Vitali Klitschko hopes for re-bout with Lennox Lewis

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> WBC heavyweight World Champion, Vitaly Klitschko says he's hoping to entice former champion Lennox Lewis out of retirement for a re-match.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:07 IST
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WBC heavyweight World Champion, Vitaly Klitschko says he's hoping to entice former champion Lennox Lewis out of retirement for a re-match of their world championship fight in June 2003 which was stopped in the sixth round after Klitschko had suffered a cut eye. Klitschko won the vacant WBC crown after knocking out South African Corrie Sanders in the eighth round of a bruising battle. Klitschko will make the first defence of his belt in September and is close to naming an opponent. Ukrainian hero After eighty years as part of the Soviet empire, Ukraine had been yearning for a hero they could call their own. That wait is finally over and recently at the presidential palace in Kiev, WBC heavyweight champion Vitaly Klitschko was awarded the Order of Courage by President Leonid Kuchma. After knocking out Corrie Sanders for the vacant WBC title in April, Klitschko had followed in the footsteps of boxing legends Muhammad Ali and Joe Louis. The famous green belt was in the hands of an Ukranian. Klitschko was accompanied by his younger brother Vladimir, also a boxer, who was defeated in his bid to win the minor WBO title. Now Vitaly is keen to keep his career on track. September bout "I plan the next match in September, after the Olympic Games in Athens. I think very soon I will be ready to name the opponent, time and place. I am hundred percent certain it will be very well know name and the match will attract lots of attention," Vitaly Klitschko said. The Klitschko brothers still have a dream of being world champions at the same time, but acknowledged Vladimir's recent loss was a setback. They recently terminated their contract with manager and promoter Klaus-Peter Kohl. Kohl is set to take the Klitschko brothers to court to resolve the dispute. He's desperate to hang on to two of the most marketable boxers in the sport. But he'll never get them in the ring together. The brothers have steadfastly refused to fight each other, saying it would upset their mother. "Our contract with Klaus-Peter Kohl expired on the 30th of April. Of course the promoter wants the contract to be extended. I can understand him from a business point of view, but from the human side it's unacceptable. This is why only the court will clear up the situation," Vladimir Klitschko said. Unfinished business Whoever the next promoter might be, his job will be to get Lennox Lewis back in the ring to fight Vitaly. The Ukranian believes he has unfinished business with the former Champion. Their fight was controversially stopped in the sixth when Vitaly suffered a cut eye. Lewis had taken some big punches and the judges had him losing on all three scorecards. "Yes, Lennox Lewis is considered to be retired at the moment. But he left with a promise to come back and fight the revenge match. So I really hope Lewis will probably be my opponent this autumn. It's too early to talk about it. All I can say we are in the process of negotiations," said Vitaly Klitschko. Vitaly is getting ready for a possible showdown with Lewis in September. The question remains whether the 38-year-old Lewis still has the appetite for another war in the ring. (AP)