Lennox Lewis names Evander Holyfield as his toughest opponent ahead of Mike Tyson and Vitali Klitschko

LENNOX LEWIS has named Evander Holyfield as his toughest opponent ahead of Mike Tyson and Vitali Klitschko.

The British boxing legend, 54, took to Instagram to reveal just who he believed was his most-talented rival.

Despite fighting Tyson and Klitschko during his long career, Lewis plumped for Holyfield as his toughest-ever opponent.

Lewis finished his career with a record of 41-2-1, with his final-ever fights coming against Tyson and Klitschko in 2002 and 2003 respectively.

The Brit ace KOd Tyson in the eighth round of a brutal bout, with his fight against Klitschko stopped after the sixth round after Lewis opened a huge cut above the Ukrainian's eye.

Despite those monster fights, Lewis' 1999 double-header against Holyfield went down in boxing legend.

The first fight ended in a draw, with Lewis winning the rematch eight months later via unanimous decision.

Because of those gruelling fights, Lewis has named Holyfield as his toughest-ever opponent.

Lewis revealed people are often shocked by his pick, but claimed Holyfield's amateur experience was invaluable to his career.

Taking to Instagram, Lewis wrote: "People seem to be genuinely surprised when I tell them 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 is, it actually makes a lot of sense.

"Holyfield, like me, has an extensive amateur pedigree that has served him well throughout his professional career.

"He started boxing at eight years old and was an Olympic Bronze medalist in 1984.

"Before he moved up to the heavyweight division, he’s a man that cleared out the cruiserweight division to become the undisputed champion, and arguably the best ever, in that weight class.

"That’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 would be hard pressed not to see the kind of success he’s had in the ring.

"I may tease him a bit on our two fights, he knows I won both fights even though he won’t admit it, but in all seriousness, he’s the only man that has gone 24 rounds with me."

Lewis continued to state the importance of building a career out of a strong amateur base.

He added: "I can’t stress enough the importance of amateur experience.

"Consider the amateurs as your internship into the pros… the more you learn about your craft, the better it will serve you.

"Me and Evander’s extensive amateur experience brought us to the top of our games.

"In a sport where there are no guarantees, and even one mistake can end in disaster, it’s important to play the odds.

"So although we have both had setbacks in our careers, there was very little chance that the success we sought in the sport of boxing would not be reached based on our experience."

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