British boxing legend Lennox Lewis has tipped Anthony Joshua to be a future champion after watching the super‑heavyweight win his first fight of London 2012.
Lewis, who won Olympic gold at super‑heavyweight in 1988 before going on to become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, saw Joshua survive a scare against Cuba’s Erislandy Savon Cotilla before getting the verdict 17-16.
Lewis said: “It was a terrific fight. We needed some more action from Anthony, more punching, but he has a lot of raw talent right now.
“All we have to do is just harness all that power and put it into some good boxing, and he definitely has the potential to be a heavyweight champion of the world.”
It was a baptism of fire for 22-year-old Joshua (above) who was up against the nephew of three-times Olympic champion Felix Savon. Joshua was rocked by a big right hand in the second round and was forced to hold on in the last minute of the third after taking a salvo of punches. But he was the busier of the two men at a noisy venue and said afterwards: “The atmosphere definitely spurred me on.”
Earlier in the evening bantamweight Luke Campbell became the first British boxer to make the quarter finals with a 11-9 win over Jahyn Vittorio Parrinello of Italy.