Anthony Joshua has criticised Lennox Lewis for his constant negativity towards him and says the former three-time world heavyweight champion would be different “face-to-face”.
Joshua was in London on Monday for the press conference to promote his June 1 fight with Jarrell Miller at Madison Square Garden in New York.
But in an interview with iFL TV, the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion responded to the criticisms from Lewis and revealed he is using the negativity to ensure he lays a different path when he hangs up his gloves.
Lewis, the last man to be undisputed heavyweight champion, has been particularly critical of Joshua and his team’s inability to land bouts with either Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder.
Wilder is the holder of the WBC belt and the only man between Joshua in unifying the heavyweight division but for now that fight must wait.
“To be honest I don’t see them, but what I hear is that he doesn’t really have any positive stuff to say, if I’m honest,” Joshua said. “So with that being said, I think it reflects back to my comments about how I feel about when I leave the (sport).”
Speaking after Monday’s press conference, Joshua criticised Lewis’ constant negativity.
“If I met him face to face it would probably be different, do you know what I mean?”
Asked whether Lewis’s comments may have been taken out of context or misconstrued in the media, Joshua brushed off the suggestions and said the former British fighter knew what he was saying.
“No because the thing is he’s been documented on camera saying it,” he added.
“But when you meet someone face to face they don’t have the same views they have when they were one-on-one in front of the camera.
“That’s that being said, but as I said, my outlook on the heavyweight division is that when I’m done with the sport, all I want to do is say nice, positive things about other heavyweights that are breaking my records, doing better than me and taking their own route in boxing.
“I’m not going to follow Lennox Lewis’ route [and] Wilder, or Fury, Povetkin, Wladimir aren’t going to follow his route either.
“I feel like he had his thing set out – that was good for him – I have my thing, that’s good for me.
“You just have to respect someone for doing it, not be envious, I don’t want to say jealous, he’s maybe not jealous but don’t have anything negative to say.
“That’s what I want to do when I finish, just pure positivity, respect that kid, he’s doing well.
“Whatever route he’s taking, I’m sure he’s got good people around him. If he needs my support I’m here – nothing more, nothing less.”
Joshua is ready to enter his camp ahead of the June 1 bout as he looks to retain his belts and his unbeaten record in what will be his 23rd professional fight.