Danny Williams Conference Call Transcripts


Danny Williams Conference Call Transcripts

With A Special Appearance By Former Heavyweight Champion Lennox Lewis

Williams:  I said weeks ago that I had surpassed the fitness I was for the title fight.  I am in tremendous shape.  This has always been a dream of mine to become World Heavyweight Champion and this is a real opportunity to make that dream come true. 
Begin Press Questions:

Question: Danny, what is the key to you beating Vitali Klitschko on Saturday night?

Williams:  The key is hunger and desire. I have tremendous hunger. I am a warrior. You saw that in the Tyson fight. I showed a tremendous chin. These are the things that it will take to beat Klitschko. I will have be at my best and I will have to be a warrior.

Question: You have said how your father basically forced you to start boxing when you were a young kid and that is how you became a professional fighter.  Can you recall what it was like when you first went to the gym and what it was like when you got into your first sparring session with somebody else? 

Williams:  My dad forced me into the sport when I was five or six.  He used to train me. When I was eight, he sent me to a boxing gym.  I remember when I was sparring, my trainers thought I had great ability, but I just did not want to be there.  Many times my dad would send me to the gym and I would sneak off and go play pool or table tennis elsewhere and pour water on my clothes to make it look like I was training. I just was not interested. After many years, I grew to love it and here I am today. 

Question: How old were you when you finally began to love it?

Williams:  I was probably about 13 or 14. Gradually, I started to like it. 

Question: How much inspiration have you taken from Lennox Lewis, particularly in the way he cut through all the politics to make his mark in a world which was so dominated by Americans until that point?

Williams:  I give Lewis big respect in the way he was able to unify the titles without joining teams. 

Question: When you were going through all your well documented days of self-doubt, presumably there were times where you feared you would never be able to be involved in that sort of company. Is that true?

Williams:  No, my problem was never the self doubt.  My problem was that I wanted it too much and I burned up too much energy thinking about the fights.  I always believed I was going to get here and praise be to God I am here.

Question: Now that we are so close to the fight, does the size of the occasion get to you at all?  Is it overwhelming or has it just increased your appetite for it?

Williams:  To be honest, I realize this is part of the job, so it has got to be done.  But as far as this putting any pressure on me, I just take it in my stride.  What will be, will be.

Question: Were you 14 years old before you were actually good at it, or was it 14 before you actually liked boxing?

Williams:  I was 14 when I actually liked it.  When I started, my trainers would say that I had natural ability and I was a born fighter.  When I used to spar with people who had been there for years, I used to take them out.  But it was just something that I did not want to do; I would rather be playing with my mates on the street. I did not want to be getting hit in my head and things like that.   

Question: Why did your father feel it was important to get you into boxing so young?

Williams:  From when I was born, he said he had the dream that I was going to become world champion. My dad is very slim; he assumed I would be a middleweight. By the time I was eight, I passed that weight. So when I was about 13 or 14, he knew I was going to be heavyweight champion.

Question: When John Ruiz won the title from Holyfield in 2001, there was a lot of talk that you were going to be his first opponent for a title defense.  Are you kind of glad that that never happened now given the fact that looking at where you were in your career then, you may not have been as ready as you are now?

Williams:  A 100 percent right. I was not ready mentally. I was ready physically, but not mentally. The occasion and all this would have got to me and I would have lost the fight before I got into the ring. Also, I was down to fight Mike Tyson a few years ago. So certainly it worked to my favor because mentally I was not ready for those types of fights.  I am ready now. 

Question: Are there any concerns in your mind should the fight go the distance and the outcome be left in the hands of the judges?

Williams:  I believe we will get a fair crack of the whip in Vegas.  So I am not really worried about that.  My trainer has got me in tremendous shape and we have been training for this fight for 10 weeks.  It is highly unlikely it will go to the points (the distance). 

Question: Vitali has talked about how political turmoil in Ukraine may be affecting him.  Do you think that is a ready-made excuse?

Williams:  To be honest, I do not know.  I was really shocked that he would come out with those statements, but I really do not know. 

