Former WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko has revealed for the first time why a rematch with Lennox Lewis never happed despite the British boxing legend promising otherwise. Klitschko recently spoke to Sirius XM Boxing Radio and explained that although Lewis verbally agreed a rematch, his mother ultimately persuaded him to change his mind.
On June 21, 2003 Lewis retained his WBC and IBO heavyweight crowns when referee Lou Moret stopped the fight in the sixth round after Klitschko sustained one of the worst cuts around the eye ever seen in a boxing ring. Klitschko, who was leading on all three judges cards, was furious at the fight being stopped but it was the right decision and ironically not only saved his career but allowed him to later win the WBC crown and defend it 11 times.
Speaking as a guest on Sirius XM Boxing Radio Lewis said: “Lennox Lewis after the fight promised to give me a rematch. I showed my skills and I beat him but they stopped the fight and I was really upset. Lennox was very happy, but after the fight Lennox told me, ‘Don’t worry, I promise you I give you rematch and we will fight again’ but, we made negotiation and Lennox invite me to his office in London to sign the contract, the fight contract for the next fight,”
“I was surprised Lennox tell me, ‘Please we talk together just you and me, don’t bring the lawyers don’t bring anybody, we talk together. I was really surprised Lennox was not alone, with his mom. We talk about the next fight, I guess two hours and mom doesn’t say one word. They scanned me with the eye, and the mom from Lennox was bigger and wiser…
“I know his mom was always in camp, mom was always by Lennox’s fights. I leave the office, Lennox calls me and told me, ‘Vitali, sorry, I not fight you’, and I understand. His mom don’t like me and says to Lennox, ‘Lennox, better not to fight Klitschko again.’ Yeah I was a little bit upset but anyway thank you for Lennox, he gave me a chance to prove my skills against the best boxer in my career.”