24.02.07 – By Michael Marley, Boxingconfidential.com: Don King, like many people, has mixed emotions about the solid report by veteran British boxing scribe Joltin’ Jeff Powell (Daily Mail) that former world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis, 41, will climb back into the ring. “I think I react the same as the public will,” King said. “They’ll say that’s nice but what does he need it for? Is he back for one fight or to fight on? I see a lot of mixed emotions in this news report. I do know Jeff Powell is a top-flight journalist over in the UK.”
King and Lewis recently enjoyed leisurely, 20-minute friendly convo at a Miami Hispanic awards show. King said the discussion did not touch on Lewis making a boxing comeback.
“I don’t think Lennox’s return could really come as a surprise,” King said Saturday. “Anyone who has been around boxing for some time cannot be surprised. Lennox and I had a delightful conversation at the awards show, just one on one. He told me he was doing OK, that he was enjoying life and especially being in South Florida. The whole time we did not mention boxing. I think he should enjoy the beaches, lay in the sun. He’s earned that.”
King, of course, had one great night against Lewis in London when DK’s man, Oliver “Atomic Bull” McCall scored a one-punch KO to win the WBC title. On the other hand, such DKP fighters as Tony Tucker and Lionel Butler came in second against LL.
King opined that Lewis’ return, if it happens, should not see him immediately pushed into a world title try.
“Lennox, no doubt, was one of our ring heroes,” King said. “But you can’t have every former champion coming back, champion emeritus and getting title shots right away, And a guy Lennox’s age coming back is not the answer for what ails the heavyweight division, either.”
OK, DK, what is your prescription to bring the big boy division back to health?
“We need young guys, exciting young guys who fight to win, guys in the tradition and the mold of Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Jimmy Young, Larry Holmes and Rocky Marciano. They got to be guys who go out in each and every fight to win that fight. Those are the young type of fighters who can bring the division back. We need them young, especially we need American guys like that.”