Lennox Lewis has broken down the heavyweight division and says it will take something special for the leading contenders to usurp the “big three”.
The former undisputed heavyweight champion believes unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua 22-0 (21), WBC titleholder Deontay Wilder 40-0-1 (39) and lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury 27-0-1 (19) are streets ahead of the competition.
“The way I see it, at the top of today’s current crop of top heavyweights is Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder, and Tyson Fury. Let’s call them the big three,” said Lewis in a statement to League of Champions.
“They are at the very top of the division and then there’s everyone else. They can be interchangeable, yet still dangerous, opponents.”
The 53-year-old, who retired in 2003 with a record of 41-2-1 (32), nominated four boxers who could potentially challenge the three leaders of the division but cautioned that size smaller heavyweights will continue to struggle as the big men keep getting bigger.
“You have (Dillian) Whyte, (Joseph) Parker, (Dominic) Breazeale, and (Luis) Ortiz. All of these guys are solid fighters that have the potential to break through with a great fight,” said Lewis.
“However, one major difference is that they aren’t physically built like the big three. Heavyweight bodies have grown bigger, taller and stronger over the years.
“In order to compete with, or beat any of the big three, these fighters must fight them very smart.
“Physically, post-modern heavyweights have broken the mould from the days that 6-foot champions ruled the roost. In today’s world, even my 6-foot-5 frame is on the shorter side of the top guys.
“It’s getting harder and harder for the competition to physically match up with the big three. Much like it was during the Klitschko era.
“The Klitschkos dominated. This was through a combination of size, strength and skills. Which is a tough combination to beat.”
Lewis said there were three prospects coming through the ranks who he felt had the potential to be the superstars of tomorrow if they continue their winning ways.
“There are others who are also rising in the ranks, like Joe Joyce, Daniel Dubois and Efe Ajagba. But they have not really cracked that top tier plateau that’s going to drive pay per view ticket sales at this moment,” he said.
“Keep an eye out for them though.”