9, June 03
Lennox Lewis, IBO WBC and Linear and Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World, revived the hopes of boxing fans when he agreed to fight Vitali Klitschko instead of the injured Kirk Johnson. Lewis (39-2-1, 31KOs) was due to fight Johnson on June 21, at The Staples Center, in Los Angeles until he reported in sick last Friday with a doctor’s note.
Vitali, older brother of Wladimir Klitschko, who was knocked out by Corrie Sanders, a stable mate of Lewis’, was scheduled to fight Cedrick Boswell. He is also the WBC mandatory challenger and was due to meet Lennox in the fall. Both fighters are therefore in good shape as they were both training for fights and makes for an interesting twist to the fight.
Lewis said, “Kirk Johnson brought something different to the table, but Vitali Klitschko (32-1, 31 KOs) as impressive as his record is, has never seen a boxer like me. He’ll wish he had never asked for this challenge. I cannot see this going the distance.”
Emanuel Steward stoked the fire even more by suggesting, “that there is no way Klitschko will last more than five rounds with a man of Lennox’ abilities. Lennox has always fared well with big guys such as Akiwande, Galota and Grant. Look what happened to them.”
This promises to be an explosive evening of bouts. In the mix will be England’s Jane Couch up against the WIBO champion Lucia Rijker. Also wooing the fans will be Laila Ali, super middleweight champion against Valerie Mahfood amongst others.
Lennox Lewis who has not been in the ring since his destruction of Mike Tyson last year said, “it’s good to be back in the ring and feeling very fit and ready to go. The show must go on, for the sake of my fans out there, even though I am taking a pay cut by fighting Vitali now.”
This is a true sign of the sporting figure, and shows that Lennox ‘The Lion’ Lewis, grows from strength to strength.