Boxing

Lennox Lewis Denies He Is in Discussion to Fight a Klitschko Brother for $100M

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 06:  Boxer Lennox Lewis attends the 2012 Laureus World Sports Awards at Central Hall Westminster on February 6, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images for Laureus)
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Tyler ConwayFeatured ColumnistOctober 9, 2013

Earlier this year, Bernard Hopkins became the oldest major champion in boxing history at the age of 48, but there's a chance he won't hold that record for long. 

According to Eurosport, 48-year-old former undisputed heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis is currently in negotiations with representation for the Klitschko brothers, which could pay him up to $100 million: 

Lewis has since taken to Twitter to clear things up, saying that he's not looking to fight either brother:

While the mere mention of Lewis' return in the ring will create a buzz, it's clear that negotiations are still in the embryonic stages. Jeff Powell of the Daily Mail also reported on Lewis' possible return to the ring, noting that representation for the Klitschkos approached him with a $50 million offer, with Lewis countering by guaranteeing a return if they doubled the total.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 17:  Former undisputed World Heavyweight Champion Lennox Lewis speaks to the media during the Superfighter Launch at The Victory Room of Telstra Dome October 17, 2006 in Melbourne, Australia. Superfighter will be held at Mel
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"That is my price tag and it is under discussion," Lewis said. "I have told them I can be ready in six months and I am in provisional training."

A six-month waiting period would, at the earliest, put the potential fight in April. At that point, Lewis will have passed Hopkins' age when he defeated Tavoris Cloud to win the IBF light heavyweight title in March. George Foreman is the oldest heavyweight champion in history; he was also 48 when he held the strap.

HAMBURG, GERMANY - JUNE 27:  Wladimir Klitschko (L) and and his brother Vitali attend a press conference on June 27, 2011 in Hamburg, Germany to preview the heavy weight title fight between Wladimir Kilitschko and David Haye which will be held on the 2nd
Scott Heavey/Getty Images

It's currently unknown whether the promoters are willing to meet Lewis' price. Also under question is which Klitschko brother Lewis would potentially face.

Vitali, who has not fought since September of last year and is in the process of running for president in his native Ukraine, is said to fancy a return bout against Lewis, per Powell. The 42-year-old fighter (45-2-0, 41 KOs) suffered one of his two defeats against Lewis via TKO in 2003. Vitali currently holds the WBC heavyweight title. 

Lewis, however, would prefer to fight Wladimir. 

"I beat Vitali so I would like to fight the other brother but we’ll see how it works out," Lewis told the Daily Mail.

At age 37, Wladimir is both younger and more active in the sport than his older brother. Lewis was first broached on a possible return while attending Wladimir's victory over Alexander Povetkin in Moscow this past weekend. Wladimir holds every major heavyweight championship except the WBC title. Vitali and Wladimir have long refused to fight one another despite intense interest.

What Lewis has left in the tank is also in question. He lost just twice in 44 professional bouts (and had one draw), but he has been out of the ring since defeating Vitali more than a decade ago. His return would be among the longest waits between fights in history, especially for someone of his stature.

But first, the two sides must agree on a price. With Lewis seeking more than double what any other fighter has made in history, the wait might be longer than any boxing fan hopes.

 

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