Former world heavyweight boxings champion Lennox Lewis says Anthony Joshua is not ready to face unbeaten WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder.
Lewis stated unequivocally that Joshua must force his promoter Eddie Hearn to make the fight happen.
“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 was quoted on the Daily Mail.
“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.
“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.
“Joshua said he would take $50m in a heartbeat but when that offer came he didn’t accept. I would have taken fifty million quicker than a heartbeat and gone through with any fight. But I never ducked anyone.”
Lewis urged Joshua to set aside the risks involved in pitting his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO titles against Wilder.
“I was stopped twice (by Oliver McCall and Hasim Rahman) but that helped me prove my class, by coming back to win the rematches and by becoming world champion again.
“While you might think it better for him to have another couple of fights first, Wilder would not find this easy. Fury’s height (6ft 9in), long reach, mobility and style make him very difficult to beat. Wladimir Klitschko discovered that. And the better the opponent, the better Tyson is going to look. Definitely.
The 52 year old also advises that Joshua must be prepared to fight abroad.
“Be prepared to go abroad and fight in other people’s backyards, the way I did. Boxing is about fighting, not poli-tricks.”
Joshua will fight Alexander Povetkin on September 22.