How does Anthony Joshua’s record compare to Lewis, Tyson and Holyfield?

Anthony Joshua is set to return to the ring later this year for the first time since relinquishing his heavyweight world titles to Oleksandr Usyk in September 2021.

The 2012 Olympic gold-medallist suffered a defeat on the scorecards to Usyk and in doing so, surrendered his WBA, IBF and WBO titles.

Otto Wallin Joe Joyce - two fighters Joshua fought in the amateurs - and ex-heavyweight king Deontay Wilder are reportedly on the shortlist for Joshua's next fight.

His current record stands at 24-2, with his other defeat coming to Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019 although he avenged the loss with a points win of his own in Saudi Arabia.

Other notable wins as a professional include a stoppage of Dillian Whyte in 2015 alongside unifying the division against Joseph Parker and a routine defence against Kubrat Pulev.

Joshua won his first world title against Charles Martin for the IBF belt in 2015 and went on to defeat Wladimir Klitschko in 2017 to add the WBA title to his mantelpiece.

Joshua and Hearn

Carlos Takam was another standout win for Joshua in what was a tough encounter at Cardiff's Principality Stadium. Takam was regarded as one of the most durable opponents in the heavyweight division and in recent times, he has traded with Derek Chisora and Joyce.

Despite learning on the job during his two reigns as unified heavyweight champion, and defeating world-ranked opponents and former world champions, Joshua has been accused of being well managed by Matchroom Boxing's Eddie Hearn.

Lennox Lewis is one of those who seems to agree with critics. Below, we assess the record of fighters from previous generations after 26 fights.

Lennox Lewis: 25-1

Lennox Lewis

Twenty-two fights in, Lennox Lewis was unbeaten and had won the British, Commonwealth and European titles along the way. Standout wins included a second-round KO of Glenn McCrory, a round three win over 1984 Olympic champion Tyrell Briggs and a second-round stoppage of Donovan Ruddock.

In beating Ruddock, Lewis became the mandatory challenger for Riddick Bowe's WBC heavyweight title but the fight would never materialise. Bowe infamously threw his WBC title in the bin and vacated it to avoid facing Lewis.

The WBC subsequently crowned Lewis champion in December 1992, making him the first heavyweight world titleholder from the UK in the 20th century.

Lewis' first defence of the title saw him outpoint Tony Tucker before beating Frank Bruno in a Battle of Britain showdown in Cardiff. 

Ref stops heavyweight fight between Lennox Lewis- and Frank Bruno

'The Lion' then dispatched Phil Jackson to go 25-0 but would suffer a shock defeat in his 26th fight to Oliver McCall.

The American knocked him out in the second round at Wembley to snare the green-and-gold belt away from him. Three years later in 1997, Lewis would avenge the defeat, stopping him in round five under the tutelage of Emanuel Steward.

Mike Tyson: 26-0

Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson remains the youngest ever boxer to win a heavyweight title at the age of 20 years, four months and 22 days. He was also the first boxer to hold the WBA, WBC and IBF straps simultaneously in the heavyweight division, doing so at 21 years and 32 days.

However, his first world title win came after 28 fights with a second-round stoppage of Trevor Berbick before going on to make nine successful defences, including unifying the titles with wins over James Smith and Tony Tucker.

He also defeated Larry Holmes, Michael Spinks and Frank Bruno and Tyson had achieved all of this by the age of 21. By the age of 30, he had fought Evander Holyfield twice and in 2002, aged 35, the 'Baddest Man on Planet' collided with Lennox Lewis in the most lucrative heavyweight fight of all-time.

His first 26 fights were all pretty routine wins for Tyson. He was taken the distance just twice, outpointing James Tillis and Mitch Green in 1986. The majority of his wins were under iconic trainer Cus D'Amato who passed away in 1985.

Evander Holyfield: 26-0

Evander Holyfield

Evander Holyfield lived up to his tag as 'The Real Deal' by picking up his first world title after 12 fights, overcoming Dwight Muhammad Qawi via split-decision.

Holyfield would go on to unify the cruiserweight division and win all three major belts (WBC, WBA and IBF) by his 18th professional fight. He won the WBC title in his final fight at 200lbs in 1987 against Carlos de Leon via a stoppage in the eighth round.

In 1988, Holyfield made his heavyweight debut and took care of business by retiring James Tillis before winning his next five fights. Holyfield became heavyweight world champion in fight number 25, dismantling Mike Tyson-conqueror Buster Douglas in 1990 to win the WBA, WBC and IBF belts.

Holyfield's win made him the first fighter to unify the cruiserweight and heavyweight divisions. In his 26th contest, Holyfield outpointed the legendary George Foreman to retain his titles. The fight generated 1.45 million pay-per-views in the US.

READ MORE: Boxing's biggest attendances, including Joshua vs Klitschko

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