‘Iron Mike’ helped Ngannou prepare for Tyson Fury last October (Picture: Getty)
Ngannou, 37, made his professional boxing debut against Tyson Fury last October, causing a monumental shock when he floored ‘The Gypsy King’ in the third round in Saudi Arabia.
The Cameroonian went onto lose the fight in controversial circumstances on the judges’ scorecards but will return to the ring on 8 March to take on two-time heavyweight champion Joshua in another colossal bout.
Ahead of the Fury fight, heavyweight icon Mike Tyson joined the Ngannou camp, helping him refine his extraordinary striking power while bringing his immense experience to the table.
Dewey Cooper, Ngannou’s long-term striking coach, has taken the lead in preparing the former UFC heavyweight king for both the Fury and Joshua fights with the latest camp well underway in Saudi.
Cooper, a decorated veteran of combat sport and also president of Team Combat League, has witnessed Ngannou go from strength-to-strength behind the scenes, insisting they ‘couldn’t be in a better position’ just over six weeks away from fight night.
And ‘Iron Mike’ could still have a role to play in camp as Ngannou and Cooper plot Joshua’s downfall in March.
Cooper and Tyson put the former UFC champion through his paces last year (Picture: Getty)
‘I have known Mike since the 1990s. We have been friends for a long time,’ Dewey told Metro.co.uk.
‘There is always an open invitation for Mike Tyson as far as I’m concerned. He and Francis have a special relationship so the door is always open for Mike. That is for sure. And we all welcome that.’
Joshua and Ngannou will collide on 8 March (Picture: Getty)
While Tyson only had a few sessions working with Ngannou, his presence was invaluable for the former UFC star with Cooper believing it also provided a ‘psychological and spiritual’ boost for his man.
‘I’m sure it was a big personal achievement for Mike too,’ he continued.
‘Mike came through a few times, he wasn’t there every day on everything happening but his knowledge, his information, his commitment to Francis was so important and it meant a lot to Francis.
‘The motivation he gave Francis… imagine your favourite player or person you have admired since you were young came out to work with you and support you and was on your side for your biggest outing of your life.
‘Psychologically and spiritually, it was good for Francis. So it is an open invitation, he is our guy, whatever he wants to do we are always grateful to have him want to be part of it.’
‘Iron Mike’ helped Francis Ngannou prepare for his remarkable performance against Tyson Fury.