Mike Tyson: Joshua has ‘changed boxing’
Mike Tyson believes Anthony Joshua has ‘changed boxing’ following his victory on Saturday night.
The former undisputed heavyweight champion feels Joshua’s win over Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium has sparked a new era of boxing, with Englishman leading the charge for his old division.
"Whenever there's a new heavyweight champion and he's explosive like that and wins the title like that it changes the whole game," Tyson said in Dubai at the launch of his academy.
"We have a new heavyweight champion who is very exciting right now. If it continues to be that way, the sky is the limit for him. That one fight changed boxing.”
Since Tyson’s retirement in 2005, boxing has seen lighter fighters such as Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao rise through the divisions and dominate the sport.
But Tyson now believes the heavyweights will reign supreme again thanks to Joshua.
“It's all going to be about Joshua and the heavyweights now,” Tyson said.
“That's what is spectacular about him. He's the right guy for the job.
"All the little guys that were making a lot of money are not going to make their money any more.
"That's what fighting needs. Floyd has been making a lot of money and we've got a lot of little guys fighting but people want to see is the heavyweights fighting. The heavyweight that knows how to fight, like Joshua.
"It's the heavyweights that make boxing big. The other guys can make money but they are not making the sport big.”
Burnett: No pressure on me
Ryan Burnett is feeling no pressure ahead of first world title attempt.
The 24-year-old (16-0-KO9) will challenge for the IBF bantamweight title against Lee Haskins at Belfast’s Odyssey Arena on 10 June, live on Sky Sports, and the Northern Irishman is relishing the prospect of fighting in front of his home crowd.
“There’s no pressure on me,” Burnett said.
“I’ve been dreaming of this for a long time. I always thought this could be me. Hard work has got me here.
“I can’t wait to get my hands on that world title and bring big fights to Belfast.
“I’m only 24. He’s the champion and he’s defending his belt, my road is only just starting."
Haskins (34-3-KO14) has only lost once since his 2007 defeat to Ian Napa, and comes into the contest on the back of a unanimous point’s victory over Stuart Hall in September.
But Burnett is confident of victory despite the champion’s record.
“It’s going to be a hard fight. Lee’s only lost once in 9 years, that shows his level. He’s not world champ for nothing.
"But I know that this is my time and this is where I take over and it’s his time to step aside."
Linares: Pacquiao next please
Jorge Linares has targeted a fight with Manny Pacquiao at super-lightweight.
The ‘Golden Boy’ last fought in March when he defeated Anthony Crolla in Manchester to retain his WBA, WBC ‘diamond’ and Ring Magazine belts at lightweight, but his wish to fight the Filipino at 140lbs puts in doubt a bout against Britain’s Luke Campbell next.
“I need big fights,” Linares said to boxingscene.com.
“This is the best moment and I want to take advantage of it.
“We can meet at 140 pounds. That wouldn't be hard for Pacquiao to make.”
Campbell called out Linares after stopping Darleys Perez in 9 rounds at Wembley Stadium on the Joshua-Klitschko undercard in what was an official eliminator for the Venezuelan’s lightweight title.
However, Linares has targeted Pacquiao should the WBO welterweight champion defeat Jeff Horn on 2 July and hopes to settle sparring rumours in the ring.
“Freddie Roach said that Pacquiao knocked me out in sparring and that isn't true. I don't know why he would say those lies after I helped them get ready for a fight,” Linares said.
“If he's so confident why don't we fight each other?”