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Fri Apr 25 09:08:57 SAST 2014

Lewis warns Haye over Klitschko return

Sapa-AFP | 08 February, 2012 06:570 Comments
Former heavyweight champion of the world, Lennox Lewis, steps in between David Haye and Audley Harrison as they go face to face during the official weigh-in at The Lowry Theatre on November 12, 2010 in Manchester, England
Image by: Alex Livesey / Getty Images

Lennox Lewis has warned David Haye against returning to the ring with a fight against either of the Klitschko brothers.

Haye lost his WBA heavyweight title to WBO and IBF champion Wladimir Klitschko last year with a lacklustre points defeat which he partly blamed on a broken little toe.

  The Londoner retired after the defeat but has since vowed to return — but only to fight Wladimir or his brother Vitali, who holds the WBC belt.

  But Lewis, Britain’s previous world heavyweight champion, said Haye ought to have two warm-up fights first.

  “David should come out of retirement,” said Lewis, speaking at the Laureus Awards in London on Monday.

  “He should come back, but he should not think about the Klitschkos right now.

  “He should beat a couple of other people, so people actually think: ’yeah, you know, he can do it this time, he can beat a Klitschko’.

  “There is a lot of money for him on the table and that is important for any fighter. All he has to do it is jump in there against one of the Klitschkos and take it, but he should have a couple of different fights first.

  “If he beat a couple of other fighters first, he could build himself back up.”  Haye is being made for a fight against the 40-year-old Vitali, who instead is taking on unheralded Londoner Dereck Chisora, 28.

  Lewis, the last man to beat Vitali nine years ago, said Chisora could stage a shock when he fights the Ukrainian in Munich on February 18 even though the challenge has lost his last two fights.

  “Vitali is very good but Chisora has a chance,” said Lewis. “He is a heavyweight. All it takes is one punch on the chin to win.

  “I always say if you walk into the ring, you have to get wet. If he (Klitschko) is in the fight, in the ring, and he gets punched, there is a chance that he might get hurt or knocked out. It will be an interesting fight.” 

Haye has accused the Klitschkos of making the heavyweight division boring and Lewis said: “You could say the division is in a poor state now,”  “We are waiting for that new eruption of a great super star out there to really take up the pace of boxing and put it right back up there.” 

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