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Lennox Lewis should have fought Wladimir Klitschko before retiring

By Eric Thomas: Recently, former world champion Lennox Lewis said he thinks he would beat IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko if they had fought. Lewis points out that Wladimir doesn’t have the best of skills on the inside and that’s where Lewis was especially good with his uppercuts.

However, Lewis had the opportunity to fight Wladimir before retiring and opted not to. That’s on Lewis. He should have fought Wladimir before hanging up the gloves. During the last three years of Lewis’ career he fought guys like David Tua and Hasim Rahman rather than Wladimir.

It seems like Lewis wasted his opportunity by taking on guys that Wladimir would have likely easily beaten. Indeed, Wladimir knocked Rahman out when it was his time to fight him, whereas Lewis was knocked out by Rahman. Although Lewis did stop Rahman in a rematch, he was still beaten by him in April 2001 by a 5th round knockout.

For Lewis to talk now about how he thinks he could beat Wladimir is a little pointless. There’s no way of knowing whether Lewis could or couldn’t beat him and it’s too late to find out. All you can say is that Lewis has the chance of fighting him and opted to retire rather than sticking around to take him on. We did see Lewis fight Wladimir’s brother Vitali Klitschko in 2003, and Lewis struggled badly and won a cut stoppage. The fight didn’t prove anything and it left a lot of questions whether Lewis was the better fighter. Instead of fighting a rematch with Vitali, Lewis chose to retire.

I think Wladimir would have beaten Lewis had they fought before he retired. Wladimir was younger and Lewis had badly slowed down and was mostly effective on the inside. Wladimir would bombed Lewis out with left hooks and right hands from the outside and kept away from his uppercuts. Now it’s too late for Lewis. He’s 45-years-old and if he came back for a fight against Wladimir it would be a mismatch. Lewis would be too old to compete.

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