Anthony Joshua has doubled-down on his fiery “clown” claim despite replies from Lennox Lewis and Andy Ruiz Jr.
Joshua said “I don’t respect” Lewis in AJ: The Untold Truth, available On Demand from 6pm on Thursday.
Lewis is the last undisputed heavyweight champion and, although he suffered upset defeats like Joshua’s to Ruiz Jr, he avenged both against Oliver McCall and Hasim Rahman.
The 53-year-old questioned Joshua’s trainer Rob McCracken prompting the recently-defeated heavyweight to call him a “clown”.
Lewis replied to the exclusive Sky Sports story by tweeting: “Undisputed wasn’t something I ‘worried’ about. It was something I went after until it was accomplished!
“Disappointed in AJ’s words.”
Joshua responded via Instagram: “Always say it as it is… a clown is a clown. He can wipe his make-up off but his heart remains the same.”
Disappointed in AJ鈥檚 words but I understand that this 鈥渏ealousy鈥?narrative was only fabricated AFTER I criticized them for Wilder negotiations. All of the sudden im a hater. 馃し馃従鈥嶁檪锔?Ask who benefits from such a simple minded narrative? Not AJ. Not me.
— Lennox Lewis (@LennoxLewis) August 15, 2019
Joshua lost his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles, and the hope of facing Deontay Wilder to crown an undisputed champion, to Ruiz Jr in June.
He has the chance to regain those belts on December 7 in a rematch in Saudi Arabia, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Ruiz Jr has stirred the pot by replying to a Twitter post asking who would win a dream match-up between Joshua and Lewis.
“Lennox all day,” Ruiz Jr posted.
Frank Bruno, another former British world heavyweight champion who lost to Lewis, had his say on the feud.
He tweeted: “Unsure if there is more to this…. but Lennox has a fantastic legacy and AJ’s is still being written. The young blood can always learn from those who’ve already trodden that path. I hope they can both resolve their differences and respect each other.”
Heavyweight prospect Daniel Dubois posted: “Respect to Lennox Lewis.”
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn denied Ruiz Jr’s suggestion a rematch could land in the United States earlier this week.
“The contract for the rematch was signed prior to the first fight,” Hearn told Sky Sports. “They are both signed at the same time. There is no other contract.
“We have to let [Ruiz Jr] know the time, date and venue which we have done. That’s it.
“They are contractually bound for the rematch.
“There are no conversations between the two teams about not doing the fight. I don’t perceive a problem.
“He signed a contract with us that he was absolutely over the moon with, that gave him the opportunity of a lifetime. He will 100 per cent honour that contract.