It’s one of the biggest world heavyweight title fight rematches that never happened; that should have happened. To this day, plenty of fight fans criticize Lennox Lewis for not going ahead with his “promised” return fight with Vitali Klitschko.
As fans know, Lewis, taking Vitali on at short notice in June of 2003, had a real war on his hands, the fight proving tough for both men. Vitali, ahead on all cards, was stopped after the sixth round due to the quite atrocious facial wounds the defending heavyweight king had inflicted on him.
Lewis supposedly promised Klitschko a return shot right there in the middle of the ring. The rematch never happened and fans have never forgotten it. So who would have won if the two had collided again, in, say, November or December of 2003?
It’s down to speculation and nothing more, but Lewis himself has been asked this question a bunch of times. And the all-time great recently gave his take on what he believes would have happened in a sequel with “Dr. Iron Fist.”
“Vitali was the smartest of my opponents,” Lewis said via social media. “He used his clumsiness with great effect. They said I had to fight him again, but for me, this fight was like a chocolate coating on a cake dedicated to my retirement.
I accepted the fight with him on short notice. I was ready mentally. But I wasn’t in the best physical shape. I beat him up in my worst shape, so there was no need for the rematch. My uppercuts became his problem. [I’m] pretty sure it would have been that Lewis chap [who would have won a rematch].”
The fight, Vitali’s defining fight, was a great battle, with a ton of fierce trading, plenty of blood and guts, and of course, the controversial/unsatisfactory ending. Was Lennox smart to retire the way he did – at 41-2-1(32) – or should he have pushed his 38-year-old body through one more grueling training camp and taken the return? Vitali, who was 31 years old at the time of the epic fight, has never stopped wondering.
What do you guys think? Who would have won the return between these two giants?