Two-time heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua, has often stated how he has studied both the art of boxing and its history.
In a resurfaced interview with iFL TV from 2014, Joshua reeled off his top 5 heavyweights of all time.
5. Evander Holyfield
As of now, ‘The Real Deal’ remains as the only man to have been undisputed champion at both cruiserweight and heavyweight, defeating greats such as George Foreman, Larry Holmes, Mike Tyson and Riddick Bowe during the 1990’s.
4. Lennox Lewis
At number four, Joshua opted for fellow Brit, Lennox Lewis. Lewis is one of very few fighters to have defeated every opponent he ever faced. ‘The Lion’ was the last heavyweight to hold the undisputed crown, after he outpointed Holyfield back in 1999.
3. Larry Holmes
‘The Easton Assassin’ is often accredited with having the best jab in the history of the sport, but had plenty of other weapons in his arsenal, proven by the fact that he was the only man to ever stop Muhammad Ali, during a reign as WBC champion that lasted over seven years.
2. Mike Tyson
In second place for Joshua is fan-favourite, Mike Tyson, a fighter who the Brit “would have loved to have read comics about as a kid”. ‘Iron’ Mike’s famous knockout power saw him record forty-four stoppages in his fifty professional wins and he still holds the record of the youngest ever heavyweight world champion, after he stopped Trevor Berbick in two rounds in 1986, aged just 20-years-old.
1. Muhammad Ali
The man that Joshua claims “brought finesse to the game” holds top spot, standing true to Muhammad Ali’s nickname of ‘The Greatest’. Ali knocked out Sonny Liston in 1964 and reigned as champion for six years before having his license stripped due to political issues.
He returned to the ring three years later and bounced back from defeats to Joe Frazier and Ken Norton to pull off a famous upset against George Foreman in the infamous ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ battle.