Lennox Lewis ‘pretty sure’ Vitali Klitschko rematch would be same result
Ex-undisputed heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis says any rematch with Vitali Klitschko would have gone the same way as the first meeting.
Lewis and Klitschko collided in 2003 in what turned out to be the final fight of the British puncher. Previously, Lewis had achieved his lifelong dream of winning all the belts at 200 pounds plus and defeating Mike Tyson into the bargain.
The Tyson victory took place twelve months prior, and Lewis debated retirement seriously while taking a break. In the end, the lure of facing a young buck like Klitschko was too much to pass up.
At the old Staples Center [now Crypto.com Arena], Lewis had a scare for a few rounds before the physician and referee stopped the fight on a nasty cut suffered by the Ukrainian challenger.
When officials ended the contest, Klitschko led Lewis on all three scorecards, 58-56. Lewis spoke about Vitali after coming under fire for his performance in the aftermath.
United States media, who hadn’t taken Lewis to their hearts at that point, questioned whether Lewis would have gone on to win the battle.
They also took the line that Lewis was fortunate with the stoppage.
LENNOX LEWIS REMATCH
Protesting that his punches caused significant damage to Klitschko’s face, Lewis fired back on giving Vitali another opportunity.
“Vitali was the smartest of my opponents. He used his clumsiness with great effect. They said I had to fight him again, but for me, this fight was like a chocolate coating on a cake dedicated to my retirement.
“I accepted the fight with him on short notice. I was ready mentally. But I wasn’t in the best physical shape.
“I beat him in my worst shape, so there was no need for the rematch. My uppercuts became his problem.”
When asked who would win the rematch recently, Lewis responded: “Pretty sure it would have been that Lewis chap.”
Klitschko later accused Lewis of calling him to his office alongside his mother before backtracking on an agreement for the second bout.
“Lennox Lewis, after the fight, promised to give me a rematch. I very [much] appreciate [it]. I have a chance to fight the great champion, a great fighter that’s Lennox Lewis.
“But I show my skills and I beat him. But they stopped the fight. I was really upset. Lennox was very happy.”
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