WBC orders Lewis-Klitschko to negotiate

28.01.04 - From WBC President Jose Sulaiman: In following its Rules and Regulations, the World Boxing Council has ruled that heavyweight world champion Lennox Lewis, of England, must make a mandatory defense against the No. 1-ranked official challenger Vitali Klitschko, of Ukraine-Germany, with the 30-day period for free negotiations to start on February 1. If they do not agree on the terms, a purse offer will be held on March 15.

If the official challenger declines to participate in this bout, the rules call for his substitution with the next highest available challenger. If the champion declines, the title shall be declared vacant. The deadline for both of these decisions is March 1. Obviously, there cannot be a purse offer if one or both of the fighters do not participate.

Lennox Lewis first won the WBC world title with a win over Razor Ruddock on October 31, 1992. He has been the dominant heavyweight champion for over a decade, and one of the very best heavyweight champions in the history of boxing.

Lennox Lewis has defeated the best heavyweights of his time and has nothing left to prove. He has written his boxing record, along with his splendid career, in golden letters.

However, rules and regulations are written to be respected and there are several other new heavyweights who are trying hard for a shot that they deserve at the green championship belt. Life and heart must keep going on, and we expect the great Lennox Lewis to take a stand by defending his title, or moving on for the new generations to take over.

WBC 2003 Annual Awards...

Roy Jones Jr. of the United States and Oscar Larios of Mexico tied the voting to elect the WBC Boxer of the Year 2003 Award.

The fight between world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis of England and his WBC official challenger Vitali Klitschko of Ukraine-Germany was elected as the Fight of the Year 2003. It took place on June 21 in Los Angeles, California.

The bout for the vacant featherweight title between Injin Chi of Korea and Michael Brodie of England, which ended in a draw, was elected by majority voting as the Most Dramatic Fight of the Year.

Jorge Arce of Mexico was elected as Exemplary Boxer of the Year 2003.

The WBC will hold a special ceremony to present these awards to the winners, all of whom confirmed the greatness of professional boxing with their extraordinary and courageous feats.

162 countries are affiliated with The World Boxing Council. They are represented by nine continental federations, which have 35 votes on the WBC Board of Governors. The votes were as follows:

Boxer of the Year: Roy Jones Jr., USA, 12 votes; Floyd Mayweather, USA, 6 votes; Oscar Larios, Mexico, 12 votes; Shane Mosley, USA, 1 vote; Erik Morales, Mexico, 4 votes.

Fight of the Year: Lewis-Klitschko 21; Mosley-De la Hoya 10; Mayorga-Forrest 4.

Most Dramatic Fight of the Year: Chi-Brodie 26; Jones-Tarver 6; Green-Lucas 3.

Exemplary Boxer of the Year: Jorge Arce, Mexico, 22 votes; Veeraphol Nakhonluang, Thailand, 13.

Article posted on 28.01.2004

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