Lennox Lewis’s relationship with Anthony Joshua has always been a little frosty and now the last undisputed heavyweight champion of the world has said that ‘AJ’ only has two credible opponents out there that are worthy of fighting following ‘gimme’ bouts.
Lewis was watching on from a TV studio when Joshua was last out on the Day of Reckoning card in Saudi Arabia against Otto Wallin. Many thought it was his best showing in a while – a straightforward stoppage win that came when Wallin remained on his stool after the fifth round – and it followed two other victories in 2023 against Jermaine Franklin and Robert Helenius.
Speaking to The Ring, Magazine Lewis said Joshua should now only take big fights having successfully rebuilt following his back-to-back losses to pound for pound great Oleksandr Usyk.
“I look at Joshua and I’m like, ‘OK, he’s had a couple gimme fights, he doesn’t need any more gimme fights.’ He wants to test his skill, give him something. You cannot give scraps to a dog. This guy wants to go out there and prove himself. Allow him to (do it), don’t baby him.”
After that, Lewis claimed that only fights against Tyson Fury and Zhilei Zhang are suitable for Joshua. The Brit has already faced Oleksandr Usyk twice, coming up short on both occasions.
“The problem now, he’s going to be boxing the guys who are coming up, but his main competitors for more credibility are now Fury and Zhang. For me, boxing the guys who were coming up when I was there, I didn’t want that. I wanted guys who I could sink my teeth into, guys who would get me somewhere. Right now, (Joshua) is basically there waiting for a chance. They’re saying he’s got to keep busy but I’m like, this guy was supposed to be boxing for the championships a long time ago.”
The reality is his next fight comes against a 1 and 0 novice in Francis Ngannou, though boxing fans will be hoping that after that it will be a tougher test against the winner of the undisputed battle between Fury and Usyk in February.