By Johnny Walker
So let me get this straight: former heavyweight kingpin Lennox Lewis is admonishing former WBA champ David Haye to come out of retirement and fight one or both of the current heavyweight champions, the Klitschko brothers?
“David should come out of retirement,” Lewis said at an Awards show in London yesterday.
“He should come back, but he should not think about the Klitschkos right now. He should beat a couple of other people, so people actually think: ‘yeah, you know, he can do it this time, he can beat a Klitschko’.
“There is a lot of money for him on the table and that is important for any fighter,” said Lewis.
“All [Haye] has to do it is jump in there against one of the Klitschkos and take it, but he should have a couple of different fights first. If he beat a couple of other fighters first, he could build himself back up.”
OK, let’s stop right there.
Wait a minute, Lennox: aren’t you the guy who, after getting a huge scare against Vitali Klitschko back in your 2003 clash, decided to quit the fight game altogether rather than face the Ukrainian giant again?
And this was after you had just told the press you would fight for many years yet, that you were “like a fine wine, getting better with age.”
You also promised Vitali a rematch immediately after the fight—a fight that Vitali was leading on all the judges’ scorecards when it was stopped due to a cut.
And then you held up the WBC title for a year while you sweated over what to do, finally nixing a career high payday rematch with Vitali because your mother, Violet, thought Klitschko was too much of a threat.
You had all the time in the world to get in shape and show the planet who the real heavyweight kingpin was by defeating Vitali in a rematch, instead of letting HBO announcer Jim Lampley’s assessment of the first fight—“Lennox won the fight, but Vitali won the event”—stand as the final word on the two of you.
As for you supposedly being “old” when you fought Klitschko, that is hardly an excuse, given that you were at the time a couple of years younger than Vitali, who is still dominant, is now.
You walked out of the last fight in your brilliant career being lustily booed by the crowd at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, a crowd that Vitali’s performance had won over. That has to hurt, even now.
So if anyone was going to come out of retirement to try and beat a Klitschko, it should have been Lennox Lewis – and in fact Lewis has gone into training for a comeback more than once, only to be talked out of it.
Lennox Lewis was a great heavyweight champion, one of the few fighters, in my opinion, in heavyweight history who could take on the Klitschko brothers on an even footing. But there is a reason that HBO fired Lewis as a fight commentator.
Quite frankly, Lennox Lewis is not the brightest bulb on the Xmas tree, and is subject to extreme brain farts when he tries to wax analytical.
Instead of telling David Haye what he should be doing in regards to the Klitschko brothers, Lennox, why not get in the gym in and adhere to the DIY principle: do it yourself.
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