Nigerian-born IBF, IBO, WBA heavyweight world champion Anthony Olaseni Joshua (19-0, 19 KOs) said he has been traing hard to become a destructive force like of his idols, former undisputed champion Mike Tyson for his next bout.
Veteran coach Robert McCracken has been training the 27-year-old boxer for his mandatory defence on October 28th in Cardiff against Kubrat Pulev of Bulgaria.
According to reports, if Joshua wins the contest, and WBC champion Deontay Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs) defeat Bermane Stiverne the following week – they could be a step closer to a huge unification next summer.
While Joshua is often compared to Tyson, and he highly respects Tyson, he says there are very big differences between them.
He said “I can take people to the trenches and I can turn it into a fight about heart, but I want to show my finesse and Mike Tyson wasn’t known for his heart, he was known for his technique, he was known for how great he was on the inside,”
“A lot of fighters aren’t known just for being sluggers and stuff. They are known for being great fighters and that’s where I’m trying to get to. That’s why I don’t call myself the greatest or the most feared fighter, or this or that, because I know I’m going to get to that. But I know I’ve got bags of heart and I’m willing to go through it to get to that,”
“People think they can come and beat me. Mike Tyson broke his opponents before they got in the ring, I break them in the ring,” Joshua told Sky Sports.
One difference, says Joshua, is when the going got very tough – Tyson would fall apart as he did against Buster Douglas and Evander Holyfield, twice. Joshua proved his heart in April, when he got off the floor in the sixth and withstood some tough rounds to eventually rally and stop Wladimir Klitschko in the eleventh.
And another difference, the champ points out, is how opponents were terrified before they ever stepped one foot in the ring with Tyson – while Joshua feels his opponent actually believe they can – and he changes their minds by battering them inside the ring.