Boxing

Lennox Lewis feels the two are under-developed.

Lennox Lewis has his say on Anthony Joshua as a heavyweight boxer

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Lennox Lewis feels that the two heavyweight champions Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder are both "under-developed" and cannot compete with the divisional greats just yet.

Joshua recently defended his WBA and IBF heavyweight belts successfully when he defeated Carlos Takam in Cardiff to secure his 20th professional win to keep up his unbeaten form.

The 28-year-old Watford native has been heavily linked with a bout against American Wilder, however, any plans have hit a stumbling block due to the WBC ordering Wilder to participate in a mandatory fight against the winner of Dominic Breazeale and Eric Molina.

But, Lewis, the 52-year-old former three-time heavyweight champion, believes the pair's lack of amateur experience in the ring may prove costly.

Joshua won Olympic gold for Great Britain in 2012, before turning professional a year later, while Wilder also started boxing late.

At the age of 19, he won bronze at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, turning professional in the same year. 

“There’s been a lot of talk recently about historical comparisons of heavyweights of older generations to heavyweights of the new generation,” Lewis said on his official website.

“I’ve been asked on many occasions where I stand on this debate; my perspective is that more experience in amateur bouts makes for a more seasoned and skilled professional.

“It’s not my intention to knock or take away from any of today’s fighters, nor is it my intention to overly glorify fighters of the past.

Boxing at Olympia London

“When you look at the state of today’s heavyweight division, you have a group of young up-and-coming talent who are basically still learning and perfecting their craft at the championship level.

“Yeah, it adds excitement to the division, but I still haven’t seen what I would call the clear cut 'last man standing.'

“It feels like the state of the division has a lot of under-developed champions that must now learn on the job.

“The talent in the division isn’t what it used to be, but the playing field is much more level than any time in the last 10 years.

Anthony Joshua v Carlos Takam -  World Heavyweight Title Fight

“This adds excitement to a lacklustre division as we wait to see who becomes the last man standing - if there will be one at all but we are a long way from making historical comparisons.

“Let’s wait to see who’s really been taking notes among the current heavyweight crop. Don’t be surprised that it might not be the one you think.”

Lewis then continued by discussing Joshua's and Wilder's success at Olympic Games, and how it kickstarted their careers.

“Most of the top heavyweight fighters today don’t come from a pedigree that has a long amateur career.

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“If you look at Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua, both competed in the Olympics and won medals, but they also didn’t have extensive amateur careers to build up on before turning pro.

“What they did have was amateur success in the form of gold and bronze medals.

“Generally, these are things that translate into launching pads for professional careers and it’s no different in the case of Joshua and Wilder. I used my success in the 1988 Olympics to do the same."

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Boxing
Anthony Joshua

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