Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou has everybody talking right now, but British great Lennox Lewis has no time for it
The latest ‘crossover’ fight will take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on March 8 with AJ (27-3) putting his world title credentials on the line against a man who has only fought once as a professional boxer.
Former UFC heavyweight king Ngannou shocked the world when he took lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury to the brink in their showdown in Saudi Arabia last October. Fury eventually prevailed by split decision after being on the floor.
Despite that though, Lewis – the sport’s last undisputed heavyweight champion back in 1999 – still has zero time for a fight between a two-time world champion and a relative novice.
Lewis on Joshua vs Ngannou
Writing on Twitter, he said: “IMO, this fight adds ZERO credibility to AJ’s resume. He’s SUPPOSED to win this fight and when he does, what does he gain or learn by beating someone in his second HW fight? If he loses, than it’s an absolute disaster. The same stood for Fury and it almost cost him everything.”
Unsurprisingly, one man who disagrees with that Lennox take is Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn. He claims the bigger picture is one that Lewis should appreciate.
That bigger picture is that the Saudi money men who are bankrolling this golden heavyweight age want to match the AJ vs Ngannou winner against the winner of that February 17 Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk unification match.
Hearn takes ‘Undisputed’ view
Hearn says Lewis will think differently if Joshua is sitting on top of the world as undisputed champion after his next two fights. He responded, also on Twitter, with: “Listen in to yesterday..the winner fights the winner of Fury v Usyk for Undisputed and when AJ joins your club I know you will be delighted for him.”
Lewis of course is still boxing’s last undisputed king, thanks to that epic victory over Evander Holyfield in their Las Vegas rematch in November 1999.
Whichever man you agree with here, he should finally have a successor next month as the fights fans have craved for years finally become reality. Wild times indeed.