Question: You were talking about how in the past you might have burned up all your nervous energy before you even got to the ring and that was sort of your big problem rather than self doubt.  What will stop you doing that this time? 

Williams:  My attitude is what will be, will be and I will just put my trust in God.  Whatever is going to happen will happen.  I want to have that attitude when I come into the ring and relax. That is when you get the best of Danny Williams.  I will just come into the ring relaxed and calm and I do not believe anyone can beat me when I am like that.

Question: In your training for the fight against Tyson, you used guys more or less the same size as Tyson in training. How do you train for a guy like Klitschko who is over 6-foot-7 and how are you training specifically preparing for him?

Williams:  We are using great sparring partners.  One is 6-foot-7 and the other one is 6-foot-6.  So we are using very tall sparring partners.  We do not only spar, we do technique where we work on set moves to prepare for Vitali’s style and his head movement. 

Question: Has Lennox Lewis specifically spoken to you about ways to beat Vitali and has he given you any insight?

Williams:  Lennox Lewis has not actually spoken to me personally, but he has spoken on my web site, www.dannywilliams.tv. He said there are three ways I can beat Vitali Klitschko.  One is to go to his body, second is to open up his cuts and the third is to outbox him.  So he has given me some good advice.

Question: Do you feel he is supportive of you because you are both British? 

Williams:  Yes, I do believe so.  I am very thankful for all his advice.

Question: What is your father’s name?

Williams:  Augustus Williams.

Question: What other kinds of things are you working on in sparring? 

Williams:  We are working on the obvious -- get past his long reach, great head movement and we are working with great tall sparring partners.  It has been really good work.

Question: Before the Tyson fight, you seemed to be very calm and confident. How is your mental attitude at this point just a few days before this fight?

Williams:  It is the same – very calm and relaxed. That was always my problem early in my career. I used to really work myself up too much. When it comes to the fight time, I will be able to perform. My attitude is to be relaxed and that is when you see the best Danny Williams.

Question: Do you have any prediction to make? 

Williams:  No, just a Danny Williams’ victory.

Question: What did you learn from that first round against Tyson? 

Williams:  One thing I learned with the Mike Tyson fight is that I have got a tremendous chin.  He hit me with some tremendous shots.  Also, another thing I learned, in the fight game, you have got to prepare for every eventuality.  I went into the Mike Tyson fight thinking I was going to box him and that was not working.  So I ended up having to fight him.  So it will be the same against Klitschko.  I am training to do certain things, but I will change it and do other things if they do not work. 

Question: One of the main criticisms of Lennox was that he would not let his hands go and please the crowd by trying to take a guy out.  Are you concerned about that?

Williams:  You see the way I fought against Tyson.  I have a very crowd pleasing style. 

Question: If you are victorious against Vitali, would you want to be the first guy to beat both brothers?

Williams:  Yeah, that would be nice.  The main thing is to get Vitali.  My mind is focused on him at the moment.

Question: Did you get married yet?

Williams:  No, I have not been married yet. 

Question: Are you going to get married after this fight?

Williams:  We will possibly get married in 2005.

Question: There is a great tradition that large numbers of English/British supporters come over when British fighters fight in Vegas.  Do you expect that on Saturday and will it help you if large numbers of British fans turn up? Who is coming over from your family and friends?

Williams:  I have been told that there are 3,000-plus British fans coming over, which is tremendous.  For my side, a few of my friends are coming over, my mom and dad, my brother and sister, a wife and her kids. It is going to be a tremendous night. 

Question: Have you ever had so many family members attend one of your fights?

Williams:  Yes, this is the same amount of family members that I had for the Tyson fight.

Question: You said that you have to be a better fighter than the one who beat Tyson.  Can you go into that a little bit more?

Williams:  I believe in the Tyson fight, I was good, but I need to be better to beat Klitschko.  There was not enough head movement there in that fight and there was not enough speed of foot.  I just need to improve all around to defeat Klitschko because I believe that he is a fresher and a better fighter than Tyson was when I fought him in July.

