Former undisputed heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis has offered an olive branch to Anthony Joshua after the once-beaten Brit labelled him a “clown” and said he doesn’t respect him.
Speaking on the new Sky Sports show ‘AJ: The Untold Truth’, Joshua said: “Lennox is a clown. I don’t respect Lennox.
“Me and Lennox are not the same. 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.”
Earlier on social media International Boxing Hall of Fame inductee Lewis had questioned whether Joshua was properly prepared for his world title loss to Andy Ruiz Jr in June and suggested that trainer Rob McCracken perhaps wasn’t the best man for the job.
Now the 53-year-old has offered to meet the former IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight champion face-to-face to clear the air.
“I don’t blame AJ as much as I blame the ppl around him that stoke the fires,” Lewis posted on Twitter.
“I have remained at an arms distance from AJ to respect that he wants to make his own way. I’m sure he also gets sick of the constant comparisons to me over his entire career.”
Lewis continued: “He is the first AJ, not the next Lennox Lewis.
“Like I said, I won’t fall into that trap and be pitted against him. He has a watershed moment in his career coming up and all this only serves as a distraction by the media. Notice how they only led with his comments about me?
“AJ has my number if he ever wants to clarify what is being said in the media or show me where I’m wrong about something.
“My doors remain open to him, but just know that disrespect is not answer to his frustrations.”
Lewis said in an interview with iFL TV: “He’s disturbed right now. I’m not thinking about it, because these are things said out of distress. So I accept his apology ahead of time.”
Lewis retired in 2003 with a career record of 41-2-1 (32) after defeating Vitali Klitschko by TKO6 on cuts in Los Angeles.