|English: Djokovic with the Australian open trophy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
“My feeling is that the athletes at a home Games feel responsibilities as a result of that groundswell of support, and they feed off that, which I think makes them a winning force. The British public’s support will give the team such a boost.
“When I boxed in Los Angeles, in 1984, I was 18 and I felt that lack of experience. I lost to the American Tyrell Biggs, who had a lot more international experience than me, in the quarter-finals.”
Biggs went on to become Olympic champion.
“I should really have got a silver medal there in LA. But I was still young, and decided to continue to the 1988 Olympics, where I did win gold.
"I’m glad I took the time to go to two Games, because I gained all the experience I needed in the intervening four years to win the gold the second time around. By the time those four years were up, I really was on top.”
Lewis has wise counsel for Anthony Joshua, Britain’s rising 22-year-old super-heavyweight who surpassed expectation by winning the silver medal at the World Amateur Championships — in only his second major tournament — three months ago in Azerbaijan.
“I have seen Anthony Joshua, and I think he’s got a lot of talent; he’s still a little bit raw but I think he’s got a good chance of winning the Olympics in London,” Lewis said.
“There are a couple of things he needs to work on, but he has time. Getting the silver in the worlds is real momentum for him. Everyone is going to be looking at him because he’s coming off that success.
"Boxing is not only a physical sport, it’s a mental sport as well, and as long as he is strong mentally, he can make it his Games.”
Lewis believes he can bring his vast experience to bear with Joshua and the rest of the team.
“It’s interesting – Audley Harrison won the Olympics [in Sydney in 2000] and I remember speaking to him right before he went into the ring and he came out on top.
“I’m pretty excited about the Olympics coming up, and yes, absolutely, I’d like to be involved with the British team. They will
have a big push behind them. I’m definitely going to be involved in the Olympics in one way or another this year. I’ve been around the world, I was the best in the world, and I believe I have great advice I can pass on to the British crew.
"I will look to do whatever I can to help the team to be successful in the Olympics, in the professional game afterwards, or even in life. It’s all connected.”
In response to Lewis expressing his wish to advise the GB team, Derek Mapp, chairman of the British Amateur Boxing Association, toldTelegraph Sport: “It is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of [head performance coach] Rob McCracken and all of our boxers that a figure like Lennox Lewis has been following the progress of the GB Boxing squad and enjoying its success over the last two years.
“The boxers will be pleased to know their successes have been cheered on by such a well respected figure and they will all be looking to emulate his achievement of winning Olympic gold when the London Games get under way later this year.”