Trainer and former world middleweight champion Andy Lee knows a good heavyweight when he sees one.

The Irish star has been an invaluable member of Tyson Fury’s camp, and he has reinvented New Zealander Joseph Parker for the second act of Parker’s pro career, culminating in the shock win over Deontay Wilder in December.

Lee has spent the last several weeks in Saudi Arabia, firstly with Fury as he concluded his preparations for his aborted February fight with Oleksandr Usyk – now slated for May after Fury was cut in sparring – and Lee has stayed out there with Parker, who is now wrapping up training to face Zhilei Zhang on Friday (March 8).

But through training, another heavyweight has caught Lee’s eye, and it’s 7-0 (5 KOs) 19-year-old Moses Itauma.

Itauma is being guided by Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren, and the young contender has made waves in the UK, sparring some of the best fighters in the division as he has gone about learning his trade.

“Moses is very good, very very good,” said Lee. “It’s hard to say how good he is, but he is very very good. I think he has it all and I think he can go as far as he wants to, providing there’s no unforeseen calamity or accident or [he] goes off the rails completely. 

“He can do it all. 

“He’s a southpaw, obviously, strong, fast, very strong, powerful, punching-wise, good puncher, clever as well and he has a great style in terms of pressuring and moving. He basically has it all. There are ways he can improve, but he just needs experience in the ring and time in the ring and he’s a very exciting prospect.”

Itauma next fights on March 22 in York Hall in Bethnal Green, and he is pencilled in to box on the rescheduled Fury-Usyk bill on May 18, too.

All seven of Itauma’s pro fights took place in 2023, and Lee believes there could be something special about the youngster.

“He’s a big character, big personality, takes over a room when he walks in and he has all the makings of a star,” added Lee.

Itauma has also done 10 quality rounds with the veteran former champion Parker this camp, and Lee said it was quality work for both boxers.

“Moses said to me, and you know all the people Moses has sparred, that Joe has been his toughest spar, so that means a lot for me,” Lee continued. “It was even sparring, they both had moments, that’s how good that young Moses is, but Moses sparred with [Joe] Joyce, [Anthony] Joshua, Fury, the list goes on and on.”

As well as Parker, Lee works with Irish welterweight hope Paddy Donovan, who is 13-0 and on the cusp of a breakthrough fight. Lee is a former Kronk fighter, who learned the sport from Emanuel Steward and then Adam Booth, so he knows what is needed to get to the highest level, and Lee thinks Donovan and Itauma can both get there.

“Him [Itauma] and Paddy Donovan are very similar in that they’re very accomplished but the thing that they’re lacking in is experience and time in the ring with different opponents and facing different challenges,” Lee went on. “Moses has been all around sparring, but it’s not the same as fights. Paddy is similar in that sense.”

Not one for hyperbole, Lee has little hesitation in tipping Itauma for big things. Asked whether he thought Itauma had world-class potential, Lee took it a step further.

“He’s a future world champion, as long as he continues on the right path, in terms of outside the ring [distractions],” Lee concluded. “There’s nothing that will concern me, even talking to him he doesn’t have distractions or hang out with the wrong people, he seems very level-headed, determined and focused on boxing. 

“As long as he keeps on the right path, he will be a future world champion.”