lennox lewis anthony joshua
Lennox Lewis celebrating with Anthony Joshua post his 2012 London Olympics gold medal win Getty

Boxing legend Lennox Lewis is impressed with fellow countryman Anthony Joshua's progress in the sport but has warned the boxer that Tyson Fury is still number one. Lewis's comments come amid news that Joshua is eager for a 'Battle of Britain' match against Fury.

"Tyson Fury is the best right now, I really think so. Joshua has got great power, he's the future. I think he's doing a great job right now. His promoter is promoting him well. His next fight is a good fight for him, Dominic Breazeale. It's a good step up, which everyone wants to see. So that's good for his development", he said, as quoted by Mirror.

"But Tyson is No.1, because he is the heavyweight champion of the world. He didn't get it given to him — he earned it."

Joshua, who is the reigning International Boxing Federation (IBF) champion, will face unbeaten American Dominic Breazeale at the O2 Arena in London on 25 June (Saturday) but has already set his sights on a face-off with Fury.

Fury too will be in action on 9 July when he defends his world heavyweight championship belt against Wladimir Klitschko at the Manchester Arena in England. Joshua is reportedly willing to face his fellow countryman regardless of whether he retains his world title belts.

Lewis, who is considered as one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time, feels Fury will be too tough to handle and will overcome Joshua despite the 26-year-old's improvement in the ring.

"Can Joshua box? No, because he hasn't reached that level yet. His longest fight has lasted eight rounds. He hasn't been taken deep into fights like Tyson Fury has. Fury has gone 12 rounds on his toes, so who's better? You have to say Fury right now.

"Joshua hasn't been up against that type of competition and gone 12 rounds. He's been blowing everyone away in a couple of rounds. He will be taken the distance, because you can't knock out everybody. Then my thoughts will probably change. But you have to say Fury is the man because of what he's done."