Former world champion Larry Holmes is backing world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua to become one of the greatest boxers of all time, according to Skysports.
Holmes, who fought Mike Tyson and beat Muhammad Ali, says the WBA ‘super’ and IBF champion can be a legend if he stays hungry and remains focused on boxing.
The 67-year-old former champion admits he has been impressed by Joshua, whose next title defence is on October 28 when he faces Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.
Holmes said, “I got to be heavyweight champion of the world when I was 30 years old and this guy (Joshua) is just at 27.
“I think he has a great opportunity to make himself known as one of the greatest fighters of all time.
“You’ve always got to think you are better than the next guy. If he keeps going I think he’ll be strong and I that’s what’s going to make him a great fighter.
“If he can stay hungry he will be okay.
“He’s fighting whatever is out there and he’s going to be able to climb that ladder because he knows how to fight.”
Holmes believes a fight between Joshua and WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, who defends his title against Bermane Stiverne on November 4 would be too close to call.
He added, “I’d flip a coin because both guys are big and punch very well.
“That’s one fight I really don’t want to call. Wilder’s got a good punch, which they both do, and they can both take a punch.”
Meanwhile, Joshua is in line to make more money from his Kubrat Pulev fight than he did from taking on Wladimir Klitschko.
The British-born Nigerian won the vacant WBA strap against Klitschko with a dramatic 11th-round knockout.
But the fighters split the £20m prize pool while when Joshua and Pulev meet, the Brit will take a much larger share of the cash.
Express Sport understands he will be in for his biggest payday, earning around £15m while Pulev will make just £4m, although that will also be more than the Bulgarian has ever made from one night.