Ahead of their respective title fights in the coming weeks, former champ Lennox Lewis has expressed his belief that Tyson Fury is ahead of Anthony Joshua in the heavyweight pecking order.
Joshua takes on American Olympian Dominic Breazeale at the O2 Arena this weekend on Sky PPV, while Fury faces a contractually-obliged rematch with former champ Wladimir Klitschko at the Manchester Arena on July 9th, live on Boxnation.
The legendary Lewis, the former lineal heavyweight king and an Olympic gold medal winner for Canada, told the Daily Mirror that “Tyson Fury is the best right now, I really think so.”
Uninterested in boxing politics which saw Joshua eventually come to hold the IBF belt which was stripped from Fury, Lewis argues that “Tyson is No.1, because he is the heavyweight champion of the world. He didn’t get it given to him — he earned it.”
While much has been made of Joshua’s fearsome power, Lewis feels that the champion has faced inferior opposition and that he is yet to develop the boxing skills of Fury, reasoning that “Can Joshua box? No, because he hasn’t reached that level yet.”
“His longest fight has lasted eight rounds. He hasn’t been taken deep into fights like Tyson Fury has.”
“He’s been blowing everyone away in a couple of rounds.”
In comparison, Lewis notes how the former Irish champion “has gone 12 rounds on his toes, so who’s better? You have to say Fury right now.”
“Joshua hasn’t been up against that type of competition and gone 12 rounds.”
That being said, Lewis still has high hopes for 2012 Olympic gold medalist Joshua, agreeing that he “has got great power, he’s the future.”
“He will be taken the distance, because you can’t knock out everybody. Then my thoughts will probably change.”