Heavyweight great Lewis slates the prospect of AJ-Ngannou winner fighting for undisputed crown

Former undisputed heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis took to social media to voice his displeasure on the heavyweight contest between former unified champion Anthony Joshua and former UFC heavyweight king Francis Ngannou. 

Joshua and Ngannou head to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on March 8, with the winner proposed to fight the victor of the undisputed heavyweight clash between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk.

Ngannou’s arrival into the upper echelons of the heavyweight division is a controverisal one. Ngannou defied all expectations by dropping Tyson Fury in the third round of their crossover contest on October 28 but it was not enough to claim victory over the WBC champion Fury, who scraped a narrow split decision win. 

The WBC ranked Ngannou No. 10 in their ratings as a result, but that decision drew widespread criticism.

Lewis was one of the detractors and believed a win for Joshua against Ngannou fails to add any further credibility to Joshua’s resume.

“Ngannou’s fight @Tyson Fury was a spectacle,” Lewis posted on X. “The fight with AJ is also a spectacle. Hats off to Ngannou for making the most of his opportunities. He’s done nothing wrong. This is just the HW division in the year 2024.”

“[In my opinion], this fight adds ZERO credibility to AJ’s resume,” Lewis added. “He’s supposed to win this fight and when he does, what does he gain or learn by beating someone in his second HW fight? If he loses, [then] it’s an absolute disaster. The same stood for Fury and it almost cost him everything.”

Lennox also disagrees with Alalshikh’s ambitions of proposing the winners of the upcoming heavyweight duels face one another, adding that whoever won the fight between Joseph Parker and Zhielli Zhang would have a more legitimate claim to face the winner of Fury-Usyk. 

“Ok @EddieHearn I know this is the promoter in you speaking, so I’ll break it down like the boxing fan I am,” Lewis wrote. ‘If AJ beats Ngannou, which he should, does that elevate him to a shot at undisputed? Beating Wallin & Ngannou? There’s a much better case for the winner of #ParkerZhang. And if AJ gets through Ngannou, and Usyk wins undisputed, is the appetite for #usykJoshua3 out there?”

"If Fury becomes undisputed, the man says he’s vacating all belts but the WBC and Ring so Fury in effect becomes last undisputed until someone else can Thanos them back together. I still want to see AJ fight Fury and Wilder… those are big fights.”

Despite the provoking posts from Lewis, Hearn did not engage and opted for a more muted and measured response.

“Break down whatever you want,” Hearn responded. “His Excellency confirmed the plan. Winner of #JoshuaNgannou v winner of #FuryUsyk. The dream has always been Undisputed and we are one win away from challenging for it. No problem with you preferring Parker or Zhang getting a shot at Undisputed over AJ.”