Last updated on March 29th, 2023 at 01:18 PM
Former undisputed heavyweight boxing champion of the world Lennox Lewis has had his say on the current generation of heavyweight fighters and believes that Fury v Usyk needs to happen.
The 57-year-old believes that WBC title holder Fury is the best heavyweight boxer of this era and that he must take WBO, WBA and IBF champion Oleksandr Usyk.
When discussing the current status of heavyweight boxing in the world, Lewis, told Laureus.com: “The crop of heavyweights that we have now, we’ve got Tyson Fury at the top, a great heavyweight for this era.
He’s southpaw and orthodox, he boxes both ways. He loves Muhammad Ali, like me… he loves me. And he was able to draw energy from me, Muhammad Ali, and the fighters that he loves and put them on himself.”
“So, when you talk about eras, he’s definitely the top man in this era. And if you talk about the last era, you’re only talking about me, Evander Holyfield, and Mike Tyson. So, this era’s definitely got three top guys.”
Lewis, who became the last male fighter to claim the undisputed heavyweight title after defeating Evander Holyfield in November 1999, is a commentator in the sport and believes that Fury v Usyk, which is currently ‘off’ according to promoters, is the most sought-after fight in the sport, currently.
He continued: “The two guys that I want to see right now? Probably would be Tyson Fury and Usyk. That would be a great fight. Plus, I believe they have to meet me because I’m the last undisputed heavyweight champion of the world right now. So, in order for one of those guys to have my crown, they have to fight.”
The 1988 Olympic champion believes that having the right mentality will drive success in boxing, drawing on his own personal experiences growing up and throughout the sport.
On mentality in boxing, he said: “Boxing is an individual sport, so the outcome really depends just solely on you. With a team sport like basketball or football or soccer, you’re depending on other players. So, that’s why boxing, you know, if you’re focused and mentally strong, you’ll succeed.”
“There’s been a lot of mentally tough places in my career, and, you know, if I didn’t have good people around me, I probably don’t know where I would end up on that.
But I had great people around me talking to me, and, you know, great people to go and speak to. I know, even seeing, nowadays, boxers dealing with mental challenges, some of them can’t take it and they implode. And, I’ve seen the results of the imploding in the ring, you know, and it’s not a nice thing and you don’t want to be that guy.”
Lewis, a three-time world heavyweight champion born in London, continues to discuss mentality and apply it to his other passion, chess.
“Chess, oh, it’s a mind game, it’s all about the mind and the focus. And so much is on the game, so much focus is on the game. Everybody’s watching it.
Nobody can speak, you know, it’s so mentally working for you. It’s a situation where here you have two guys; nobody’s really showing anything on their face.
But they make a move, and there’s so much to that move. If somebody moves, why can’t you move straightaway? No, you’ve got to think first, you’ve got to make sure, you’ve got to be protected, make sure that you can’t be taken. And make sure it’s a positive move. So, chess is a big game.”
Lewis’ interview with Laureus.com also ranges across the potential that boxing, and sport, has to transform lives, how he is combining chess and boxing to support young people from disadvantaged communities and a chance meeting with Laureus’ founding patron, Nelson Mandela.