Lennox Lewis has named Evander Holyfield as his toughest opponent, ahead of Mike Tyson and Vitali Klitschko.
The 54-year-old British boxing legend took to Instagram to reveal who he considers his most talented rival.
Despite fighting legendary champions Tyson and Klitschko during his long career, Lewis served as his toughest opponent for Holyfield.
Lewis finished his career with a 41–2–1 record, with his final matches coming against Tyson and Klitschko in 2002 and 2003, respectively.
Brit ace KOD Tyson in the eighth round of a brutal bout with his fight against Klitschko stalled after the sixth round when Lewis opened a large cut above the Ukrainian’s eye.
Despite those monstrous fights, Lewis’s 1999 double-header against Holyfield went down in the boxing legend.
The first fight ended in a draw, with Lewis winning the rematch eight months later via unanimous decision.
Because of those fierce bouts, Lewis named Holyfield as his toughest opponent.
Lewis revealed that people are often surprised by his choice, but claimed that Holyfield’s amateur experience was invaluable to his career.
On Instagram, Lewis wrote: “People are really surprised when I tell them that Evander Holyfield was my toughest opponent, not to be confused with my toughest fight, which was Mercer.
“But when you really dive into why that’s the case, it really makes a lot of sense.
“Like me, Holyfield has an extensive amateur pedigree that has served him well throughout his professional career.
“He started boxing at the age of eight and was an Olympic bronze medalist in 1984.
“Before moving to the heavyweight division, he is the man who cleared the cruiserweight division to be the undisputed champion, and arguably the best player ever in that weight category.
“It’s a lot of experience and it’s safe to say that by the time we met for the Undisputed Heavyweight Championship in 1999, he had seen it all.
“When you combine Evander’s amateur and professional experience, you’ll have to work hard not to see the kind of success you’ve had in the ring.
“I might tease him a little over our two fights, he knows I won both fights even though he won’t admit it, but seriously, he’s the only guy who’s taken 24 rounds with me.”
Lewis continued to convey the importance of building a career out of a strong amateur base.
He said: “I cannot stress enough the importance of amateur experience.
“Treat amateurs as your internship in professionals… the more you learn about your craft, the better it will serve you.
“Me and Evander’s extensive amateur experience put us at the top of our games.
“In a game where there are no guarantees, and even a single mistake can end in disaster, it’s important to play the odds.
“So although we have both suffered setbacks in our careers, there was little chance that the success we have achieved in the sport of boxing would not be based on our experience.”