Question: Did  one of the things that Lennox Lewis advised you on was “opening the cut”?

Williams:  Yes. 

Question: Do you believe that that is still a vulnerable area that can be exploited?

Williams:  Yes.  Lewis believes that it can still be exploited because it was one of the biggest cuts I have ever seen.  It was a massive cut.  My thing is to basically just go out there and be more poised to knock him out.  I am not looking to open up any cuts.  If it happens, I am looking to take him out.

Question: So part of you realizes that it might be a bad strategy to focus on any one thing?

Williams:  Yes, definitely.  I am looking to punch his arms, his stomach, his head, everywhere.  Hard punch him everywhere.  I am not really focusing on one particular spot.  He is too good a fighter to allow me to do that.

Question: How many rounds have you sparred since you shifted camp to the US?

Williams:  I really do not know. 

Question: There is a lot of talk about Vitali, assuming he beats you, trying to lure Lennox out of retirement for a rematch.  If you beat Klitschko, would you want to do the same thing and have this sort of an all England championship fight?

Williams:  It would make a great fight for the world and especially for the British fans.  But as a boxing fan and a Lennox Lewis fan, I would rather Lewis stay in retirement because he is one of the greats of all time. There is no point in coming back.  Just relax. 

Question: Who do you think is the better Klitschko fighter?

Williams:  I think Wladimir.  When Wladimir was at his best, Wladimir was potentially a better fighter.  He had more fluency about his boxing.

Question: Guys like Buster Douglas and Hasim Rahman, although they accomplished some things afterwards, will basically go down as one-hit wonders because they really did not follow up on their big victories over Tyson and Lewis respectively.  What did you take from the lessons that Douglas and Rahman gave to the world by not being prepared to come back and follow up on their successes?

Williams:  The lesson I learn from that is that once you are victorious, the hard work is not finished. You have got to keep going and train harder because someone wants to take you off the top. That is what I am doing. I am working harder because I like the respect that I got from beating Tyson and I want more. The only way I am going to get more is if I beat Klitschko. So I am training hard and I want to take him out.

Question: Vitali has always fought a more awkward style, which is one a lot of guys are not used to fighting.  Can you discuss specifically his style and how he is different from the prototypical heavyweight that might be out there?

Williams:  He has that European Russian style where he leans back on his back foot and he waves his left hand in front of you.  He is not that fantastic to watch, but it is very effective. I was watching him against Lewis and Lennox had a lot of trouble with that style because it is a really weird style.  

Question: So it is not something that you can really prepare for until you are in against it? 

Williams:  Yes, you are 100 percent right.  This is where you have to just encounter it once you get in there.  So that is why you need great conditioning and great belief in yourself. 

Question: Lennox, you said last week you are happy to be out boxing. What do you do now?  How do you spend your day?

Lewis:  For me, just sorting out my life really.  After boxing, remember that I am not getting paid millions of dollars anymore.  So I have started bringing everything together and start my business life and reading a lot of scripts and stuff and doing different things.  There are a lot of opportunities now since I am not in boxing. When I was in boxing, I did not really want to do too much to take away from the boxing because if you would go out for a commercial or whatever and then you lose a fight, people say you lost the heavyweight championship just for a commercial.  For me, it was not worth it.  So I took boxing very seriously.  Now, it is definitely a different life, a more business life for me and I am looking forward to it.

Question: What sort of businesses are you involved with?

Lewis:  As far as the music is concerned, I am not involved in the music.  A lot of people would say, “I thought you had a label” and stuff like that.  That is definitely not me.  Movies?  Yeah.  It is just picking the right script that I would really want to get involved with.  There have been a couple of different opportunities out there for me to read a lot of scripts and I really have to do something that is really suited for me.

Question: What are your thoughts about Danny and his chances going into this fight? 

