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Lennox Lewis: Fury will eventually realise the importance of his legacy | Boxing News

By Declan Taylor

LENNOX LEWIS believes Tyson Fury will only truly understand the importance of his legacy once he has retired from boxing.

On Saturday night, Fury faces Oleksandr Usyk in the first undisputed heavyweight title fight since his compatriot Lewis beat Evander Holyfield in 1999.

But the Gypsy King has insisted throughout the build up to this fight that he does not care about leaving a legacy and that he has no interest in how he will be remembered by the boxing world once he hangs up his gloves.

Lewis, however, who walked away from the sport in 2003 after a 44-fight career which marked him out as one of the very best heavyweights in history, is adamant that only Fury’s accomplishments in the ring will ease his transition into retirement.

“When he says that he doesn’t care about legacy, I guess at this time he doesn’t know the importance,” Lewis says. “But he will later on once it’s happened. Trust me.

“You can’t think about anything about anything other than the fight now. When he’s doing that he’s trying to not take his mind away from the fight. ‘Oh what about the legacy, what about your next fight’. You’re taking him over there, but he wants to stay here.

“I am happy with what I did. Even with the losses, the way I look at them if I never lost I would never have learned how to come back. If these guys lose and they quit, they won’t know how to come back.

“Do they have the mental capacity to comeback? When I lost my last one, everyone asked ‘oh, what are you going to do now?’ What am I going to do now? What are you talking about? Muhammad Ali lost three times. That’s what really made me come back – Muhammad Ali lost three times and came back. I want to do the same thing.” Fury has often expressed how boxing – and particularly a strict training regime – helps keep his mind right after overcoming a series of well documented mental health issues.

MORECAMBE, ENGLAND – APRIL 10: Tyson Fury poses for a photograph after a press conference ahead of the IBF, IBO, WBA, WBO and WBC Undisputed World Heavyweight title fight against Oleksandr Usyk on the ‘Ring of Fire’ card in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia at Mazuma Stadium on April 10, 2024 in Morecambe, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

But Lewis does not think the undefeated 35-year-old will have trouble keeping busy in retirement.

“He will have tonnes of things to focus on,” Lewis adds. “He could focus on a singing career. He will have so much dough, he will be doing all kinds of things with his family. He can do what he wants; he did a Netflix documentary with his family already. I watched that, it was great, all my friends loved it and said ‘I’m a Tyson Fury fan now’.”

Lewis, who speaks over an Italian lunch in an upmarket Riyadh restaurant, now lives mainly in Toronto but also spends time in his house in Jamaica.

But he revealed it is not unusual for him to fire up videos of his old fights, and he often can’t believe what he is seeing.

“I actually enjoy watching the HBO fights back,” he adds.

“There’s not one in particular, actually I watch all of them, it’s kinda weird. I watch the fights like I wasn’t there. I’m so in-depth it’s like I wasn’t there. There are a couple of punches where I see them hit me and I just think ‘wow’. I was so focused that it kind of just jumped off my chin. It amazes me to see myself like that, always.”

Watch Fury v Usyk, ‘Ring of Fire’ live from Riyadh on TNT Sports Box Office on Saturday 18 May. For more info visit:

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