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Croatian boxing legend Željko Mavrović calls out Mike Tyson

Željko Mavrović Mike Tyson

Željko Mavrović (Photo credit: SpeedyGonsales/CC BY-SA 3.0)

Last November, former world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson got back in the ring to fight Roy Jones Jr in an exhibition fight. 

Tyson made no secret after the fight that he wants to get back in the ring more regularly and a fight with his rival Evander Holyfield looks as if it could happen in May.

Another boxing legend, Croatia’s Željko Mavrović wants to get in on the legends exhibition action. 

Now 52, Mavrović says he is more ready than ever after training intensively for the past 10 months with his trainer and he had a message for Tyson, who he almost fought during the peak of his career. 

“I am ready for 15 three minute rounds. Mike, I am here. I am ready and can box better than the opponents you have selected already. I am here waiting for you,” Mavrović told RTL. 

Mike Tyson (Photo credit: © Glenn Francis, www.PacificProDigital.com(CC BY-SA 4.0)

Mavrovic, known as the ‘Šaka sa Srednjaka’ (‘Fist from Srednjaci’, the suburb in Zagreb he is from), became the boxing champion of Europe in 1995 and kept his title in 1996 and 1997 against seven opponents.

In 1998, he fought Lennox Lewis for the world heavyweight champion title, but lost after twelve rounds on points. 

Although he was beaten by Lewis in the fight, his performance was praised from boxing insiders. Lewis’ manager  Frank Maloney said that “Mavrovic must have 240lb of steel in his chin” after the fight.

Lewis described the fight as the most awkward win of his career, citing Mavrović’s agility, motivation and preparedness.

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