Mike Tyson superfan Josh Warrington studying former heavyweight champion’s early fights to get tips and emulate hero – The Sun

MIKE TYSON is enjoying a renaissance – but superfan Josh Warrington is only interested in the old classics.

Tyson has been all over the internet during the Covid-19 lockdown, with a 10-second clip of the 53-year-old punching pads snowballing into potentially one of the biggest comebacks of all time.

But Warrington – a world champion almost half his age and size – is locked away in Leeds watching all of his idol's greatest hits and paying no attention to the sex, drugs and rock 'n Rolls-Royces of Iron Mike's later life, or potential comeback fights against Evander Holyfield or Shannon Briggs.

The IBF featherweight king spoke to SunSport to celebrate his two years with the belt and explained exactly why he wanted to absorb the best parts of the Baddest Man on the Planet.

Warrington said: “All the extra stuff Mike got into later on, the money he spent, the white tigers and Rolls-Royces, that doesn’t interest me in the slightest.

“You can focus on just your own weight class and I have looked at lots of great featherweights and all kinds of other weights.

“But if you take out Mike Tyson’s weight and size there is still so much there to learn from.

"The fundamentals he had down, the technical ability he had, the way he was so much smaller than most of his opponents but used that to his advantage.

“Even though he is a lot bigger and heavier than me, he throws the same punches and makes the same moves and I can emulate those punches and movements.”

Undefeated Warrington enjoys reminding his doubters that before he outgunned brilliant Welsh skillster Lee Selby and went toe-to-toe with Irish icon Carl Frampton, he was regarded as a ‘feather-fisted ticket seller’.

Unlike Tyson, who felt he had most of his opponents beaten before they stepped in the ring, Warrington feeds off the doubts and mental niggles that keep him sharp.

But he is fascinated by Iron Mike's love for all manner of historical warriors from former boxing heavyweight champ Jack Dempsey to Ancient Greek leader Alexander the Great.

He said: “Tyson’s mentality is something to look at, people just look at the fact he was seen as an animal in the ring, with so many problems out of it.

“But in the early days with his trainer Cus D’Amato he completely absorbed the sport and would go home, after training, and read about it for hours

“Tyson would spend just as many hours studying philosophers, great leaders from history, war generals and Greek warriors as he did Jack Dempsey and that sort of dedication is something to be admired and I aspire to be like that.

“I want to know about when he was obsessed with the sport, working with D’Amato, Teddy Atlas and Kevin Rooney.

“They would teach Tyson a combination and he would go off on his own and practice in a mirror for hours until he had it perfect.”

When the Covid-19 lockdown is lifted and Warrington can return to his mission of trying to unify the 9st division, he hopes some of Tyson’s ruthlessness will have rubbed off on him.

Frampton confirmed after their December 2018 barnstormer that the Leeds Warrior’s power is criminally underrated and the 30-0 ace admits he may have coasted a few too many times, knowing he was ahead on scorecards.

But, with a dream to crack America like his mentor Ricky Hatton still hanging in the balance, Warrington has vowed to be even more aggressive when he returns to the ring.

He said: “In the early days Tyson would dismantle people and I remember him saying that people wanted to see aggression from him.

“I read that he said the more aggressive he was, with each fight, the more he got paid.

“There have definitely been fights I have been in where I have let fighters off the hook and, as brutal as it sounds, people do want to see knockouts, we are part of entertainment.

“I admired a lot of things he did in his early career and I am happy to learn off of anyone.”

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