posted on Aug, 4 2003 @ 01:57 PM
Associated Press - August 4, 2003
BERLIN (AP) - Vitali Klitschko reacted angrily Monday to Lennox Lewis' lawyer telling his camp the discussed fight between the two heavyweights won't
take place this year after all.
The two sides were in negotiations over Lewis taking on the Ukrainian again for his WBA title on Dec. 6, possibly in Madison Square Garden. It would
be a rematch of the British champion's disputed June 21 win in Los Angeles.
Lewis retained his title in the sixth round when the fight was stopped because of bloody cuts around the left eye of Klitschko, who protested
vehemently he could keep fighting. He led 58-56 on all three scorecards at the time.
``I'm surprised. After all, he demanded an examination from a specialist that my cut has healed. Apparently he's got more respect for me than he
indicated,'' Klitschko said. ``I'm ready and I think it is very sad.''
Klitschko promoter Klaus-Peter Kohl said the lawyer told him Lewis - universally accepted as the world heavyweight champion - wouldn't have enough
time to train for a December fight.
``It's too bad,'' Kohl said. ``Maybe we'll have Vitali fight in-between before it comes to a showdown with Lewis next year.''
Klitschko's eye looked gory with five cuts during the fight at Los Angeles' Staples Center, but in recent appearances in Germany the injuries are
He was cleared to fight by German eye specialist Dr. Volker Steinkraus on June 23, belying post-fight assumptions the Ukrainian could need six months
The 32-year-old Klitschko, once the world military champion, spent months trying to get Lewis in the ring, then delivered an unexpectedly good
performance against the out-of-shape champion at the Staples Center.
The bout created an unexpected stir, with higher than expected television ratings in the United States, along with a huge audience share in places
like Germany, where Klitschko has fought for years.
The 37-year-old Lewis, despite the calls for a rematch, has also talked about retiring or fighting Roy Jones.