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Lennox Lewis: Fury will finally see the value of his legacy

Written by Declan Taylor

LENNOX LEWIS believes Tyson Fury will truly understand the importance of his legacy when he retires from boxing.

On Saturday night, Fury will take on Oleksandr Usyk in the first untitled heavyweight fight since his compatriot Lewis defeated Evander Holyfield in 1999.

But the Gypsy King insisted during this fight that he does not care about leaving history and does not care about how he will be remembered when he hangs up his gloves.

Lewis, however, who retired from the sport in 2003 after a 44-fight streak that marked him as one of the best heavyweights in history, maintains that only Fury's success in the ring will see him retire.

“If he says he doesn't care about the legacy, I think he doesn't care at the moment,” said Lewis. “But he will come back when it happens. Trust me.

“You can't think of anything else but to fight now. When he does that he tries not to take his mind off the fight. 'What about inheritance, what about your next fight'. You take him there, but he wants to stay here.

“I'm happy with what I did. Even with the loss, the way I look at them is if I never lost I wouldn't have learned to come back. If these guys lose and quit, they won't know how to come back.

“Do they have the mental strength to come back? When I lost the last one, everyone asked 'oh, what are you going to do now?' What will I do now? What are you talking about? Muhammad Ali lost three times. That's what really got me back – Muhammad Ali lost three times and came back. I want to do the same thing.” Fury often cites boxing – and in particular a rigorous training regimen – as helping to keep his sanity after overcoming a series of well-documented mental health issues.

MORECAMBE, ENGLAND – APRIL 10: Tyson Fury poses for a photo after a press conference ahead of his IBF, IBO, WBA, WBO and WBC Undisputed World Heavyweight title fight with 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 doesn't think the unbeaten 35-year-old will have trouble staying busy in retirement.

“He'll have a lot to focus on,” added Lewis. “He could have focused on his singing career. He will have so much dough, he will be doing all kinds of things with his family. He can do what he likes; he made 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, speaking over an Italian lunch at a Riyadh restaurant, now lives mainly in Toronto but also spends time at his house in Jamaica.

But he revealed that it's unusual for him to burn videos of his old fights, and he can't believe what he's seeing.

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

“No one, in fact I watch them all, it's weird. I watch the fights as if I wasn't there. I was as deep as if I wasn't there. There are a few punches when I see them hitting me and I just think 'wow'. I was so focused that it just jumped on my chin. It surprises me to see myself like this.”

Watch Fury v Usyk, 'Ring of Fire' live in Riyadh on TNT Sports Box Office on Saturday 18 May. For more information visit:

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