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Lewis: Heavyweight's 'dead'

2012-03-21 20:01

Berlin - Former world champion Lennox Lewis has declared the heavyweight division "dead" and criticised current champions Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko for fighting sub-standard boxers.

Lewis, 46, retired in 2003 as the WBC and IBO champion after defending his titles with a sixth round technical knock-out of Vitali Klitschko, but says the heavyweight division badly needs more exciting fighters to come through.

The aging Ukrainian brothers hold all the major heavyweight belts between them. Wladimir, who turns 36 on Sunday, holds the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO titles while Vitali, 40, is the WBC champion.

"Right now, the heavyweight division is dead," London-born Lewis told German magazine Stern.

"The Klitschko brothers and their opponents are just filling their bags (with cash). Their opponents will not improve, they wouldn't have even made sparring partners for me."

Wladimir knocked out former cruiserweight champion Jean-Marc Mormeck on March 3 after the Frenchman was hopelessly outclassed and Lewis said the Klitschko's title fights are a poor advert for the sport.

"At some point, the referee steps in and stops the fight. They are boring," said Lewis.

"If you are looking to find the best boxer in the world it must be decided by an epic fight. Not this circus."

Wladimir Klitschko has already answered criticism of his fights and before the Mormeck bout he refused to apologise for making his so-called "easy" fights look one-sided.

"Maybe it looks simple and one-sided, but it demands a lot of work and concentration and you have to be right on the ball," said the Ukrainian.

"It doesn't matter what kind of mood you are in, what kind of physical shape you are in, you need to show your best performance on Saturday night.

"If our fights were kind of sloppy and we were getting punched in the face, probably that would be exciting for the fans."

Meanwhile, Lewis said he has no plans to return to the ring, but said he could be persuaded if he was offered an astronomical purse.

"For 100 million (unspecified), I'd come back," he said.

"For that I would take off my pyjamas and go to the gym."

AFP

Comments
  • Craig Galloway - 2012-03-21 20:50

    Too late!! MMA has taken over!!!

  • Bob - 2012-03-22 08:17

    Lewis should consider coming out of retirement, he would probably still be too good for the Russians, and as for the rest, absolute rubbish.

      noagark - 2012-03-22 13:17

      They're not Russians, they are German citizens. And as for Lewis, he was well behind when the fight against Klitschko was stopped due to injury and then, rather than agree to a rematch, Lewis ducked and dived and retired.

  • Bandile - 2012-03-22 09:10

    Rob.......which Russians?

      stephen.gohl - 2012-03-22 10:11

      Bandile........ who's Rob' ?

      Bob - 2012-03-22 13:28

      nit picking, Russians, Ukranians very little difference.

  • jsaavedragallardo - 2012-03-22 10:17

    The best heavyweights are doing MMA now. I rather watch MMA than Boxing.

  • Gert - 2012-03-22 10:25

    I agree. Lewis was the last HB superstar. The days of Tyson, Lewis, Hollyfield (Although he is still boxing!) are long gone. Boxing needs a young controversial superstar to make people outside the USA stay up late at night to watch the fights again. The last time I did was when Corrie Sanders put little Klitshco down. Its sorry that he couldn't do the same with Vitali though.

  • chris.lategan - 2012-03-22 12:03

    The five top MMA Heavyweights would knock both the Klitshko brothers out in a boxing match. Junior Dos Santos, Cain Valasques, Frank Mir, Overeem, Lesnar (even after retirement) would all have them. MMA is also just way more entertaining. I'm afraid boxing is at the start of a slow decline.

      Bob - 2012-03-22 13:30

      Yeh if they were all in the ring at the same time, one on one, no contest, boxer wins every time.

  • Doc - 2012-03-22 12:32

    Lets not forget Sonny Bill Williams, he will provide plenty of entertainment even if it is only for a good laugh.

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