Lewis should return to finish business with Klitschko, says Steward
Former trainer insists pair have `unfinished business`
Lennox Lewis` former trainer Emanuel Steward said last night that he hoped the erstwhile undisputed world heavyweight champion would come out of retirement for a rematch against the Ukrainian Vitali Klitschko, Guardian reported.
The 37-year-old Klitschko, the current World Boxing Council champion, claimed yesterday that the 43-year-old Briton is considering a comeback. The pair fought in Los Angeles in June 2003 when Lewis appeared to be heading towards defeat before the referee intervened in the sixth round with Klitschko suffering horrendous facial cuts. Lewis, who retired after that fight, has since maintained he is happy in his life away from the ring.
"Vitali knows more than me, but I`d love to see them finish those last six rounds,`" said Steward. "There`s unfinished business that needs to be put to rest. It`s like watching a movie and then the camera stops. You want to see the end so badly. It`s so unfortunate, it was real dramatic. Lennox does seem very happy in his retirement but you can never tell. The final chapter needs to be written."
Klitschko has called for Lewis to come out of retirement ever since his defeat but Don King added his weight to the matter last month with a reported £25m purse for the former champion - "What a triumph that would be for us old guys," he said after Klitschko beat the Nigerian Samuel Peter in Berlin last month.
"I heard Lennox Lewis is starting to think about his comeback," said Klitschko on Radio Five Live yesterday. "Who knows? Nothing is impossible. Lennox Lewis promised me - and like a gentleman I hope he keeps his word - and everybody who saw the first fight can see the second fight. I have shown him a good example. I made my comeback after four years and took the world title. The fight [against Lewis] was stopped because I had a huge cut in my eye, but I was ready to beat Lennox. It was a difficult fight in my history. I never proved my skills against a strong fighter. If Lennox announces an official decision that would be great."
Jerome Anderson, the owner of Sports Entertainment and Media Group, who have been business advisers to Lewis in the past, would not comment on Klitschko`s claim last night but Steward sees no reason why Lewis should not step back in the ring to fight Klitschko. "I don`t deal with Lennox any more but I see no reason why he couldn`t get back in shape in 12 weeks. But Vitali is a strange guy. He might not look so great and have Lennox`s moves but he`s very effective. Lennox was gaining momentum in the first fight but only after the cuts. They should start from round seven - I would love to see it."
David Haye, who won his first heavyweight contest on Saturday night, thinks a rematch is unlikely. "It is the fight he [Klitschko] has been screaming about after he got stopped on a brutal cut. But I can`t see that happening," said Haye. "He [Lewis] is my idol because he got out of the game at the right time with his faculties intact. It would be a shame if he came back to boxing after such a long lay-off."
If Klitschko cannot line up a rematch he would like a shot at Haye. "The heavyweight division has a crisis. Who is the strongest? My brother Wladimir [IBF, WBO and IBO world champion] and me and who else? Heavyweight needs strong names, good fighters. If I fight Lennox Lewis then maybe Wladimir fights David Haye."
Lewis, who lives mostly in Jamaica with his wife and children, has admitted in the past he has considered a return. "I thought about it whenever I watched the other heavyweights out there, but I talked myself out of it almost in the same breath. Do I really need to do it? I`ve accomplished all that I need to accomplish, so I don`t need to do this again.
"Some people said I should have fought Klitschko again, but what for? I beat him and there will always be somebody out there, someone else to fight, but I`ve created a legacy, so why put it all at risk? I`m one of only three heavyweights ever to retire on top [Gene Tunney and Rocky Marciano also retired as champions] and that`s important to me. That`s history."