Mike Tyson on If Deontay Wilder Could Beat Him in His Prime: 'I Don't Think So'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 22, 2018

File - In this May 4, 2017 file photo, Mike Tyson speaks during an interview with The Associated Press, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Former heavyweight champion Tyson is becoming a California marijuana entrepreneur. TheBlast.com reports that Tyson and partners on Dec. 20, 2017, broke ground on a plot for a cannabis resort in California City, a remote Mojave Desert town that's about a 110-mile drive north of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, File)
Kamran Jebreili/Associated Press

Boxer Deontay Wilder turned heads in January when he told TMZ Sports he would beat the 1986 version of Mike Tyson, but Iron Mike disagreed.

"I don't think so," Tyson said Wednesday when asked if Wilder would beat him in his prime.

Lennox Lewis knows what it's like to fight Tyson—and past his prime, no less. He said: "I like Wilder, but he's never been in there with someone that ferocious who truly wants to break his ribs with every punch. I don't see it!"

Lewis weighed in further on social media:

Lennox Lewis @LennoxLewis

My best advice to the entire crop of young heavyweight champs is to focus on being the best of YOUR era! Out of respect and reality. It’s unprovable. Of course ppl asked, but I found no need to speculate or compare myself to my idol Ali or any other of the past greats.

Wilder suggested the older boxers should be more supportive of the new generation instead of focusing on comparisons when he appeared on CBS Sports' In This Corner podcast with Brian Campbell:

"These past champions, what they should be doing is motivating the up-and-coming guys," Wilder said. "They don't need to motivate me because I'm self-motivated. They don't need to give me convincing. But these other guys coming up, they should start a trend. Instead of hating on these guys coming for the top or worry about their legacy getting run over for what they did in their era, that era is gone! This is the new era over here!"

Wilder (39-0, 38KOs) has more than just hypothetical showdowns with prime Tyson to worry about considering the undefeated clash scheduled for March 3.

He will face Luis Ortiz (28-0, 24 KOs) in Brooklyn, New York, after their first matchup never came to fruition because Ortiz tested positive for a banned substance. Wilder previously handled replacement Bermane Stiverne with ease.


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