In the opinion of Lennox Lewis, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury are the two best heavyweights on the planet right now, with the winner of tomorrow’s massive rematch set to take the mantle as THE best in the world. This view is not shared by Anthony Joshua, by Joshua’s fans and supporters, or by Eddie Hearn. But Lewis, the last undisputed heavyweight king, is wholly correct in the opinion of many people.
Joshua’s stock fell somewhat when he was crushed by Andy Ruiz, and although AJ redeemed himself and regained his three belts with his revenge win over Ruiz, this was not enough for Joshua to be ranked above either Wilder or Fury. Not in the opinion of Lewis, anyway.
“Both of these guys are number one and number two,” Lewis said to Sky Sports when discussing Wilder and Fury. “Arguably number one and number two – it can be switched either way. On Saturday they get the chance to prove to the world who is number one and who is number two. This [the winner versus Joshua] is a fight that has to happen. He’s the man who has a lot of belts which these guys want so there’s going to be a match-up and we just have to wait and see when.”
No doubt talk of either a Fury-Joshua or a Wilder-Joshua super-fight will begin in earnest after Saturday night, but for now, before we have to go down that same old road again, we have a genuine monster of a heavyweight fight to look forward to. It’s been said and is repeated here, how Fury and Wilder deserve nothing but respect for giving the fans not one but two hugely risky, lay it all on the line fights. Saturday’s winner will not only be THE best big man in the world, but he will also be the man in the driving seat as far as negotiations go when a deal is attempted to be thrashed out for the Joshua fight.
Tomorrow’s winner (assuming there is one) will walk out of the MGM Grand Garden Arena with the WBC heavyweight title, a genuine claim to the coveted lineal title AND The Ring Magazine belt. Joshua, and Hearn, must understand the significance of this, and the fact that the Wilder-Fury winner will also be an unbeaten fighter when trying to make a deal for a fight with tomorrow’s winner. If they do not do so we may run the risk of never getting to see one of these big three crowned as undisputed world heavyweight champion.