Mike Tyson was considered the best fighter in the world in the late 1980s, to the point where the nickname ‘The Baddest Man On The Planet’ was coined for him.
However, he has long since hung up the gloves, and that mantle has been granted to a host of fighters as Tyson has transitioned from a fearsome brawler to an affable podcast host.
‘Iron Mike’ maintains a keen eye on the sport, though, and when asked at the Errol Spence Jr-Terence Crawford media day, he explained to FightHype that he believes recently crowned four weight world champion Naoya Inoue is currently the number one fighter in the world – not either of the men set to battle it out for the welterweight crown.
“The Japanese fighter Inoue is the best fighter in the world, in my opinion.”
Inoue left the boxing public in awe on July 25th, when he produced a stunning eighth round knockout victory over Stephen Fulton to claim the WBC and WBO super bantamweight world titles.
Though Inoue was a betting favourite going into the fight, few expected him to make such light work of Fulton – an undefeated, unified world champion with a host of physical advantages.
All roads now appear to lead to an undisputed clash with WBA and IBF world champion Marlon Tapales, who took to the ring and shook hands with Inoue for a fight later in the year.
If that bout does get finalised, Inoue would have the chance to become undisputed at a second weight class – a feat never achieved in the four belt era – in the space of less than 12 months.
So dominant has ‘The Monster’ been at the lower weight classes, people already hypothesising around potential clashes with the likes of Gervonta Davis and Vasiliy Lomachenko – who currently compete three divisions above him.