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Lennox Lewis accuses Anthony Joshua of ducking Deontay Wilder

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Lennox Lewis has voiced his thoughts on what it will take for Anthony Joshua to succeed him as the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world and believes AJ needs to 'go order Eddie Hearn to make the fight with Deontay Wilder.'

Joshua and his promoter Hearn keep accusing Wilder of dodging Joshua during the collapsed negotiations earlier in the summer, but Lewis thinks otherwise.

The 52-year-old revealed he has recently spent time with the American champion and after discussing what really happened between the two respective teams, is siding more with Wilder.

"There is no question that it is Wilder who wants the fight and it is Wilder who wants to prove that he is the man in this new heavyweight era," Lewis told the Daily Mail.

"I was with Wilder in Washington last week and it is clear Joshua doesn't want the fight.

"He explained to me all the difficulties he is having with Anthony and Eddie, of how AJ is listening to Hearn. Deontay most definitely wants this fight more than any fight."

As well as claiming it is Joshua who keeps putting a stop to negotiations, Lewis also spoke of another factor that, above all others, convinces him that this is the accurate version of events preventing a Wembley Stadium spectacular – the money.

He added: "Joshua said he would take fifty million dollars in a heartbeat but when that offer came he didn't accept. I would have taken fifty million quicker than a heartbeat gone through with any fight. But I never ducked anyone."

"Go order Eddie Hearn to make the fight with Deontay Wilder. Now is the moment when you must take charge of your own destiny."

Lewis actually found himself in a similar situation with his American rival Riddick Bowe, who dumped the WBC belt in a dustbin rather than defend that championship against him, which as a result saw Lewis promoted to the vacant world title.

"Bowe did everything he could to avoid fighting me but I forced the situation. I did so by ordering my manager Frank Maloney to go out and do whatever it took to make the fight. Yes or yes. No arguments. Then Riddick had to meet me or vacate.

"It comes to the point where the boxer has to take over from the manager or promoter as The Boss.

"Oscar De La Hoya and me were the first to take charge of our business. I took control of my destiny and opened up my chance for greatness. Anthony needs to do the same with Eddie."

Boxing at O2 Arena

Despite all this, there's also a comeback from Tyson Fury to be worried about too, as he could steal the show, with the 'Gypsy King' reportedly being close to finalising talks for a November challenge against Wilder.

Not only could this get in the way of Joshua facing Wilder, it would only represent the third fight of Fury's comeback attempt to regain a world title and reclaim his undefeated position as the lineal heavyweight champion.

Although most people think this isn't a realistic or sensible time for Fury to be making such a big title challenge, Lewis has warned that Fury's ability shouldn't be underestimated.

Carl Frampton and Tyson Fury Media Workout

He continued: "While you might think it is better for him to have another couple of fights first, Wilder would not find this easy. Fury's height (6ft 9in), long reach and mobility make him very difficult to beat. Wladimir Klitschko discovered that and the better the opponent, the better Tyson is going to look. Definitely.

"That's why I call him their Bogeyman. He can be a nightmare for anyone."

Topics:
Heavyweight
Lennox Lewis
Eddie Hearn
Deontay Wilder
Anthony Joshua
Tyson Fury
Boxing

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