$100 million mega-fight could be over before it even starts.
The management of world heavyweight champions Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko on Wednesday dismissed reports of a possible future bout against Britain’s 48-year-old ex-champion Lennox Lewis.
“That’s absurd, it’s garbage. We don’t give something like that any thought,” Klitschko’s manager Bernd Boente said.
Reports that Lewis, who retired in 2003, is prepared to climb back into the ring to face either Klitschko brother for US$100 million dollars (74m euros).
Lewis is reported to have told Russian promoters he is prepared to come back to fight either Klitschko for the biggest purse in boxing history.
“I said at the time that it will take US$50million to get me out of my pyjamas but now I have to consider the value of my legacy of having retired as undisputed champion. That will cost them $100million,” Lewis said.
Having been ringside for 37-year-old Wladimir Klitschko’s unanimous points win over Alexander Povetkin last Saturday when the Ukrainian defended his IBF, WBO, IBO and WBA titles in Moscow, Lewis last fought a decade ago.
Russian businessman Andrey Ryabinsky won the right to stage the Moscow bout with a purse of US$23.2 million euros, but Boente said Lewis’ interest in returning to the ring is nothing new — despite the staggering sum.
“That isn’t the first time that he (Lewis) has offered to fight for a sum like that,” said Boente.
“He nearly always says that when he is in Germany as a guest at a Klitschko fight.
“I saw him in the Moscow in the ring, he is not fit anymore and has a belly.
“And at 48, he isn’t the youngest any more.”
Witali, 42, last fought in September 2012 when he defended his WBC heavyweight title against Germany’s Manuel Charr and ‘Dr Ironfist’ suffered his last defeat against Lewis in 2003.
Alongside Lewis, Muhammad Ali and Evander Holyfield, the elder Klitschko is one of only four boxers to have held a world heavyweight title at least three times.
Lewis’ last fight was against Witali Klitschko in June 2003 when he secured a sixth-round technical knock-out after Klitschko suffered a bad cut.
While Lewis has produced the price tag of US$100 million, any promoter would need to offer the champion more.
“Klitschko would of course have to earn more and who wants to pay that?” added Boente.