Former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world Lennox Lewis has doubled his retirement-ending price after revealing that he is in tentative discussions with Wladimir Klitschko over a multi-million dollar clash.
Lewis, 48, ended his glittering career ten years ago at the top of his game and with a stranglehold over division after defeating Vitali Klitschko in six rounds over a highly-debated encounte. In the process, Lewis vowed never to return to the sport unless offered at least a $50m paycheck.
Constant disillusions surrounding the lack of depth in his old weight-class have seemingly prompted Lewis to elevate that price to face current belt hoarder Wladimir after witnessing the 37 year-old earn $17million for a one-sided victory over Alexander Povetkin last weekend.
The Briton, who won gold at the 1988 Olympics for Canada, sat ringside to witness ‘Dr. Steelhammer’ dominate his supposed biggest threat at heavyweight in Povetkin and would now consider a comeback for a mammoth $100m fee.
“That is my price tag and it is under discussion,” Lewis told the Daily Mail. “I have told them I can be ready in six months and I am in provisional training.
“I said at the time that it will take $50m to get me out of my pyjamas but now I have to consider the value of my legacy of having retired as undisputed champion. That will cost them $100m.”
The statement made by Lewis does seem rather tongue in cheek for my liking and it is highly doubtful to come to fruition – even though the world is craving a decent challenger to the Klitchko’s domination.
Whether Lewis could provide that after ten years away is also debatable with Klitschko’s at the very peak of his powers, but such is the dismay at the state of heavyweight boxing that the fight would be a massive event and generate huge interest.
The manner of his victory over Vitali would give a revenge angle to the fight, coupled with the return of the best fighter of the last great era of the top division, but for my money it would be a one-sided contest and put a massive dent in what is an already cemented legacy for Lewis.