Lennox Lewis has declared Deontay Wilder the number one heavyweight in the world just ahead of Tyson Fury.
WBC heavyweight champion Wilder 42-0-1 (41) defends his championship against Fury 29-0-1 (20) in a rematch of their controversial 2018 draw at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday night.
Former undisputed heavyweight champion Lewis rates IBF, WBA and WBO champion Anthony Joshua – who regained his heavyweight belts after beating conqueror Andy Ruiz Jr in December – as the third best boxer in the division.
“Right now the top man is Deontay because of how he looked in his last two fights,” Lewis told Sky Sports News.
“Both of these guys [Wilder and Fury] are number one and number two. 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.”
Fury’s US promoters Top Rank revealed this week that they are keen to capitalise on the momentum of the Wilder bout to make a fight with Joshua.
“While we have momentum now, I’d love to see the fight later this year. Strike while the iron is hot,” Top Rank president Todd DuBoef told Sky Sports.
“Fury has a really tough match in Wilder but, I believe, this is when you make matches.
“[Joshua vs Fury] is massive across the board. We must listen to the fans, listen to the world, listen to the people supporting boxing by making these compelling matches as soon as possible.”
DuBoef added that the fight would have huge appeal across both sides of the Atlantic: “It’s a fight that crosses over beautifully to both. Since Fury joined our ship he has become a star in the US, and he garners a lot of attention.
“Joshua’s interest is UK driven just because he hasn’t pushed his flag into the US as much as Fury. But the world heavyweight champion works wherever.”
Lewis agrees that the winner of Wilder-Fury must face Joshua this year.
“This is a fight that has to happen,” said Lewis.
“He’s the man that has a lot of belts which these guys want so there’s going to be a matchup and we just have to wait and see when.”
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