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Lewis might fight Vitali Klitschko, then possibly Jones

Associated Press

An injury to Kirk Johnson may end up giving Lennox Lewis one big opponent and another big fight.

Lewis said Saturday night he may replace Johnson with 6-foot-7 Vitali Klitschko on June 21, then possibly fight Roy Jones Jr. late this year.

"I definitely want to fight Vitali Klitschko. I think it would be a great fight for Los Angeles," Lewis said. "If Roy Jones steps up to the plate and he wants to fight Lennox Lewis, we'll have another fight after that."

Klitschko is the No. 1 contender for Lewis' WBC heavyweight title and was scheduled to fight on the undercard of the June 21 fight at Staples Center between Lewis and Johnson. But, with Johnson pulling out with an injury on Friday, Lewis said he may fight Klitschko instead.

Lewis has already agreed to fight Klitschko by the end of the year, but the injury to Johnson could move up the timetable.

"There's definitely a big chance it can happen," Lewis said in Atlantic City, where he was watching the Arturo Gatti-Micky Ward fight.

The promoter for Jones is trying to arrange a heavyweight title bout with Evander Holyfield for Nov. 1 in New York, but said Jones would fight Lewis if that fight can't be negotiated.

Murad Muhammad said Saturday the Holyfield fight is the one Jones wants next but promoter Don King has shown little interest.

Muhammad said if King doesn't come to terms in the next 10 days, Jones would probably seek a fight with Lewis for the November date. A fight with Mike Tyson is also a possibility, but that would be a long shot given Tyson's statements that he needs more tuneup bouts before fighting for a title.

"If we don't get Holyfield, that leaves us no choice but to fight Lewis in November," Muhammad said.

Holyfield said earlier this week that his manager was negotiating for a fight with Jones for the WBA title Jones won from John Ruiz in March. But Muhammad said Holyfield and King have some business difficulties between them, and that King has not returned his calls about a fight.

Jones moved up from light heavyweight to beat Ruiz, then announced he would stay as a heavyweight. But not many in boxing expected him to try and challenge Lewis, who would tower over him and outweigh him by some 50 pounds.

Both a Lewis-Jones or a Jones-Tyson fight would be huge attractions, but Jones would prefer Holyfield first to give him a second shot against a heavyweight before taking on either Lewis or Tyson.

If negotiations are ultimately successful for a Jones-Holyfield fight, Muhammad said it would be at Madison Square Garden.




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