Even though his legendary mixed martial career has come to a close, heavyweight icon Fedor Emelianenko is more than willing to strap on the eight-ounce gloves and test out his heavy hands inside the squared circle.
‘The Last Emperor’ ended his 23-year career in February following a first-round loss to Bellator MMA heavyweight champion Ryan Bader. On Wednesday, Emelianenko appeared on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani to discuss life after fighting and what the future may hold.
Asked if a return to the cage was something he has considered since his retirement, Emelianenko reiterated that his MMA career is over, but a turn inside the boxing ring is something he is admittedly interested in.
“MMA is done, 100 percent,” Emelianenko told Helwani. “I’m not going back to MMA. I want to try myself in boxing. I think that’s going to be interesting. After the last fight with Bader, I took a break. I started lifting weights a little bit, got some muscles back so my injuries are going away, so my shoulder feels better a little bit, and I started boxing, so I feel pretty good and pretty confident in boxing.”
As for who he would like to face in his potential boxing debut, ‘The Last Emperor’ is aiming pretty high, calling for a clash with one of the greatest heavyweight pugilists in the history of the sport, ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson.
“We watched the fight on TV of Roy Jones Jr. vs. Mike Tyson. Mike Tyson would be an interesting fight,” Emelianenko said. “He has a big name, he’s a legend. … It would be interesting because you can see a lot of his videos on YouTube and all over the place, he’s still in good shape. He still works pads, he still has that same power.”
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Is There a Bigger Crossover Fight Than Fedor vs. Tyson?
Mike Tyson is widely considered to be one of the best knockout artists of all time, dispatching his first 19 opponents by way of KO, 12 of them coming in the first round. Between 1987 and 1990, Tyson reigned as the undisputed heavyweight world champion and won 37 straight bouts before suffering his first setback in the squared circle. Tyson finished his pro boxing career with 50 wins and just six losses.
Currently, Tyson is training former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou ahead of his highly anticipated clash with reigning WBC titleholder Tyson Fury on October 28.
“That would be awesome,” Emelianenko said of fighting Tyson. “If it would be possible I definitely would do it. I will be ready. I always train. There was a camp right now in Russia. I was there. I’m always ready. I heard that Mike Tyson is going to help Francis Ngannou to prepare for this fight, so he’s probably in good shape too.”
Like Mike Tyson, Fedor is regarded as one of, if not the greatest heavyweights in the history of his sport. For more than two decades, ‘The Last Emperor’ dominated the competition, securing 40 career wins before ultimately hanging up his four-ounce gloves for good. Sadly, Emelianenko never found his way into the UFC, a decision that even Dana White openly regrets to this day.
Transcription by MMA Fighting