Boxing: Klitschko camp rubbish reports of Lewis bout

BERLIN (AFP) - The management of world heavyweight champions Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko on Wednesday dismissed reports of a possible bout against Britain's 48-year-old former champion Lennox Lewis.

"That's absurd, it's garbage. We don't give something like that any thought," the Klitschkos' manager Bernd Boente told SID, an AFP subsidiary.

British newspaper the Daily Mail reported that Lewis, who retired in 2003, is prepared to climb back into the ring to face either Klitschko brother for US$100 million (S$125 million).

Lewis is reported to have told Russian promoters he is prepared to come back to fight either Klitschko for the biggest purse in boxing history.

"I said at the time that it will take US$50 million to get me out of my pyjamas but now I have to consider the value of my legacy of having retired as undisputed champion. That will cost them US$100 million," Lewis told the Daily Mail.

Having been ringside for 37-year-old Wladimir's unanimous points win over Alexander Povetkin last Saturday when the Ukrainian defended his IBF, WBO, IBO and WBA titles in Moscow, Lewis last fought a decade ago.

Russian businessman Andrey Ryabinsky won the right to stage the Moscow bout with a purse of US$23.2 million, but Boente said Lewis' interest in returning to the ring is nothing new - despite the staggering sum.

"That isn't the first time that he (Lewis) has offered to fight for a sum like that," said Boente.

"He nearly always says that when he is in Germany as a guest at a Klitschko fight.

"I saw him in the Moscow in the ring, he is not fit any more and has a belly.

"And at 48, he isn't the youngest any more."

Vitali, 42, last fought in September 2012 when he defended his WBC heavyweight title against Germany's Manuel Charr and "Dr Ironfist" suffered his last defeat against Lewis in 2003.

Alongside Lewis, Muhammad Ali and Evander Holyfield, the elder Klitschko is one of only four boxers to have held a world heavyweight title at least three times.

Lewis' last fight was against Vitali in June 2003 when he secured a sixth-round technical knockout after his opponent suffered a bad cut.

While the Briton has produced the price tag of US$100 million, any promoter would need to offer the champion more.

"Klitschko would of course have to earn more and who wants to pay that?" added Boente.