Lennox Lewis advises AJ on $20m, recalls $4m Mike Tyson step aside
Lennox Lewis offered his advice to Anthony Joshua regarding stepping aside money after accepting $4m from Don King not to fight Mike Tyson in the 1990s.
The former undisputed heavyweight champion responded to questions about Joshua denying accepting a $15m deal to avoid a second fight with Oleksandr Usyk.
UK claims that AJ was ready to allow Tyson Fury to fight Usyk got blasted by the former two-time titleholder.
Now, Lewis believes Joshua should go for the belts after doing similar himself when offered a significant sum from Tyson and Don King.
‘The Pugilist Specialist’ wanted to regain his championship from Oliver McCall before facing Tyson.
However, after accepting the money, Lewis was left high and dry by Tyson as ‘The Baddest Man on the Planet’ gave up the WBC title as Riddick Bowe had previously to avoid the Briton.
“No!” said Lewis in direct response to whether Joshua should accept the eight-figure sum. He added: “And before you bring up the [$4m] Tyson step aside money, just remember, I wasn’t coming off of a loss.
“I would go get my belts back first. This also is not advice or a knock on AJ. It’s just what I would do in that situation.”
The most famous part of the Lewis vs. Tyson story came when the grudge between the pair got personal.
Tyson famously warned Lewis: “I’m the most brutal and vicious and ruthless champion there has ever been.
“Lennox is a conqueror? No. I am Alexander. He’s no Alexander. I’m the best ever. My style is impetuous. My defense is impregnable. I’m just ferocious.
“I want your heart. I want to eat his children.”
Furthermore, and taken aback a little, Lewis replied: “When he said he’s coming for me, I’m like: ‘He’s coming for me? He’s crazy. Doesn’t he realize I’m coming for him?’
“When he said he’s going to eat my kids, my mum said: ‘What’s he talking about? You don’t have any kids.’
“I’m not into that vulgar jailhouse talk.”
Asked years later if Tyson intimidated him, Lewis told The Guardian: “Yes and no. Yes, because TV made him look like King Kong.
“But no, because Manny [Steward, my trainer] always told me Tyson would be my easiest fight.
“I’d say: ‘Come on, now. He’s going to be a little difficult.’ But Manny said: ‘No. It’s your easiest fight.'”
Phil Jay – Editor of World Boxing News since 2010 with over one billion views. Furthermore, follow WBN on Twitter @WorldBoxingNews.