posted on Jun, 13 2003 @ 01:45 PM
Associated Press - June 12, 2003
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Vitali Klitschko can learn a lot about heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis just by watching a movie. As an added attraction, he gets
to see his younger brother.
Wladimir Klitschko and Lewis fought in a scene from ``Ocean's Eleven,'' with Vitali watching from ringside during filming of the 2001 Las Vegas casino
The roles will be switched June 21 at Staples Center when Vitali gets his shot at Lewis with the WBC and IBO titles at stake.
``He helps in preparation for me because he fought Lennox Lewis before,'' the elder Klitschko said Thursday during a conference call. ``They were
repeating the same scene - it was like 20 times they fought each other.
``He's helping, he remembers how Lennox was working. He helps me a lot. For sure, we can use it, little bits. A lot of things, we can figure out.''
Until a few days ago, Klitschko believed he was going to fight Cedric Boswell on the undercard of the bout between Lewis and Kirk Johnson, but Johnson
tore a chest muscle in training and had to withdraw.
Klitschko and Lewis were going to fight later in the year assuming both were victorious next week, but that was quickly changed.
It will be the first heavyweight championship fight in Los Angeles since Floyd Patterson retained his crown with a 13th-round technical knockout over
Roy Harris on Aug. 18, 1958 at Wrigley Field.
Klitschko, the No. 1 contender for Lewis' WBC heavyweight title, said two weeks is not enough preparation time.
But he's pleased to get a shot at the championship.
``Everyone's been talking about this fight for a year,'' he said. ``I have this possibility, I have this chance. It was already finished, we have to
change the date from December to June. That's it. My fight with Lennox was in the plan for December.''
While Lewis forecast a decisive victory earlier this week, Klitschko would make no predictions.
But he sounded confident - pointing to his 32-1 record with 31 knockouts.
Lewis is 14-2-1 in title bouts and 40-2-1 overall.
``He's the best one in the heavyweight division, everyone knows it,'' Klitschko said. ``Like he says about himself - Lennox Lewis is the greatest,
Lennox Lewis is the best one. I just want to say it's a great opportunity for me.''
Klitschko's only loss was to Chris Byrd in 2000, when he retired with a shoulder injury after the ninth round. Klitschko was leading decisively on all
three judges' scorecards when the end came.
``If you're not healthy, it's very difficult to explain to someone who is healthy,'' Klitschko said. ``If you're hungry, try to explain to someone who
has stomach flu. If you are healthy, you can bring really good performance.
``Today, I am 110-percent healthy and ready to fight.''
Byrd later dropped a 12-round decision to Wladimir.
``We lose together and we win together,'' Klitschko said. ``He will be in the corner, we're working together. We're very close, we're brothers. It's
almost to fight not against one of us, but two of us.''
Wladimir (40-2, 36 knockouts) lost in a major upset three months ago, being stopped by unheralded challenger Corrie Sanders with 33 seconds left in
the first round in their WBO heavyweight championship fight in Germany.
His next fight will be Aug. 30.
``He's young, we have a dream to be the same time world champions, different versions,'' Vitali said of his brother.
That's something that's never happened. If it does, don't count on a Klitschko-Klitschko unification title bout.
``I've had this question a lot - like the sisters Williams,'' Vitali said. ``We don't want to break our mother's heart. She will not like to see it.
And I have only one brother, he is the gift in my life. I can't fight against my brother.''