Lewis:  I think it is a great opportunity for him to go out there and show what he has got. It is not an easy task to box Vitali Klitschko because of his size and definitely his reach because if you look at his history and just different people that he has boxed against, they all have found difficulty with him. One of the main difficulties is his size.  Second is his reach.  Third is his weight and movement. He is not easy to hit. So in one sense, Danny is going to find it very difficult.  But I have a lot of confidence in Danny.  He knows what he has to go out there and do: Definitely do not waste any time, definitely throw some body shots because European boxers do not like getting hit to the body too much, especially with that type of style. He definitely cuts easy.  He has got a weight advantage as well because I think Vitali is like 250.  I remember when I was fighting against him and I hurt him, he just threw his weight on me. I wanted to knock him out and he threw his weight on me and I had to push him off and then throw the punches to knock him out, which was real difficult.  I believe that Danny can do it but he has to believe in himself and definitely go out there and do it, but it is not an easy task.

Question: Danny, is your mindset any different than it was a few days before the Tyson fight?

Williams:  My mind is exactly as I was for the Tyson fight. I am relaxed, calm and ready to rumble. 

Question: How much pressure do you feel having to take the belt back to England where you feel it rightly belongs? 

Williams:  I want to do it 100 percent, but I put no pressure on myself.  

Question: Last week, Klitschko stated the Ukrainian presidential race was so mentally troubling for him that he actually thought about pulling out or postponing the fight.  Did you know about this and what are your thoughts?

Williams:  Yes, I heard about it and I must admit I was shocked and amused that he would come out with these statements.  I really do not know what to make of them.  

Question: Lennox, what are your thoughts about this fight? I know you cannot be biased since you are now part of the TV team.

Lewis:  I am definitely not going to be one of those biased commentators out there because every time I have always watched fights, I have always thought the commentator was so biased on one side.  So I am definitely not going to do that.

Question: Do you think that some of the physical damage that you inflicted on Vitali in particular those cuts to his face, will be a psychological advantage for Danny?  Will that be playing on Vitali’s mind?

Lewis:  It has been his history even before he came to America to box, even in Germany he was getting cut a lot.  I believe that if he does get cut, that will definitely at that point weigh heavily on his mind because he realizes that he has been stopped before on a cut and once he gets cut, he does not know how bad it is. So he is going to be in a panic state and in a rush trying to win the fight. Boxing is survival of the fittest.  That means you have to be able to take a punch.  You have to be able to not get cut easily.  Your stamina has to be good and all these things make you a true champion.  You do not want to be a champion out there that gets cut easy because at any moment, where you get cut, you could lose the fight.  That will definitely be a factor on his mind.

Question: Are you enjoying your retirement?

Lewis:  Definitely.  I am seeing everybody out there boxing, losing, winning and I am glad that I have been there and done that.

Question: When you look around the heavyweight division with your absence from the picture, what do you see? Do you see that the division is weakened without you?

Lewis:  I have seen the division actually open up. I am glad I was able to facilitate people coming out of retirement and actually believing that there is now a chance for them to become heavyweight champion of the world because I am not there. I have seen the whole, complex heavyweight scene change in that sense. A lot of people feel that they have a good shot at it now and a lot of people are really geared up about it. I am really happy that I caused that. 

Question: Is there any circumstance where you would come back?

Lewis:  Well, I have always wanted to fight Riddick Bowe before he relinquished the belt and before he joined the army because I said there was always some stuff left to knock out of the “chicken’’ Bowe.  But after seeing his last fiasco of a fight, I realized that he has put on a lot of weight and turned into a big turkey.  So he is not any chicken anymore, he is just a big turkey.

Question: So the answer is no, there is no circumstance under which you would come back?

Lewis:  Right.

Question: Is doing commentary something that you are looking at perhaps in the future?

Lewis:  I am going to take it as it comes. I like that I am up there giving it from a boxer’s point of view because a lot of these commentators have never put on a glove in their life and yet they are commentating on a fight which they have never been a part of.  So the opportunity that HBO has given me to give my professional comments on different fights and on even situations that may occur in a fight that I have been through that I can comment on is great. 

