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'Lennox is a clown' - Joshua and heavyweight boxing great Lewis exchange public jabs

‘He’s right!’ Lewis responded to Joshua’s barb. ‘We ARE cut from a different cloth.’

Anthony Joshua (L) and Lennox Lewis.
Anthony Joshua (L) and Lennox Lewis.
Image: PA Archive/PA Images

FORMER WORLD CHAMPION Anthony Joshua and all-time heavyweight boxing great Lennox Lewis have traded blows of the verbal variety, with Joshua labelling Lewis “a clown” and Lewis pointedly agreeing with his assessment that they’re “cut from a different cloth”.

Lewis, the former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, has over recent months become critical of Joshua’s pursuit of the same mantle, claiming at the start of the year that ‘AJ’ had deliberately shied away from facing WBC champion Deontay Wilder and was happy to remain “protected” in the UK.

Joshua subsequently traversed the Atlantic but his American debut ended in disaster, replacement opponent Andy Ruiz shocking the sporting world by inflicting upon the Watford man a first professional defeat and relieving him of the IBF, WBA and WBO world titles.

Lewis was damning of Joshua’s preparation and performance, suggesting he should part company with longtime trainer Rob McCracken as part of his rebuilding process.

Speaking on a Sky Sports programme entitled AJ: The Untold Truth, Joshua took his opportunity to fire back at ‘The Lion’ which drew further response from Lewis on Twitter.

“Lennox is a clown. I don’t respect Lennox,” Joshua said during the on-demand special.

Me and Lennox are not the same. My legacy is to sit back and enjoy the younger generation coming up, and not to be involved. Just to appreciate what it takes to get there. Lennox isn’t like that. Me and Lennox are cut from a different cloth.

Joshua, who is set to face Ruiz in a rematch later this year, added:

“I became heavyweight champion, I unified the division twice, and now my goal is to become two-time heavyweight champion of the world. Once I achieve that, I can look at becoming undisputed champion.

That undisputed stuff? It was right in front of me but it was one of the biggest curses lingering over my head when I was champion.

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Lewis wasted no time in issuing a response to Joshua’s words, not only about him personally but about the pressures of chasing unequivocal dominance in the heavyweight division.

“Wow!” Lewis tweeted. “He’s right! We ARE cut from a different cloth. Undisputed wasn’t something I “worried” about. It was something I went after until it was accomplished!

Disappointed in AJ’s words but I understand that this “jealousy” narrative was only fabricated AFTER I criticized them for Wilder negotiations. All of the sudden im a hater. Ask who benefits from such a simple minded narrative? Not AJ. Not me.

“I think this speaks for itself,” Lewis continued, referring to a screenshot of some praise he had tweeted to Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, last year. “Casting me as a “jealous hater” for AJ’s career is nonsense. It all started with rightful criticism for not doing enough to make wilder fight happen. I won’t be pitted against AJ. #TheHearnAgenda

When it was put to Lewis by one Twitter user that he had “slated” Joshua “for ages”, he replied:

“I’ve praised him and I’ve criticized him as I have also done with Fury and Wilder. Nothing to become undone about. Ppl (people) ask me my opinion. I give it.”

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