Boxing

Klitschko haunted by Lewis’ retirement

Vitali Klitschko (pictured), elder brother of WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion Wladimir, is defending his WBC heavyweight title on 18th February in Munich, against Briton Dereck Chisora.

Chisora, 27, is a massive underdog but is relishing the challenge. “It doesn’t get any bigger than this: the WBC heavyweight belt. He might be the champion, Dr Ironfist, a politician, but I’m going to be all over him like the Black Plague. I’m young, I’m hungry and this is a great opportunity. I can make him look old in the ring, put him under pressure.”

40 year-old Klitschko admits that the fight will certainly not be a walk over, “Chisora is one of the young guys, he is hungry for success, and I will train as hard as possible because he is dangerous.”

However, Klitschko continuously ponders over what might have been following his famous fight in 2003 against the then undisputed champion Lennox Lewis.

“The injury stopped me in the fight against Lennox. He promised me we would fight again. He called me to London, just me and him. His mum was there. We talked for 30 minutes, while his mum scanned me up and down. I flew back to Germany. He rang me and said ‘Vitali, I’m not going to fight you’. His mum made the decision. Then he retired. I’ve always wanted to fight Lennox again – he was the undisputed champion – but the decision was made for me. It was my biggest fight.”

Asked whether David Haye would be a future opponent, Vitali revealed that the deal is “miles from the deal being finalised”. Klitschko also reveals his ‘genuine dislike’ for Haye.

“When Wladimir beat David Haye, I was happy and upset at the same time. We had unified the titles [as brothers] but I was upset because Wlad had not send him to the floor. There is a huge motivation for me to fight Haye, but we are a long way from signing this contest. The itch is there all the time – unfinished business. I remember Haye’s words, and there is no forgiveness. He touched me personally, insulted me as a man, and my dislike is genuine. When I knock him out, there can be no excuses.”

However, when pressed as to who he would rather fight, Haye or Lewis, Klitschko was adamant, “It would still be Lennox. He was the official winner – but I was ahead on the cards – the unofficial winner. I’ve talked to him many times down the years, and now he says he’d need years to get into great shape to fight me.”

With Lewis being out of the fight game since 2004, a rematch is beyond Vitali’s wildest dreams. He must focus on the here and now. Chisora has to be his immediate priority in order to ensure that his own legacy is not tarnished.

Categories: Boxing

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