posted on Jun, 21 2003 @ 11:50 PM
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Lennox Lewis was exposed as an aging fighter Saturday night by Vitali Klitschko, but retained his heavyweight title after a cut
stopped the big and tough challenger after six brawling rounds.
An entertaining fight ended on a sour note when the ring doctor ordered the fight stopped after the sixth round of a fight that Klitschko was winning
on all three scorecards.
Klitschko, bleeding badly from a cut over his left eye, jumped off his stool in disbelief, yelling ``No, no, no'' and going across the ring toward
Lewis as if he wanted the fight to continue.
Klitschko hurt Lewis in the early rounds and was more than holding his own in a fight that magnified both the ring rust Lewis had from not fighting
for a year and also being a 37-year-old heavyweight in the ring.
All three ringside judges had Klitschko winning 58-56, but ring doctor Paul Wallace looked at the cut and ordered referee Lou Moret to stop the fight.
The crowd at Staples Center booed wildly, and Klitschko held his arms up in victory and pointed to his heart. It was his heart that had been
questioned when he quit on the stool between rounds against Chris Byrd.
Klitschko went into the fight a 4-1 underdog and wasn't even supposed to be the best fighter in his family. That honor belonged to his brother,
Wladimir, who worked his corner against Lewis.
But the 6-foot-7 Klitschko came out and traded punches from the opening bell, rocking Lewis in the second and third rounds and hitting him with almost
every left jab he threw. Lewis looked tired and old, but did enough to come back and land uppercuts and right hands.
One big right hand appeared to open a cut in the third round that proved to be the undoing of Klitschko.