Lennox Lewis has given some valuable advice to today’s top heavyweights.
Fans have become disillusioned with the division for a while now – but the failure for Tyson Fury to put his WBC belt on the line against Oleksandr Usyk’s WBA, WBO and IBF straps was a real tipping point.
The sour negotiations highlight a more general issue with the best not fighting the best, and especially on the heavyweight scene.
Responding to a question about whether the two champions would face off to see the winner become undisputed – a title last held in this division by Lewis himself – the Hall of Famer said he believed it they will.
“I think it will. I thought Fury was holding out for an end of year fight with Usyk. Now he says Joshua, so maybe I was wrong.”
‘The Lion’ followed up by saying the current crop are choosing money over history.
“Hopefully these fighters will start thinking about making history instead of just more money. Besides, even MORE money comes with making history.”
In most people’s eyes, he’s right. The idea of mega-purses has put somewhat of a hold on the division, with Saudi Arabia keen to stage a top-four tournament towards the end of the year.
There’s no question that, if it can be pulled off, it would be one of the biggest nights the sport has ever seen. But in the meantime, there’s a waiting game for the fans as these fighters ease tentatively towards the Middle Eastern payday.
The hope is that all Fury, Usyk, Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder all fight before December. Usyk is the most likely, with a fight pencilled in for August 12 against mandatory challenger Daniel Dubois.
Joshua is tipped for the same night, but it’s no done deal. Wilder is open to being paid to sit out, whilst Fury seeks an opponent but seems to be having little luck.
Lewis is regarded as one of the greatest to ever lace up, so today’s fighters would be wise to heed his words.