Boxing legend Mike Tyson took no mercy on sparring partners as he prepared for his fight with Donovan Ruddock in 1991

Mike Tyson was a force to reckoned with - even in sparring.

The boxing superstar is still sporting royalty despite retiring nearly 20 years ago.

But in a brilliant throwback clip Tyson proves he never took half measures when preparing for a big fight.

The 53-year-old can be seen brutally flooring his opponent in the gym with him on the ropes.

Tyson looks incredulous as the other fighter, who was wearing a head guard, hits the deck.

Fans on social media had sympathy with the battered and bruised cannon fodder.

"Whatever he was paid it was not enough," commented one.

"Goodbye spleen and kidneys," added one more.

"Guy must really need the dough to take that job," said a third.

"I hope they had a good health plan," added another.

Sparring can be a dangerous business and rumours were rife that Anthony Joshua was recently hurt ahead of his eagerly anticipated rematch with Andy Ruiz this weekend.

Nevertheless, his promoter - Eddie Hearn - has moved quickly to rubbish the speculation.

"It's not even worth answering, but the truth is he's had a great camp," he said.

"He's much more focused than last time, he's sparred really well.

"The difference in this camp is his sparring has been world, world class. He has had top, top guys - Andrew Tabiti, Tyrone Spong, Bryant Jennings, [Dereck] Chisora.

"Top sparring, who have consistently put pressure on him.

"He hasn't been hurt, hasn't been ill, hasn't been injured. He's good to go."

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