By Johnny Walker
In a new interview with Sky Sports, former world heavyweight boxing champion Lennox Lewis praises current WBC champion Vitali Klitschko, the man he defeated on a cuts stoppage in 2003 before retiring, as the world’s best heavyweight.
“Vitali Klitschko is the best heavyweight out there right now,” Lewis said. “He’s a lot taller than his brother, a lot more awkward than his brother.”
Lewis also clarified his recent remarks about David Haye coming out of retirement to face Vitali, saying that he didn’t like Haye’s chances against Klitschko without at least a couple of wins over some ranked contenders first.
“To come right out of retirement and face [Vitali], I think it’s the wrong move for him,” Lewis said of Haye.
“To box a Klitschko, lose to a Klitschko, retire, and then come out retirement and say ‘I want to box a Klitschko again,’ nobody wants to see that.”
Lewis also downplayed the chances of his countryman Dereck “Del Boy” Chisora, who squares off with Vitali Klitschko on February 18 in Munich.
“I think it’s too much, too soon,” Lewis opined of Chisora.
“I think there’s nobody around right now that’s gonna give the Klitchkos any problems. But, Dereck, you know, he’s got a puncher’s chance. That means if he is able to get through with a punch, he may see a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Lewis, however, also praised the iron chin of the elder Klitschko, mentioning the uppercuts he strafed Vitali with in the final round of their 2003 encounter.
“He wavered a little bit, and he held me after I hit him with those uppercuts … but he absorbed them well, “ laughed Lewis.