WBC exhibition between Lennox Lewis, Vitali Klitschko not on, after all

Boxing


The supposed “rematch” between Hall of Fame former heavyweight world champions Lennox Lewis and Vitali Klitschko is not set despite the WBC’s announcement Tuesday.

The sanctioning organization said Tuesday that Lewis and Klitschko, both former WBC champions, would meet in an exhibition match during the organization’s annual convention, which will take place Sept. 30-Oct. 5 in Kiev, Ukraine, where Klitschko — who was instrumental in bringing the convention to the city — serves as mayor.

But Wednesday, the WBC said that Lewis’ team told the organization it has not been contacted to arrange any exhibition. Recently, Klitschko, who turns 47 next week, said he wanted to face Lewis, 52, in an exhibition for charity, but it has not actually been arranged.

In an epic slugfest June 21, 2003, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Lewis, trailing 58-56 on all three scorecards, stopped Klitschko at the end of the sixth round when the referee waved off the fight in Klitschko’s corner due to a horrific cut he suffered over his left eye that Lewis had opened with a punch.

Lewis (41-2-1, 32 KOs), of England, elected to retire rather than face Klitschko in a rematch. Two fights later, Klitschko returned to Staples Center and knocked out the late Corrie Sanders in the eighth round to win the WBC title Lewis vacated upon his retirement.

In 2012, Klitschko (45-2, 41 KOs), who was in his second WBC title reign, vacated the belt and retired to pursue a career in Ukraine politics.

Lewis and Klitschko were both elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility. Lewis was inducted into the Canastota, New York, shrine in 2009 and Klitschko joined him in June.



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