posted on Apr, 6 2003 @ 04:57 PM
Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) - April 4, 2003
Los Angeles (dpa) - World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight champion, Lennox Lewis, has been given an ultimatum to commit himself to defending his
title against Mike Tyson.
The organization told Lewis that he had until April 15 to decide whether he was going to fight against Tyson, or not. Should he decide against a
rematch with Tyson, he has to negotiate with Vitali Klitschko.
The Ukrainian-born Klitschko, who fights out of Germany, earlier in the year went to court in an attempt to force the champion to fight him, claiming
that as the number one ranked boxer, he should be given an opportunity to fight for the title.
The WBC ruled though that Klitschko was not the official challenger, but has now told the 31-year-old that should the Lewis Tyson bout go ahead, he
will take on the winner.
Klitschko's lawyer, Ronald DiNicola said he was very happy with the WBC's announcement. "Klitschko has taken a major step towards a title fight. He
will definitely get a chance."
WBC president Jose Sulaiman said that should Lewis opt for the Tyson fight, the bout would have to take place before June 30.
A potential date for the lucrative Lewis Tyson fight is June 21. Lewis last year knocked out Tyson in the eighth round.
Sulaiman did not say what would happen if Lewis turns down both Tyson and Klitschko, but in similar situations, the title has been declared dormant
and a deciding bout between the first and second- ranked challengers has been held.
This would mean a fight between Klitschko and former champion Hasim Rahman from America.