Question: You rewrote the rules for the heavyweight division with your size, height and weight. Along comes Vitali and he is bigger and heavier. Do you think that Danny has got to turn the clock back to a certain extent?

Lewis:  To a certain extent because it is not an easy fight.  There are a lot of things that go against Danny and it is no fault of his own. One of them is size. Just like when I boxed Tyson and he was like 5-foot-7 or something. Then, my next fight was a guy 6-foot-8. Most of my career, I boxed shorter guys. Now, I am boxing a guy who is punching down at me, which was very difficult. One of the problems I faced is that I did not have the correct sparring because I was preparing for a (Kirk) Johnson and then a week later they say, “Vitali is ready, fight him.”  So if I would have turned back the clock, I would have liked more chance to spar with somebody his height and his weight to even prepare better.  When Danny goes in, he has definitely got the height advantage against him.  He also has got a reach and weight advantage against him. The fact that he beat  Tyson and how he beat Tyson – he did not give up, he showed great heart and determination – shows that he definitely wants to become heavyweight champion of the world. Boxing is a sport where anything can happen and it may look lopsided on one side, but things happen in the fight that may change the whole complexity of the whole fight.  So there is always that factor in there.

Question: Do you see this fight as for “the” heavyweight title or just one of many heavyweight titles?

Lewis:  Well, obviously because of the heavyweight titles out there, it has to be one of many.  If I would have to say who is leading the pack at the present time, I am going to give that to Vitali although he still has not been tested.  There are a lot of unanswered questions about him that he needs to answer in his career.  That is why I told him, “What I put down, you can pick up and try and accomplish what I have accomplished for the last 14 years.”

Question: Can you be specific concerning the unanswered questions about him?

Lewis:  Obviously, there is a big stamina question with both brothers.  When you have one brother suffering from it, the other one is definitely suffering from it. I was really going to show that point if our fight was allowed to continue because I felt that he was definitely getting tired and I actually brought him in the deep end and now it was time for him to drown. But unfortunately the fight got stopped on the cut, which I caused. So that is one question that needs to be answered. The other question is can he really take it on the chin? The other question is answered already.  He definitely gets cut easy and boxing is a sport where it is the survival of the fittest. In his past, he has shown that he does not really have a big heart for if he is injured or something, he cannot weather the storm and go on.  These are the answers that we do know, but obviously, there are probably other questions that we need to find out and answer.

Question: Last week, Vitali said in all his bouts following his bout with you that you have given advice to all those people on how to beat him.  It seems to him that you are looking to help somebody beat him.  Is there anything to that?

Lewis:  No, I like the guy. I do not have anything against him. People ask my advice. They ask what is the way that we can beat him. I am saying that there are different types of ways to beat him. If I was to continue in boxing, I would definitely have these different ways and go do them myself. Other people are asking me what should they do. When you analyze a fight and you look at Danny, you can say what Danny needs to do.  He needs to get in there and definitely hit him to the body, not get hit, hit him to the face.  These are the things that are going to increase your chances of winning.

Question: You say you are not going to be biased, but the fact that Danny is British, does that mean something to you in terms of this fight?

Lewis:  Absolutely.  I would love another British heavyweight to take over for me and carry on with the belts and definitely become heavyweight champion of the world.  Obviously, I would wish that upon any other British boxer.

Question: We all admired the way Danny held his nerve against Tyson, but doubts creep in when you start looking at Danny’s previous record, by which I mean the class of opponent that he had prior to Tyson. He is taking a step up in class, if you ignore the Tyson fight.  Do you think he is capable of doing that and how difficult is that to go from fighting Michael Sprott in January to Klitschko now?

