Forum asks who would win between the current Anthony Joshua and the early Lennox Lewis

Gold medalist Anthony Joshua (L) celebra

In a recent interview with Sky Sports, Anthony Joshua lashed out at former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis.

Speaking about the ‘legacy’ of Lewis in comparison to his own, the former British world heavyweight champion said: “Lennox is a clown. I don’t respect Lennox. [What I’m doing] is nothing compared to what Lennox is doing. Me and Lennox aren’t the same. Me and Lennox are cut from a different cloth.”

Clearly, Joshua wasn’t all too happy with the comparison made between the two, after the reporter recognised that Lennox recovered from a disappointing victory as Joshua will have to do.

All the drama has got people taking about who would beat who if the two former champions came together in the ring.

One forum, in particular, asked who would win between the current AJ and the early Lewis. The question, quite fairly, asks of the early Lewis at the point of his career when he had fought 21 professional fights; Joshua has currently boxed 23 times professionally.

The creator of the forum, that has over 60 comments and hundreds of reactions, believes that AJ just pips early Lewis.

He said: “Joshua had fought better opposition than Lewis had at that point of his career.”

Paradoxically, the comment with the most likes in the forum simply reads: “Any version of Lennox starches AJ.”

Another answer shows a clip of Lewis disposing of Mike Dixon in his 21st fight and accompanies it with the comment: “Lewis would beat him. He hadn’t yet developed the cockiness he had against [Hasim] Rahman. He was a fighter with more tools than Joshua.”

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The latter is obviously referring to the famous fight in which Lewis lost the WBC, IBF and IBO heavyweight titles to Rahman before he eventually won them back in the rematch.

After that fight, Lewis won one of the most famous fights in boxing history against Mike Tyson to retain the lineal heavyweight titles.

As the question asks, though, Joshua wouldn’t be fighting the Lewis that knocked out Tyson. After 20 fights, Joshua occupied the WBA, IBF and IBO titles unlike Lewis who had not yet become a unified champion at that stage of his career.

One boxing fan uses this as part of the reason he believes Joshua would win the bout.

“Current AJ starches Lennox at the same points in their careers,” claimed one user. “It's unreasonable and plain untrue that Lennox was at world level in his 21st fight.”

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Another user agreed and wrote: “Honestly, I think Joshua would have a good shot. Lennox wasn't really Lennox until 96ish.”

On the other side, in what was a real 50/50 divide in opinions, someone wrote: “Lewis would have taken advantage of Joshua’s shitty gas tank.”

It is easy to criticise Joshua given that his last fight will be the one that sticks in everyone’s memory. His defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr has to be considered when looking at the credentials of the Brit. However, you also have to consider that fact that he had defeated the likes of Dillian Whyte, Alexander Povetkin, Joseph Parker and Wladimir Klitschko in his first 22 fights.

Anyone could make a strong case in saying that Lewis did not fight that calibre of opponent until later in his career.

We will, for sure, never know the outcome of what would be a monumental fight between two boxers of the past and present. Joshua, though, has a long way to go before he can match the 41-2 legacy of the British champion.

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