Lennox Lewis, the man who crushed David Tua's heavyweight world title dream 16 years ago, insists Joseph Parker needs to concentrate on his jab against Andy Ruiz Jnr at Vector Arena on December 10.

Lewis, the man who held the IBF, WBC and WBA world titles during his career, which included 44 fights and only two losses, retired in 2003 after beating Vitali Klitschko. The now 51-year-old was known as an extremely hard man to hit due largely because of his jab, and he said that was a big part of the equation for Parker, who is gunning for the WBO title.

"It should be an interesting match-up," Lewis said. "Parker's OK. He's just started and he's got a lot to work on, a lot to do, and we are going to have to see how he fares. It all starts with the jab. If he starts off with the jab, he shouldn't do too bad. If he styles after me, he's got to have a good jab, long, loose and dangerous."

The comparison has already been made that Parker and the shorter Ruiz is a lot like the match-up of 2000 in Las Vegas between Lewis and Tua. After battling for years to get a shot at the title, the comparatively short Tua was left chasing ghosts against Lewis before losing by unanimous decision.


When asked about fighting Ruiz, who is about 6cm shorter than the 1.94m Parker, Lewis said: "I know exactly what he's going to do, he's going to use that jab, he's going to use that jab and throw that upper cut in there."

Lewis added: "The heavyweight division is wide open now. It's there for the taking. It's really down to who wants to step in there first, step into the arena first, and take that chance against [Wladimir] Klitschko.

"Klitschko's armour has been hitched in the sense he's lost already [to Tyson Fury], so he's there, he's beatable. He is still the man to beat right now. I feel kind of bad for him because his belts have gone all over the place right now.

"The guy who beat him, he's not that able to step back into the ring and face him, and now he's supposed to fight Anthony Joshua and that fell through. The man he really wants to fight is Tyson Fury. So I think he's just sitting back, regressing and thinking about his next move."

On the same day Parker meets Ruiz, Joshua will fight Eric Molina in the United Kingdom in a defence of his IBF belt, one of those vacated by Fury.

It was a fight quickly arranged by Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn after Klitschko backed out of negotiations at the last moment, and American Molina isn't expected to stay in the fight for too long.

19 Nov, 2016 5:00am
2 minutes to read

"I think Anthony Joshua has a good fight in the sense it's not going to be difficult. Obviously he's still got to watch out and not take any chances. I think it should be a three-round fight for him," Lewis said.

Parker is the mandatory challenger to Joshua's title.

* Patrick McKendry travelled to Las Vegas with assistance from Duco Events.