Mike Tyson, who launched the Mike Tyson Academy (MTA) in Dubai on Thursday, feels the UAE could host a huge fight in the future – but he admits it would need the backing and appearance of star Anthony Joshua to make it a success.
Tyson – who became the youngest heavyweight champion in the world aged just 20 in 1986 – is bringing his latest fitness venture to the UAE – and will soon be opening a franchise of the worldwide MTAs in either Dubai or Abu Dhabi.
And having chosen the UAE as the launchpad for the new fitness centres that will based on the New York-born star’s famed commitment to hard work and discipline in the ring, he is confident it is the perfect part of the world to host a big night of boxing.
But, he feels, it would need rising star Joshua to make an appearance in the UAE – with the Emirates being familiar to the 27-year-old who trained in Dubai recently in preparation for his epic win over Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley last Saturday.
He said: “It has to be done here one day – once it’s done, especially if the new champion Joshua comes here – this will be a main hub for boxing. It just has to be done once with the right person and I believe Joshua is the right person (to help bring boxing to the UAE).”
“Why not Dubai? It’s a good place to launch my academy and it’s become very established – where else would you have it (my academy)? Dubai needs it and it will be awesome for the city.
“My hope is to be able to pass on the best trainings I’ve gained to the next generation of athletes. Through the Mike Tyson Academy, and the support of all these international entities that share our goal, these fitness centres will be available for the global community to use and take advantage of.”
The 50-year-old added: “I’m extremely grateful to be part of it and excited for it to positively contribute to the fitness journey of our clients.”
For more information about the Mike Tyson Academy – which will see a new brand of fitness centres under the legend’s name open in the Middle East, US, Australia and other destinations, visit www.miketysonacademy.com.
Look out for our full and exclusive video interview with Tyson on Sport360.com on Saturday.