Anthony Joshua has hit out at Lennox Lewis, labelling the former undisputed heavyweight champion ‘a clown’.
In an interview with Sky Sports, Joshua also said he had ‘no respect’ for Lewis and that the two were ‘cut from a different cloth.
Speaking on AJ: The Untold Truth, the former world champion was surprisingly candid as he made feelings about Lewis clear.
"Lennox is a clown. I don't respect Lennox," said the 29-year-old.
Joshua, who suffered a shock seventh round TKO against Andy Ruiz Jr in June, took exception to Lewis’ assessment of the fight.
“I can’t look at that fight and agree that AJ was fully prepared for what Ruiz brought to table,” Lewis tweeted in the aftermath of Ruiz Jr’s unexpected victory.
As I’ve said, i agree. McCrackin is a great trainer, but maybe just not the one AJ he needs to teach him the style of fighting required to rule the HW division. I can’t look at that fight and agree that AJ was fully prepared for what Ruiz brought to table. https://t.co/da9xKWFEPp— Lennox Lewis (@LennoxLewis) June 3, 2019
🗣"@LennoxLewis is a clown!" 😳— Sky Sports Boxing (@SkySportsBoxing) August 15, 2019
@anthonyfjoshua sits down with @woolyanna to discuss his defeat to @Andy_destroyer1, the rematch and the conspiracy theories
AJ: The Untold Truth is On Demand tonight from 6pm! 📺 pic.twitter.com/ZpWA2Xk3Su
However, Joshua believes Lewis’ words showed a lack of appreciation for younger fighters trying to make their way in the sport.
"Me and Lennox are not the same,” the Watford-born fighter added. “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."
Lewis then attempted to downplay the feud, saying that narrative had been ‘fabricated’ and hinting that Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn was responsible for stirring up hostility between the two.
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.— Lennox Lewis (@LennoxLewis) August 15, 2019
I think this speaks for itself. 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 pic.twitter.com/glUkKq7YNW— Lennox Lewis (@LennoxLewis) August 15, 2019
Lennox Lewis became undisputed heavyweight champion in 2000 and remains the last heavyweight to do so.
Before losing his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles to Ruiz, Joshua was set to potentially face WBC champion Deontay Wilder, hoping to unify the belts and emulate Lewis.
However, following the loss, Joshua is simply focused on beating Ruiz in their reported rematch in December and regaining his titles.
"I became heavyweight champion,” he added “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."