Anthony Joshua cannot be compared to Lennox Lewis yet according to Joseph Parker's trainer Kevin Barry, who thinks the IBF, IBO and WBA champion has a "long way to go" before he can be considered equal to 'The Lion'.

Joshua is preparing to put all of his belts on the line against South Auckland fighter Parker at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff on 31 March and could become the first fighter to unify the heavyweight division since Lewis managed to achieve the feat against Evander Holyfield back in 1999.

Such an achievement would no doubt elevate Joshua's standing to the level of the sport's finest despite the much-maligned nature of the current heavyweight crop, but Barry thinks the Olympic gold medallist needs to achieve much more in the ring before he can be compared with Lewis, who he believes was "the best fighter of his generation".

"It's a little early for Anthony (Joshua) to be saying he's like Lennox Lewis," Barry said, per NewsHub. "Lennox Lewis was a great, great fighter and the best fighter of his generation.

"I think he's definitely one of the best half a dozen heavyweights there ever was. Joshua's got a long way to go before he can compare himself with the class of Lennox Lewis."

Joshua is the heavy favourite for his world unification bout with WBO champion Parker, who his trainer Barry saw fit to compare to of one of Lewis' former opponents and a man he used to coach, David Tua, known for his lethal left hook and a chin that could withstand all forms of punishment.

"Joseph is one of the quickest heavyweights in the world, David Tua, at 5ft 9ins was very powerful - had uncommon punching power, Joe's got uncommon hand speed," Barry said.

"Joe is a stylist, a very technical fighter, a very skilful fighter - can throw nearly every single punch in the book. David Tua relied on walking opponents down and trying to catch them with his big hook."

Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker
Joshua and Parker will face off in the ring on 31 March Getty Images