By Keith Idec
The Lennox Lewis-Vitali Klitschko rematch finally will happen.
Sort of, anyway.
According to multiple published reports Monday, Lewis and Klitschko will meet in an exhibition either September 30 or October 5 as part of the WBC’s annual convention in Kiev, Ukraine. Klitschko is the mayor of Kiev and will serve as a host for the WBC’s convention.
The reports didn’t state the amount of rounds for which the retired heavyweight champions’ exhibition would be scheduled.
England’s Lewis, 52, hasn’t fought since his memorable slugfest against Klitschko in June 2003 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Lewis stopped Klitschko after the sixth round of that back-and-forth heavyweight title fight because of a nasty gash over Klitschko’s left eye.
Ukraine’s Klitschko was ahead by the same score, 58-56, on each of the three judges’ cards when their scheduled 12-round fight for the WBC and IBO titles was stopped.
Lewis and Klitschko discussed an immediate rematch, including a face-to-face meeting in London, and Klitschko expected Lewis to fight him again. Lewis ultimately decided to retire.
Lewis (41-2-1, 32 KOs) was 38 when he announced his retirement in February 2004. Unlike most retired champions, Lewis never seriously came close to returning to the ring.
Klitschko went on to win the WBC title Lewis relinquished when the hard-hitting, 6-feet-7 Klitschko stopped the late Corrie Sanders in the eighth round of their April 2004 bout at Staples Center.
Wladimir Klitschko’s older brother retired twice after facing Lewis. The often-injured ex-champion’s last fight took place almost six years ago.
Klitschko (45-2, 41 KOs), who’ll turn 47 on July 19, hasn’t fought since he beat Manuel Charr by fourth-round technical knockout in September 2012 in Moscow.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.