Lewis:  It is very difficult. Tyson was a great fighter, but he is a shell of what we perceived him to be. So, Danny has boxed a great name in that sense.  He definitely weathered the storm and showed great heart and determination. Beating Tyson was a great big step for him, not physically but mentally. I find in this world all you need is an opportunity. So now he has an opportunity to box for the heavyweight championship of the world. How often does that come? Maybe once in a lifetime. So if you are asking is he up to it, I believe he definitely is up to it.  People just change their focus altogether and say, “This is my only chance.”  They increase five-fold all of a sudden how they were because they were boxing nobody. Now they are boxing somebody of some name and stature. So they realize they have to up and go out there and do it. And that happens to every one of us and I believe that is in Danny. Even hearing him speak, he definitely wants to become champion. He likes how he was treated after boxing Tyson. He likes how the public received him. Now, there is another step to go and he knows what is going to come from that and that is what he loves and he is looking forward to that.

Question: Did you always see potential in Danny when you watch his fights?

Lewis:  Howard Cosell said that I have talent that nobody has seen yet and he used a particular word, but I cannot remember it.  As far as Danny is concerned, I definitely expected great things out of him and he was doing his thing as a boxer and beating Mike Tyson is a big step for him.  Now he needs to go prove himself even more and prove to the unbelievers out there that may have thought his career was basically done before Tyson and prove them wrong.  That is what he needs to do.

Question: Did you have trouble with the kinds of pressure that Danny talked about?

Lewis:  In my mind, I understand what he is saying and I commend him for the way he is dealing with it.  Part of the battle is to not let the pressure get to you.  I have always said that we create our own pressure.  So if we feel any pressure as boxers, we are the ones who are creating it.  So he definitely has the mental focus thing correct and the thing is to stay focused and go out there and do the job. 

Question: Danny has two loving daughters and he is committed to both family life and boxing.  How much did the responsibilities of becoming a family man weigh on your mind when you made your decision to stay out of the ring?

Lewis:  I chose in my life to really go after the career first and leave the family until afterwards.  Now, I have a family and I am realizing I do not need to go back in the ring because that was the sacrifice I made for myself.

Question: You have made a lot of money out of boxing, but you had to suffer the pain of the ring as well.  If your son came to you wanting to be a boxer, would you encourage or discourage him?

Lewis:  Hopefully, he would not have to do that.  But looking at other boxer’s daughters and even sons, old time boxers getting into boxing, I do not think there is anything we can do to stop it. I think even if we fight against it, that will make him want to get into it even more.  I think maybe it could be in their blood.  So if my son came to me and said he wanted to learn boxing, I would say, “OK, make sure your marks are up first and then we will talk about that.”

Question: You said one of the unanswered questions about Vitali is his ability to take a shot. Did you feel that you did not get a big shot on him in your fight?

Lewis:  Well, the last round, if you look back, I hit him with two tremendous uppercuts and after hitting him with one uppercut, he held me for the last minute in that last round.  I was trying to throw him off of me, but I could not. His weight was heavy and I was a little tired as well.  But he definitely was affected by my uppercuts and I do not think he would have been able to take anymore.  Looking at the fight, I realized that I was not going out there for any points. I was going to knock him out.

Question: Aside from that, you did not feel that you really tested his chin?

Lewis:  No, not truly.  Like I said, I was disappointed when the fight was done because they were taking away my knockout.  Do not stop it yet, he has got one more round in him and I am definitely going to do him. 

Question: Do you have any more respect for Chris Bird for having hung in against both of the Klitschko brothers, and fact he beat Holyfield, who also was considerably bigger than him?

Lewis:  Absolutely.  Chris’ style is not really one of those styles that the public likes to see too often.  They want to see more knockouts and more blood.  But he has got good technical skill and the fact that he is at a disadvantage with his height and weight and what he is able to do, you definitely have to commend him for that. 

Question: Could you rank the heavyweight division post Lennox Lewis for us?

Lewis:  No.

Question: Forget who is 1, 2, 3, 4.  Who is No. 8?

Lewis:  Well, I have not been looking at the stats lately, so you caught me at a disadvantage.

Question: Is it wide open because there really is not a standout?

Lewis:  No.  This is a different era of boxers now.  I think this era is done with the Tyson’s, the Lewis’s, the Holyfield’s.  We are into a new era now in boxing.  I do not even rate the stats right now because a little more time needs to be given for each boxer to really separate themselves from the pack. 

