Two weeks ago, Lennox Lewis said he had his boxing future figured out, beginning with a spring fight against Vitali Klitschko. Now the heavyweight champion appears to be having second thoughts.
Lewis said yesterday that he has yet to sign to fight Klitschko, and he plans to wait until after the John Ruiz-Roy Jones Jr. fight on March 1 before deciding whom to fight next.
"I'm going to wait and see who shines," Lewis said.
Lewis, who hasn't fought since stopping Mike Tyson on June 8, said Dec. 1 he was planning to fight Klitschko in March, followed by a rematch with Tyson and then a bout against Klitschko's brother, Wladimir.
But yesterday, flanked by promoter Don King, he dismissed Vitali Klitschko's talents and said he may look elsewhere for his next fight.
"Vitali Klitschko at this time doesn't deserve a chance to fight me," Lewis said. "Who has he fought? He's another Michael Grant."
Lewis was in Atlantic City to do some television commentary for the Evander Holyfield-Chris Byrd fight promoted by King. The two met late last night for the IBF version of the heavyweight title that Lewis gave up to King for $1 million and a Range Rover.
King is billing the Holyfield-Byrd fight and the Jones-Ruiz fight as a heavyweight tournament of sorts, and desperately wants to get Lewis involved. The WBC champion has said before he would not fight for King, but their appearance together yesterday and the apparent change of plans indicated King was still applying the pressure.
"I'm not committed to fighting anybody," Lewis said. "If somebody really shines out of the tournament, maybe, but I have to really see what is going on."
HBO executive Kery Davis said negotiations were still under way for a possible fight with Vitali Klitschko, which the network had hoped to show in April. Lewis is under contract to fight on HBO.
"It's an ongoing process," Davis said. "I'm hoping there's still a deal out there that could be made."
Klitschko is the No. 1 contender for the WBC title, the only belt Lewis still holds.
Calzaghe Retains Title
Joe Calzaghe stopped American Tocker Pudwill 30 seconds into the second round yesterday to retain his World Boxing Organization super middleweight title in Newcastle, England.
The Welshman improved his record to 35-0 with 28 knockouts in defending his title for the 12th time in just over five years. Pudwill dropped to 39-5.
Calzaghe knocked down Pudwill twice in the first round and knocked him down again 30 seconds into the second. The referee then stepped in and stopped the fight.
"It was another statement tonight -- bring on the big guys," Calzaghe said.
He hopes to fight American middleweight Bernard Hopkins, who would have to move up a weight class to face Calzaghe.
On the undercard, Britain's Ricky Hatton knocked out American Joe Hutchinson in the fourth round of their WBU light welterweight fight.