"Some professional boxers will be beaten by amateurs" at Olympics - Mike Tyson

The former heavyweight champion says the idea to let professionals fight at the Games is "ridiculous" and "foolish"

"Some professional boxers will be beaten by amateurs" at Olympics - Mike Tyson

Image: Sean Dempsey / PA Archive/Press Association Images

Mike Tyson believes allowing professional boxers to fight at the Olympics is a "ridiculous" and "foolish" idea, but admits that some professionals would be beaten by amateurs.

Top professional boxers will become eligible to compete in this summer’s Rio Olympics under radical new proposals being pushed through by the sport’s world governing body, AIBA.

In an afternoon with Press Association Sport AIBA President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu said: "We want the best boxers to come to the Olympic Games. It is AIBA's 70th birthday, and we want something to change - not after four years, but now.

"It is an IOC policy to have the best athletes in the Games, and of the international federations, AIBA is probably the only one without professional athletes in the Olympics.

"We already have our own professionals, APB and WSB boxers, in the Games - [and] we will go further."

 Former world heavyweight champion Tyson, who won gold as an amateur in the 1981 and 1982 Junior Olympic Games, said professionals wouldn't have as easy a time as they would expect.

Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson speaks during a panel discussion held before the 2016 IBF World Championship Bout at the National Tennis Center in Beijing, Wednesday, May 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

"It's ridiculous, it's foolish, and some of the pro fighters are going to get beat by the amateurs. It's just going to happen, I really believe that," Tyson told Reuters TV in China.

"If they are like the amateur fighters that I was fighting in the 80s... they are going to beat some of the champions. It's just going to happen. These guys will be fast for three or four rounds, and these guys are not going to be accustomed to that."

The 39-year-old also professed his admiration for his namesake, Tyson Fury.

"One guy, Tyson Fury, I like to watch him because he has my name and stuff," Tyson said. "Everybody says 'ah, he's a bum', but I like him."

"He (beat Wladamir Klitschko), so what are you going to say? That this guy is still a bum but he beat the greatest fighter in the last 15 years?"   

David Haye has also expressed his concern that professional boxers would be allowed to fight at the Olympics, saying that amateurs would be at risk of being hurt.