“It’s like being the President of the United States”: Tyson’s warning to Joshua

“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

— Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson, not often short of words, and regularly in the spotlight, even after 12 years since the American’s last fight. 

The former heavyweight Champion is currently promoting his book, ‘Iron Ambition’ – an insight into Tyson’s life with former trainer and guardian, Cus D’Amat.

Alongside promoting the book, the 50-year-old was speaking to the BBC on boxing’s latest poster boy, Anthony Joshua:

“He [Anthony Joshua] has got the look and throws a lot of hard punches. But there is so much pressure on him. I was in Dubai and there are big posters of him there.

The heavyweight championship will drive people crazy, you know that right? It’s like a crown of thorns. Everyone wants to use you for something. It’s like being the President of the United States.

Joshua can’t get the big head. He has to focus on fighting. When you start focusing on money, girls or whatever it is, it’s going downhill. No religion, nothing, you can do those things when the fight is over. Let’s see if he can handle that stuff.”

Joshua prides himself on his rooted upbringing; a man who still lives at home with his mother, and a man that lives the most basic of lifestyles in preparation for a fight as big as the Wladimir Klitschko one.

What Joshua has managed to do well since gaining such a public recognition is keep his personal life at a distance. Images of AJ out with countless girls is something that is rarely documented; even discovering the mother to his son, Joseph, is a hard piece of information to gain access to.

This nature of AJ, a man who is happy to let people in, yet only at an arms length, is what makes him such a champion. Tyson says how it will drive you “crazy”, and how Joshua can’t get “big headed” or distracted by “money”, and it seems that with these distractions thus far for the Englishman, he has managed to take it all on his stride; from highly documented Lucozade ads, to wide-ranging GQ photo shoots; it appears AJ is still that charming lad – on the surface – from Watford.

This could well change following more public, and global recognition; talk of a rematch with Klitschko seeming to draw even closer would once again accelerate AJ’s media attention; but, so far so good for the champion, and we can’t see that changing anytime soon.