Lewis in title fight with Ukrainian

LENNOX LEWIS now looks set to defend his WBC heavyweight title against Vitali Klitschko next April in America, according to the Ukrainian’s promoter.

Universum supremo Klaus-Peter Kohl insists a deal has been agreed with Lewis' management for the fight to go ahead on either April 12 or 19, with Las Vegas the probable venue.

"I have always said that the fight will come," said Kohl on his organisation's website, www.boxing.de. "The only thing left open to decide is where the fight will take place. It will either be in Las Vegas or another US city."

It was originally thought that Lewis would take on Klitschko on March 8, but that date now appears to have been scrapped as it is too close to the WBA title showdown between John Ruiz and Roy Jones. The 37-year-old Briton has not fought since beating Mike Tyson in Memphis in June.

Lewis, a three-time world champion, has declared his desire to round off his career by fighting Klitschko, Tyson again and then the Ukrainian's brother Wladimir.

Vitali Klitschko has lost just one of his 32 fights, that coming via an injured shoulder when challenging American Chris Byrd for the WBO title in April 2000. Meanwhile American cable giants Showtime have hinted they will be looking for two of Britain's brightest stars, Ricky Hatton and Joe Calzaghe, to take a step up in class in 2003.

The broadcaster has a deal to show fights promoted by Frank Warren and could play an essential part in boosting the profile of boxers like Hatton and Calzaghe across the Atlantic.

However, they did not screen the recent bill in Newcastle which saw Hatton and Calzaghe comfortably come through defences of their WBU light-welterweight and WBO super-middleweight crowns respectively.

With Hatton now having won all 31 of his bouts and Calzaghe boasting a 35-0 record, the signs are that Showtime would like to see them more severely tested.

"I'm pretty sure that we're all agreed that that's where we have to be with these guys," Showtime supremo Jay Larkin told www.maxboxing.com.

"Hatton, has been, let's say, more carefully brought along and developed in that there are some better matches we can make for Ricky down the road now since the 140-pound division is so deep. But to be fair to Joe, he's had some terrific fights on the books that have fallen apart at the last minute.

"It's almost like he's snakebit and he's had to face replacement guys who have like two, three, four weeks' notice and it seems like it just keeps happening and it's apparently legitimate. I have no reason to think it's not legitimate because all these guys are independent of Frank (Warren), they're coming in from other promoters.

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