LONDON -- Former world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis
denied a published report that said he'll end his retirement to
fight Vitali Klitschko in November.
The London tabloid the Sunday Mirror quoted Lewis as saying,
"I'm making a comeback later this year. The money is up to 21
million pounds [$39.3 million] right now and I simply can't turn
that much cash down.
"I need the money just like everyone else and it's just too
good to turn down."
Bernd Boente, manager of WBC title-holder Klitschko, told
BBC Radio Five Live: "I have talked to Vitali and he's happy to
But later Sunday, Lewis released a statement saying he was not
making a comeback.
"I want to reiterate what I said when I retired in February
2004 that I was fortunate to leave the sport on my own terms and
that I will be one of the few heavyweight champions in history to
retire on top and stay retired," he said.
Lewis, 39, retired Feb. 6 with a 41-2-1 record. Klitschko
assumed the title April 24 when he beat Corrie Sanders.
Lewis and Klitschko last fought in June 2003. Lewis was behind
on points when the fight was stopped in the sixth round because
Klitschko was cut.
That was Lewis' last fight and he was booed out of the ring
after a poor performance. The WBC mandated a rematch, but Lewis
News of a possible comeback stunned most observers. Lewis has spent much of 2004 in Jamaica with his partner and their first baby, the
But Lewis did hint at a possible wish to return after Briton
Danny Williams' battering at the hands of Klitschko in a world
title bout in Las Vegas last month.
"I wanted to get in the ring and show Danny how to beat
him," Lewis said at the time.
"I've had to listen to a lot of rubbish from Klitschko and
he is starting to get on my nerves."
Information from Reuters and The Associated Press was used in this report.