Vitali Klitschko Speaks On Gomez, Valuev, Haye, Holyfield, Chagaev And..........Lewis!
14.01.09 - by James Slater - WBC heavyweight king Vitali Klitschko has revealed that Juan Carlos Gomez, who he fights next, was not his preferred choice of next opponent - far from it. But, in wanting very much to keep the world title he regained back in October with a easier than expected win over a disappointing Sam Peter, "Dr Iron Fist" met the obligation set by the organisation of which he is the world ruler. So, on March 21st, in Germany, the 37-year-old meets his mandatory contender from Cuba, as we know.
Article posted on 14.01.2009
In a recent interview with Today, Klitschko spoke of who else was discussed as his possible next foe, and who he hopes will still be in line for future fights with him. Once again bringing up Lennox Lewis' name, Vitali, apparently, remains in hope for a second fight with the fighter he seems unable to go a day without mentioning as of late..
"There were negotiations (for who would be his next opponent) with [Nikolay] Valuev, [Lennox] Lewis and [Ruslan] Chagaev," Vitlai said. "But, as you know, the WBC leadership has not allowed me free protection of the title and to choose an opponent I want. So I will meet the official challenger for the title - the Cuban [Juan Carlos] Gomez.
"Valuev will only be interesting to us if he retains the WBA belt. [Evander] Holyfield has always been my idol but I do not box against my idol."
Then, when he had finished speaking about the currently active fighters he has or has not got on his radar, Vitali once again spoke about the man he lost to on horrific cuts back in 2003 - Lennox Lewis. Though fight fans have likely grown tired about any talk of a possible comeback by the 43-year-old great, Klitschko has not. Vitali insists talks have already taken place about such a rematch.
"As for Lewis, you know, as usually happens, there is bargaining," Klitschko continued. "One side, in this case Lewis, asks for the maximum amount. We referred to the minimum. Ideally, we'd find an compromise somewhere in the middle. It's already well known that Lennox began bargaining and was considering returning to the ring. With regard to the budget of a possible revenge match, the negotiations with TV must be determined to potentially serve as the main source of funding for the event."
So there it is, Vitali still believes in his mind as though a second fight with Lewis remains a possibility. Is Klitschko deluded, or has Lewis quietly been negotiating for a rematch after all? Time will tell.
Vitali, of course, had to mention the name of one other very prominent heavyweight - that of David Haye. In the interview, the 37-year-old confessed that he and brother Wladimir "nearly quarrelled" when it came to which one of them would fight the vocal challenger; so badly do they both want to silence him in the ring. Vitali said it looks as though his younger brother will get the bout.
"Haye is not just some upstart," Vitali said. "He was an undisputed world champion and his name in boxing carries weight. He is a serious opponent. I think he will fight Wladimir this summer in London."
Wladimir Vs. Haye is a fight we all want to see. As for Vitali, assuming he gets past Gomez in March (and then maybe Oleg Maskaev in another WBC mandatory), "Dr. Iron Fist" might, just might, face Lewis in a return after all!
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