Former undisputed heavyweight champion, Lennox Lewis, has warned Wladimir Klitschko that the ‘clock is ticking’ on him achieving his ambition of bringing the WBC heavyweight title back into the Klitschko family fold.
WBA/WBO/IBF champion, Klitschko, defends his titles against British challenger, Tyson Fury on Saturday night, and should he come through that fight, will eventually be seeking to win the green belt once owned by retired older brother, Vitali, an ambition Lewis says is of crucial importance to his overall legacy.
“No matter what Wladimir has to arrange, he still has to get this one [WBC] belt,” Lewis told Die Welt. “If he does, he should say goodbye to boxing. It would be the perfect end to a glittering career.”
The WBC title is currently held by oft-maligned American, Deontay Wilder, who will make another voluntary defense in January before meeting mandatory challenger, Alexander Povetkin, sometime around May 2016.
However, with Klitschko now 39 years old and 11 1/2 years undefeated as a professional, Lewis has issued a word of caution regarding just how much time the Ukrainian has left at the very top in order to capture that WBC trinket – despite his signing a recent 5 fight deal with RTL – warning that the body eventually betrays everyone.
“He will reach the point where he can no longer punish himself in training like a 20 or 30-year-old,” Lewis said.
“You reach the stage when you can’t just jump out bed and flog yourself. Also the risk of injury increases. The biological clock is ticking and it happens to be the toughest rival.”
Speaking about Saturday’s fight with Fury, Lewis sees a big Klitschko right hand ending matters at some stage, provided the champion stays patient.
“He must have patience,” said Lewis. “At some point, the moment will arise where you can use the big right.”
Klitschko/Fury is on HBO (US) & Sky Sports Box Office (UK).