BOXING

Anthony Joshua’s 5 greatest heavyweight boxers of all time

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  • Back in 2014, Anthony Joshua named his five greatest heavyweight boxers of all time.
  •  Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis, Larry Holmes, Mike Tyson, and Muhammad Ali made AJ’s list, with Ali coming out on top.
  •  The heavyweight division is booming in boxing right now, with names such as Joshua, Tyson Fury, Oleksandr Usyk, and even Francis Ngannou.

As the world of boxing turns its head towards Anthony Joshua’s next battle, here at GIVEMESPORT, we are looking back at his countdown of the top five all-time greatest heavyweight boxers. In an interview with Kugan Cassius back in 2014, Joshua dived into his reasons for crowning these five fighters as the best and most brutal heavyweights in the history of the sport.

Anthony Joshua seals unanimous points win against American opponent  Jermaine Franklin in London - Eurosport

Before we look through the history books, though, let’s look at AJ and his own career. The Brit claimed his last victory in December 2023, when he fought Otto Wallin in a malicious five-round battle. Despite media dispute, Joshua proved you can indeed teach an old dog new tricks, as he stayed sharp on his feet and delivered a number of powerful punches that left the Swede to retire in his corner. Following his breathtaking win, Joshua announced: “I’m down to fight anyone. Whenever and whoever.”

Joshua now continues his pursuit to return to the top of the heavyweight division, confirming his next opponent to be former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou in Saudi Arabia this March. Eddie Hearn has voiced his three-fight plan of action to the boxing world, revealing that if Joshua is victorious, he will be fighting Filip Hrgovic next. Then, it would be the winner of Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk.

Eddie Hearn: Anthony Joshua Prepared for a Major Fight - NewsNow Nigeria

That’s enough about the current heavyweight scene, however, as it’s now time to take a look back at some of the legends that have come before the likes of Joshua, Fury, and Usyk. Here are AJ’s five greatest heavyweight boxers of all time.

Now 61 years old, Holyfield is the only four-time heavyweight champion with a total of 29 knockouts. Nicknamed “The Real Deal,” he retired in 2011 and remains the only boxer in history to become undisputed champion of not one, but two weight classes in the three-belt era. He chose an orthodox stance to deliver his legendary punches that obliterated the hopes of any contender. Joshua claimed to have been inspired by a documentary on Holyfield and his devotion to his beliefs. A Christian man with character, who knew how to gain the respect of his people. He describes Holyfield’s impeccable technique as “everything a trainer would ask for.”

Titled CBE in 2002, Lewis is a three-time heavyweight world champion and two-time lineal champion. He is now retired as a proud family man with four children; Landon, Leya, Ling, and Leviah. An impressive total of two losses throughout his entire professional career displays the sheer fortitude of this man. Joshua gave credit where credit is due, stating that Lewis had a big part to play in his own decision to go pro. A mentor and shining example, Joshua talked about Lewis’ key to domination – simplicity. “I don’t think he even got to showcase the best of his ability.” Considering he was the last undisputed heavyweight champion, this statement is a gracious compliment to the talent of Lennox Lewis.

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