27th July 2012

Anthony Joshua

Anthony Joshua has “a great chance” of glory at this summer’s London Olympic Games, according to Seoul 1988 gold medallist Lennox Lewis.

Lewis, the last undisputed heavyweight boxing champion of the world, represented Canada at the 1988 Games, however, he was born in West Ham, minutes from the London 2012 Olympic Park, and is currently helping to promote the country of his birth as part of the Great Britain campaign.

Speaking to reporters, Lewis responded to a question about Joshua from insidethegames by remarking: “I thought when I met him, how big this guy is, he’s as big as me.”

Joshua stands at six feet and six inches, and weighs 18 stone, which Lewis says gives him quite literally a fighting chance of success this summer.

“Any man with that type of size has a great chance,” he said.

“Right now the heavyweights are a lot bigger than when I was around.

“You have to be big to contend.

“I think he has a great chance and has good boxing ability.

“He has to go out there and really focus on the job at hand, and say this is his house, and anyone coming to London is coming to his house.”

left to right: Anthony Ogogo, Anthony Joshua, Josh Taylor, Fred Evans,
Luke Campbell, Tom Stalker and Andrew Selby of Team GB boxing
Twenty-two year old Joshua’s star is on the rise after a superb performance at the World Amateur Championships last year in Azerbaijan.

There he claimed a silver medal in what was only his second major tournament, and many are tipping him to follow in the footsteps of Lewis and Audley Harrison, the British Olympic boxing champion at Sydney 2000.

Lewis’ mother emigrated from London when he was 12, but the charms of the British capital have clearly never worn off on him.

“A lot of people do not realise how beautiful Britain is,” he said, adding that it was particularly special for him given how close the Games are to where he was born.

“It feels good, this is a place where I am from.

“It is a country that no one really would expect the Olympics to happen in.

“It is happening and is going to be fantastic for the people of London.

“For the people coming to London who have never been before there are so many experiences they will go through.”

Lewis lights the cauldron at the end of day 65 of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay
Lewis was rewarded for his special place in British sports history as well as a connection to the East End when he was given the chance to carry the Olympic Torch through Bexley last week.

He was the final Torchbearer of the day on Sunday (July 22), and said: “I felt like I had a responsibility, it felt very rewarding.

“I got a lot of energy from the crowd.

“I felt a great part of it [the Olympics], a contributor to it, and it was a nice experience, something I can look back on in history.”

Courtesy of David Gold

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