During a recent interview on the British television series Top Gear, unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua named his personal top three heavyweights of all-time.
And the first heavyweight on this list was Jack Johnson, nicknamed the Galveston Giant. Johnson was the first African American world heavyweight boxing champion (1908–1915).
“Jack Johnson, because of the era he was in, the adversities he had to overcome and he was the best,” Joshua said.
And the next heavyweight on his last was three-time world champion Muhammad Ali, who is widely regarded as ‘The Greatest Of All Time’ and one of the most important sports figures of the 20th century.
“Muhammad Ali. There was a civil rights movement happening in America. So, he uses the platform to preach to a wider audience about the issues and pressure that his community was facing and took it to a global stage. He passed the legendary status and became as icon of the sport,” Joshua said.
And it was no surprise that Joshua selected Mike Tyson as his third heavyweight. Tyson, who unified the heavyweight division in the 80s, was the youngest boxer to become heavyweight champion.
“Thirdly, ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson, for me. When I went to boxing, fall in love with it and then when I looked at Iron Mike, he was a kid from Brooklyn, went through a lot of issues at a young age. I read his book,” Joshua said.
Joshua, who holds the WBO, WBA, IBF, IBO world titles, was in action back in September when he knocked out Alexander Povetkin in seven rounds at Wembley Stadium in London.
He is scheduled to return to the same venue on April 13th. No opponent has been finalized, but Dillian Whyte is currently the frontrunner to secure the shot. Whyte, who was knocked out by Joshua in the fall of 2015, flattened Dereck Chisora in their rematch last Saturday night.