Anthony Joshua and Lennox Lewis stand as two of the best heavyweights the United Kingdom has ever produced.
Lewis retired in 2004 as a three-time world champion and is, to at the present time, the final undisputed champion at heavyweight.
AJ is a two-time, unified world champion, at present holding three of the 4 main world titles.
Their relationship began out positively as Joshua gained Olympic gold at London 2012, emulating Lewis’ 1988 achievement in Seoul.
The legend was ringside to observe AJ win his closing and congratulated him afterwards as they posed for photos collectively.
Whereas he ready to show skilled, Joshua took a yr out from competing and spoke to various totally different individuals who needed to work with him, surveying his many choices.
On this time, he gave the impression to be getting nearer to Lewis and the pair appeared collectively on Sky boxing present Ringside, plus a Gloves Are Off programme which included Tyson Fury.
Joshua even revealed years later: “I went to Jamaica to see Lewis after I first needed to show skilled.
“He had plans for what he needed to with myself and I don’t suppose they labored out with what I needed to take action I sort of didn’t go down that route.”
That is the place issues first began to go barely bitter.
Lewis recalled on the Undefeated Podcast: “He turned professional and he was saying I used to be his favorite boxer. I stated, ‘Come out to Jamaica and we’ll discuss.’
“We talked about my profession and he beloved listening to the tales and all of the various things that I went by way of.
“I stated, ‘I’d love that will help you,’ I don’t need to be his promoter, I’m not a promoter, however there’s issues I can train him.
“He phoned me, he stated, ‘I actually need you to assist me.’ I stated, ‘Okay, good.’
“Then I didn’t hear from him once more. I heard that he picked another individuals to assist him, he was doing his skilled profession and that was it.”
The following time they crossed paths publicly was when Lewis attended Joshua’s Wembley overcome Wladimir Klitschko in 2017.
There was one other second that didn’t sit properly with the previous undisputed champion.
He defined: “Me and Evander Holyfield had been there truly for German TV when he boxed Klitschko.
“We had been outdoors the dressing room [after the fight]. We needed to large him up as first champion after the Olympics. Now he’s beat the large man, we’re there to congratulate him.
“Safety brushed us out of the best way and brushed him in there. He was like, ‘Len–’ and gone. They pushed him in.
“I stated, ‘Okay, cool. They don’t need me round. They don’t need me close to to him.’ The promoter [Eddie Hearn] positively the promoter, little doubt about that.
“You enable your promoter to try this to the final undisputed, to me and Holyfield, and we’re there to large him up.
“You’ve confirmed me your place, I’m not gonna be working after an individual if I do know their place.”
The next yr, Lewis hoped – like most boxing followers – to see a brand new undisputed heavyweight champion topped.
Talks for the last word unification between AJ and Deontay Wilder collapsed although, resulting in Wilder signing a bout with Fury as an alternative.
Lewis didn’t maintain again on Hearn and AJ as he advised BoxingScene: “He needs to go round earning profits.
“I believe that’s going to be a downfall for him. He has to stick with it, he can’t be within the background.
“If he needs to be champion, he has to behave like a champion.”
This remark went with out retaliation from Joshua, however the scenario spilled over following his defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr the next yr.
Lewis reacted by suggesting that AJ ought to change coach and sack long-time coach Rob McCracken.
He tweeted: “Too many issues went flawed in that combat to say he was correctly ready for Ruiz or the scenario he discovered himself in.
“AJ discovered himself asking questions with no solutions. They couldn’t make the changes…
“I say you possibly can’t go to school together with your third-grade trainer.
“They gained’t have the solutions you want at that stage. You want a professor by then.”
AJ waited a few months and fired again in a Sky interview: “Lennox is a clown. I don’t respect Lennox.
“Me and Lennox will not be the identical.
“My legacy is to take a seat again and benefit from the youthful technology arising, and to not be concerned.
“Simply to understand what it takes to get there. Lennox isn’t like that. Me and Lennox are minimize from a special material.”
Lewis took to Twitter to answer: “Wow! He’s proper! We ARE minimize from a special material.
“Undisputed wasn’t one thing I ‘apprehensive’ about. It was one thing I went after till it was completed!
“Upset in AJ’s phrases however I perceive that this ‘jealousy’ narrative was solely fabricated AFTER I criticised them for Wilder negotiations. Rapidly I’m a hater.
“Ask who advantages from such a simple-minded narrative? Not AJ. Not me.”
Lewis’ phrases didn’t win Joshua over and later that day he took to Instagram and doubled down.
AJ posted: “All the time say it how it’s. A clown is a clown. He can wipe his make-up off, however his coronary heart stays the identical.
“No squares in my circle, cuz. G s*** solely.”
The following day, Lewis tweeted: “I don’t blame AJ as a lot as I blame the individuals round him that stoke the fires.
“I’ve remained at an arms distance from AJ to respect that he needs to make his personal method.
“I’m positive he additionally will get sick of the fixed comparisons to me over his whole profession.
“He’s the primary AJ, not the subsequent Lennox Lewis. Like I stated, I gained’t fall into that lure and be pitted towards him.
“He has a watershed second in his profession arising [Ruiz Jr rematch] and all this solely serves as a distraction by the media. Discover how they solely led along with his feedback about me?
“AJ has my quantity if he ever needs to make clear what’s being stated within the media or present me the place I’m flawed about one thing.
“My doorways stay open to him, however simply know that disrespect just isn’t reply to his frustrations.”
A month later, AJ mirrored on the scenario: “Lewis has by no means reached out…
“The one occasions I’ve ever heard of Lewis making contact is by way of the web.
“Who does take time to name me, and isn’t a lot concerned within the web stuff, is Wladimir Klitschko.
“Calls me, advises me. He’s not doing it for the clout. He simply calls me man-to-man.
“I simply really feel like, on the subject of me, it’s sort of totally different, ‘Anthony’s dodging, Anthony Joshua’s not this, he wants to try this.’
“Why are you all the time attacking me, moderately than reaching out like Klitschko and giving a younger man recommendation after I want it?
“I’m not two-faced. You poke me, you poke me, in the end you’re gonna hear what I’ve to say about you.”
Lewis once more replied on Twitter: “If [Muhammad] Ali, [George] Foreman, or [Larry] Holmes gave you their private cell quantity, would you lose it?
“Okay, typically issues occur, however would you lose it twice?”
When requested if AJ was mendacity, Lewis concluded: “I’m not calling him a liar, however he’s most positively flawed.”
Three months handed with no additional jibes between the pair.
AJ returned to coaching, with Rob McCracken by his facet, and comprehensively outboxed Ruiz Jr of their rematch to regain his titles.
He then got here in for criticism as some accused him of ‘working’ within the contest, however this time Lewis unexpectedly got here to his defence.
The legend stated: “Each combat isn’t going to be a KO.
“I believed AJ fought tactical combat and didn’t fall into lure of attempting to combine it up in exchanges.
“This was addition to his expertise. He additionally correctly unpacked his jab for this one…
“Suppose as a result of boxing is a blood sport that’s simply what some individuals need. In the event that they don’t get it, they get bored.
“It’s comprehensible, however not many fighters who method the candy science come out unscathed with this philosophy. Every opponent is his/her personal puzzle to unravel…
“I perceive that folks need blood, however, as a fighter, it’s important to be disciplined sufficient to attend for the alternatives to open up.
“Generally they don’t come. When that occurs you play it secure and stick with sport plan.”
With these feedback coming on the finish of 2019, it appeared as if the general public feud between the pair was over.
It has not reignited since.