Boxing


Lennox Lewis Says He’d Offer To Train David Haye If He Came Back

By James Slater - Retired heavyweight great Lennox Lewis has been granting a lot of interviews just lately, and in a talk with British tabloid The Mirror, the 46-year-old legend had quite a few interesting things to say: about the Klitschkos, David Haye and the overall state of the weight class he once dominated.

Like may people, Lewis is somewhat bored with the current heavyweight division; as dominated as it is by the classy, competent, yet, in the opinion of some people, boring and safety-first siblings from Ukraine. Lewis, the only man to have been able to rumble with rock-chinned, hammer-fisted Vitali, says people still ask him to make a comeback so as to give the division an exciting fight.

“Heavyweight boxing must be at a low ebb when there are two brothers who can’t be sure who is the best heavyweight fighter in their own family, let alone the baddest man on the planet,” Lewis told The Mirror. “People keep asking me if I’m coming back because there’s only one fight out there the Klitschkos can sell. But unfortunately for them, it’s against a 46-year-old who retired eight years ago and the answer is no, I’m not making a comeback.

“But where are all the big guys? There are none- we are waiting for the next volcano to erupt, and I’m bored of waiting.”

Ever since he opted to call time on his great career shortly after stopping “Dr. Iron Fist” on cuts in that savage fight in 2003, fans have wondered whether or not Lewis would return to the ring “for one more.” The promoters have also tried tempting Lewis back, reportedly offering him a pot full of cash - which the former undisputed king turned down. Even now, though, fans continue to bug the two-time Olympian to come back. Lewis clearly isn’t interested. But one thing he is interested in, and what would be a big deal if it happened, is in training David Haye.

“I did offer to help Haye’s trainer, Adam Booth, but he refused it,” Lewis explained. “And yet he was pitting his wits against the man who made me what I am (Emanuel Steward). Now Haye’s talking about fighting Vitali, but what is he going to do any differently against the better Klitschko? If he jumps straight back in against Vitali, he would be wasting his time. He needs to beat a couple of guys first to build his confidence. But if it happens….. sure, I’ll train him. You can teach an old dog new tricks. But he will need to prepare to get hurt.”

Lewis went on to explain that “the fighter within” is what counts, and that he fought through a number of painful injuries, whereas Haye famously blamed (at least in large part) an injured toe on his poor showing against Wladimir. It would be a big news story indeed if Haye were to agree to be trained, or co-trained by Lennox, but I can’t see it happening. Adam Booth said no before, chances are he would do so again. But at least if Lewis did come on board he would perhaps add some new element to Team-Haye; perhaps improving his chances against a Klitschko if “The Hayemaker” did fight one of them again.

Lewis seems to have a plan all mapped out for Haye - two good, solid comeback wins over ranked contenders, followed by a crack at Vitali; and Lewis would even oversee the former WBA champ’s preparations. But will Haye pay any attention to the all-time great?

Article posted on 10.02.2012



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