tell you now, that didn't happen. I don't like telling sparring stories, but people in the game know.

"They know about me. Me and Tyson Fury sparred and I bashed him about and dropped him on multiple occasions. Simple as that.

"If I was such an easy fight, why is he not in any rush to fight me? 

"He said before beating Wilder, when I beat Wilder, I'm going to give Dillian Whyte his title shot. He just talks rubbish, I'm just sick and tired of it. This is war, let's go."

Undefeated Fury has recently ended talk about retiring in the near future and is now targeting a long title reign.

Whyte's promoter Eddie Hearn believes Fury should take on the challenge and urged the WBC to ensure it happens.

"We've got to push that with the WBC," Hearn said. "I would love to see Fury step up and fight Whyte, but I understand he has contractual obligations with Wilder. 

"Dillian is right in the mix and we will fight his corner. We've been promised by the WBC and we expect them to stand by it. We've done all we can in that respect.

"He stayed patient and has been given a time of February 2021. It is public, so they will look very silly if it doesn't happen.

"If, for some reason, Wilder is not available to fight Fury, then Whyte must get that fight now. 

"Why not? It's an unbelievable fight, two Brits fighting for the WBC title." 

IBF, WBA and WBO champion Joshua would be waiting in the wings, and Hearn added: "Then [there would be] a cast-iron certainty of two Brits fighting for the undisputed championship in 2021."

Evander Holyfield has called on Wladimir Klitschko's help for his comeback to the heavyweight boxing ranks.

Four-time heavyweight world champion Holyfield is planning to return to the ring at 57 for exhibition bouts, with a mooted third fight against Mike Tyson in the works.

Tyson, who lost twice to Holyfield in the 1990s, the second time due to disqualification when he bit his opponent's ear, has been showcasing his skills in social media videos ahead of his own comeback.

Now, Holyfield, four years Tyson's senior, has uploaded a similar training clip with the caption "Team Holyfield preparing for battle".

In it, Holyfield can be seen skipping in front of Klitschko before shaking hands with the Ukrainian, who was a two-time world champion before retiring in 2017 having been beaten by Anthony Joshua earlier in the year.

At one point in the video, Holyfield can be seen executing triceps dips while a weight hangs from a chain around his neck.

Antonio Tarver, himself a former world champion at light-heavyweight, can also be seen putting Holyfield through his paces before turning to the camera and saying: "The Real Deal is back, baby!"

Age shouldn't mean a thing to Mike Tyson according to Kevin Johnson – with the US heavyweight the latest boxer to give the two-time world champion's comeback bid his seal of approval.

Tyson has set tongues wagging over recent weeks, teasing a return to the ring with a series of explosive pad workouts.

While there are obvious concerns that a 53-year-old with such a chequered past is considering lacing gloves again – even if only for exhibition or charity bouts – current unified heavyweight king Anthony Joshua, all-time great Larry Holmes and WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman are among those to have given their backing.

Johnson, who challenged Vitali Klitschko for the WBC title in 2009 and has shared the ring with Joshua, Tyson Fury and Andy Ruiz Jr among others, is impressed by the speed Tyson appears to have retained, alongside his trademark power.

"I love it. As you can see in those videos, he's still got it," Johnson told Stats Perform News.

"The punch never goes away. George Foreman proved that to the world. Age doesn't mean nothing, it's all about your conditioning and what you have left.

"Of course, you can see he's still got the speed and power. That's the crazy part – I wouldn't think he had the speed – he's got it still!"

Evander Holyfield has spoken of a possible third meeting between the old rivals, despite the 'Real Deal' himself being 57 and the fact Tyson infamously bit off a chunk of his ear in their 1997 rematch.

Johnson crossed paths with both men as a young fighter and holds them both in the highest regard.

"I lived in Atlanta, so me and Evander always bumped into one another," Johnson recalled. "He had a gym in Atlanta, I had a gym in Douglasville, so we always were at events and stuff together.

"Mike Tyson trained in Jersey, I trained in Jersey as well. I met Mike Tyson early on. It was iconic for me, like a person meeting Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant. I admired those guys."

While any Tyson bouts remain a matter for speculation or fantasy at this stage, Johnson is in the unique position of having a fight date confirmed and ready to go amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The 40-year-old will face fellow former world title challenger Mariusz Wach at Palac w Konarach in Konary, Poland, as part of a behind-closed-doors event on June 12.

"We want the world to know that fights can still happen," Johnson said. "We're the first ones to do it.

"This is a time right now where we're both putting our life on the line and it shows the tremendous heart and warrior spirit of two great fighters."

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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