Question: What would your advice be to Vitali about winning this fight? 

Lewis:  What he would have to do is definitely use his reach advantage and keep him at the end of his jab.  It is basic what you would do if you are taller than an opponent.  Keep him away from you, use your reach and do not let him inside. 

Question: What is your take on Evander Holyfield still fighting?

Lewis:  I think somebody around him needs to have a discussion with him. There are a lot of people around him that really love him and want to protect him. But they need to protect him from himself and hopefully get him the proper advice.  I know Evander Holyfield is a very stubborn man, so it is going to be difficult for that person to do that.  The fact that New York took away his license, I hope that really tells him something.  I hope he can listen to what they are actually saying to him.

Question: Danny is fighting for a world heavyweight title. It is Vegas, the crowds are going to be massive and there will be a big traveling British corps as well.  How much do you think that is going to surprise or change or just be a real factor?  Do you think it is possible for him to blank it out and think of it as another fight?

Lewis:  I think he has good fan support, especially over on the West Coast.  A lot of his fans are definitely going to travel to Vegas to see the fight.  So I think he will have a good bipartisan crowd.

Question: But you think that is something that will be easy for him to handle or will it really be like a very different situation for him?

Lewis:  I think it is totally easy for him to handle.  You have to remember this man has boxed in Europe and the whole place is for him every time he steps out; it is like he walks to the ring like he is a god. That is how he has been treated for a long time.  Now, he is over in America and he is boxing and he is still going to have great fan support. 

Question: Is there anything that you miss about the sport at this point? 

Lewis:  Obviously, the roar of the crowd is always something that stays with me.  I love to hear the crowd, especially when you are doing something good in the ring and you hear the roar of the crowd.  It just gives you a little more power and strength to go on.  You gain more strength and more focus.

Question: Is it hard to walk away from that?

Lewis:  No.  It is not hard because I have been through it. I know what it is like. I have experienced it.  Now, it is time for me to go on and do something different.

Question: It seems like you have gotten a lot more respect from the mainstream fans after your retirement.  Is that ironic?

Lewis:  No, I always said they will not realize that Lennox Lewis is gone until he is gone.  Especially, they will not realize it straight away. They will realize it years afterwards and I am glad that I am being able to impact the sport of boxing in such a way.

Question: Compare the two Klitschko brothers and their perspectives please?

Lewis:  I actually thought Wladimir was a lot better technically.  And like Danny, I definitely agree he is more fluid.  As far as the taller one is concerned, he is definitely tall, lanky and a difficult style because he leans back and he uses his height to lean back away from punches.  If you notice on one of my shots where I caught him with a right hand, I caught him on his way back.  He just could not lean as far to get away from that particular right hand because I leaned all the way forward to hit him.

Question: Do you think Wladimir is going to come back?

Lewis:  It is very difficult at this time.  He could not answer the stamina problem and he needs to solve that before he thinks about coming back.

Question: When you were the champion, you were regarded as “the” heavyweight champion of the world.  Since your retirement, now you have different champions with each of the major sanctioning bodies.  Do you see the need for a tournament where the champions and top fighters all get together and the winner will emerge as your legitimate successor?

Lewis:  Sure, why not?  Absolutely.  Everybody wants to see a tournament.  Everybody wants to answer that question.  I definitely wanted to answer that question when I was coming up and everybody was saying that Evander Holyfield was the best.  I said they cannot be the best because they have not fought me and I am the best.  Tyson cannot be the best because he has not fought me because I consider myself the best.  So I think it is important to have a tournament, not just for the sport of boxing, but just to answer all the questions that people have. It would be great if one could look at the heavyweight scene and say, “OK, you have got to say this guy is the best because he won the tournament.”

Question: And that would apply if Vitali Klitschko wins also?

Lewis:  Yeah, absolutely.

Lewis:  I look forward to commentating on the fight on Saturday and I think it is going to be an interesting fight.  Good luck to Danny and I wish him the best.