Lewis: Money must be right for Klitschko rematch

Lennox Lewis will accept a rematch with Vitali Klitschko “if the money is right”.

Lennox Lewis will accept a rematch with Vitali Klitschko “if the money is right”.

The 37-year-old beat Klitschko on a technical knockout but the manner of the victory has led to calls for the two fighters to meet again.

The Ukrainian was eliminated in the sixth round after Lewis inflicted a nasty gash on his left eye but he was ahead on points at the time and more than demonstrated his threat to the Londoner.

The duo are not a big draw in the all-important American pay-per-view market where a match-up with former middleweight champion Roy Jones Jr has greater appeal.

However, Lewis did indicate that another meeting with Klitschko could happen.

“If the money is right, show me the money,” he said.

“I am happy to give him a rematch so I can bust up the other side of his face.

“I will have more time to prepare this time and I will definitely come in lighter for the rematch.

“I just wanted to go after him and slug it out and if you look at his face it’s the remnants of me getting in there.”

Lewis, the first Briton in over 100 years to be acclaimed the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, had admitted that one of the signs that he should call it a day would be if he started getting hurt.

“I took some shots but they weren’t really hard,” added Lewis, fighting for the first time since demolishing Mike Tyson.

“I have been off for over a year, but I felt fine. I could have gone the 12 rounds.

“I don’t know how many more fights I will have. I have been in there with all of them and there is nothing left for me to prove.

“I am going to go back and talk to my colleagues and look at the tape and decide from there.”

Lewis’ performance has led to more calls for him to retire at the top but a fight against Jones, the World Boxing Association heavyweight belt holder and widely regarded as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world, would guarantee another bumper pay-day even though the American would be giving away several inches and stone to Lewis.

Then there is Chris Byrd, the only other man to beat Klitschko, who interrupted the post-fight press conference to challenge Lewis to fight him having earlier said it was time for him to quit.

“Lennox keeps on saying he is the lion and is the king of the jungle,” Byrd told the Press Association.

“But if he carries on he is just going to become part of the food chain.

“He was a great champion but his time is up. He was an embarrassment out there in that ring. If he does fight again he should fight George Foreman because they look as old as each other.”

Former world champion Foreman had said earlier in the week that he would return at the age of 55 if Lewis was beaten by Klitschko.

Lewis – who will be 38 when he steps into the ring again – insisted in the immediate aftermath that he would discuss retirement plans with his advisers, and there are many neutrals who believe he should quit now, but his trainer Emanuel Steward admitted his fighter may not want to hang up his gloves just yet.

“Lennox will not want to go out like that,” said Steward, who revealed beforehand that he wanted Lewis to quit after one or two more fights rather than risk his status alongside Muhammad Ali and Joe Louis as one of the greatest boxers of all-time.

“It was not a polished victory. He did get hurt and I don’t know yet if he is going to fight again, but I think he will fight Vitali again and that will be his final fight. But whatever his decision is it will be fine with me.”

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