Lennox Lewis has been a busy man while visiting the UK this past week to pick up an award. Lewis has been giving a spate of interviews to the British tabloids, and as usual has made a few eyebrow-raising comments.
In his latest talk with The Mirror, Lewis has now revealed that he offered to train David Haye to take on world champion Wladimir Klitschko last year, only to be rebuffed by Haye’s trainer, Adam Booth.
“In the other corner you had Manny Steward, the best trainer in the world, the man who schooled me,” a put-out Lewis says.
“I did offer my help to Haye’s trainer, Adam Booth, but he refused it. And yet he was pitting his wits against the man who trained me and made me what I am.”
Such remarks only give more credence to the idea that Lennox Lewis carries with him an obsession about the Klitschko brothers, an obsession with seeing them beaten. He goes on in the interview to take a shot at the champion brothers and their famous refusal to fight each other because of a promise they made to their mother.
“Heavyweight boxing must be at a low ebb when there are two brothers who can’t be sure who is the best heavyweight fighter in their own family, let alone the baddest man on the planet,” Lewis says.
“People keep asking me if I’m coming back because there’s only one fight out there the Klitschkos can sell. But unfortunately for them, it’s against a 46-year-old who retired eight years ago and the answer is no, I’m not making a comeback.”
Maybe Lewis himself isn’t planning on coming back (though he said last year that he had been training again with that goal in mind), but he says he’d still like to fight Vitali Klitschko again by proxy: through one David Haye.
“If [Haye] comes back, he needs to beat up a couple of guys first to build up his confidence. If he jumps straight back in against Vitali, he would be wasting his time,” Lewis opines.
“But if it happens… sure, I’ll train him. You can teach an old dog new tricks. But he will need to be prepared to get hurt.
“Haye needs to use his speed and his mobility, but above all he needs to be in that danger zone – within range. Speed is no good if you only use it to run around the ring, staying out of trouble,” says Lewis.
One thing seems certain: Lennox Lewis is going to continue to dog the Klitschko brothers for as long as they are champions. Lewis seems unwilling—or even unable—to rest on his laurels and let the brothers have their day the way he had his.
Has there ever been a retired ex-champion so actively involved in trying to defeat and dethrone the current champion(s)?
Is it because Lennox regrets leaving some unfinished business with Vitali (partly because of a promise Lewis made to *his* mother)?
Or does he just resent the brothers because they took over what used to belong to him?
Only Lennox Lewis knows for sure.