Legendary boxer John Conteh believes Tyson Fury is the closest thing to Muhammad Ali in this generation’s heavyweight division.
And the former world champion believes Fury would be even more like Ali if he unleashed his inner aggression.
Conteh, 68, was close friends with Ali, the iconic boxer widely considered the greatest of all time.
In fact, it was Ali who convinced Conteh to fight in the light-heavyweight division, where the scouse legend held the WBC title between 1974 and 1978.
The heavyweight division in the seventies was dominated by Ali, Joe Frazier and George Foreman, each with their own unique style.
Ali’s fights with the other two were often depicted as a battle of skill vs raw power.
While he lacked Foreman’s devastating knockout ability, for instance, Ali was always one step ahead.
“A great boxer will beat a great fighter eight out of ten times,” Conteh told talkSPORT.
“Why? Because a great boxer is a great fighter with more tools in the bag. He’s a greater general.
“Ali was like that and I see that in Tyson Fury. He’s got the aggression in the bag, it’s there, he just needs to do more.”
Fury’s rivalry with Deontay Wilder isn’t all that different to Ali’s great bouts of the seventies.
The Gypsy King is renowned for his boxing brain, while the Bronze Bomber is considered a more explosive hard-hitter.
Speaking at Maurice Newman’s Great Ormond Street Charity Golf tournament at Stapleford Abbots, Conteh added: “I’ve always said he [Fury] would be the best, he would beat them all.
“He’s got all the tools and the experience to beat them all.
“It’s just natural with him. He’s not trying to be a showman, he just is. Ali was the same.
“The thing with Ali, he wanted to prove he was the greatest fighter. He wasn’t like a Joe Frazier or a Rocky Marciano, but that was still there.
“Use that aggression as a tool. Don’t go and fight like Joe Frazier, that’s not his style.
“Ali’s the one to look at for Tyson. Look at the aggression and the control in the anger.”
Fury’s trainer, Ben Davison, echoed Conteh’s thoughts when he joined talkSPORT recently.
He said: “Once Tyson is finished with the sport, he’ll be looked at like Muhammad Ali.
“There’s so many things that he’s done. Him and Ali have so many resemblances. In time, people will see that and appreciate it.”
Maurice Newman has been raising vital funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital for over 50 years. Click here to donate.
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