Exclusive Interview: Lennox Lewis Part 2

By G. Leon


Exclusive Interview: Lennox Lewis Part 2

GL: How much did your competitive desire and hunger not being where you wanted it to be lead to retirement?

LL: "Boxing's not just physical, it's mental for me. My hunger and my aim to be successful and achieve my goals was great. And that's all I ever really wanted to go out there and do. But as far as boxing Klitschko or the next guy, I don't feel I have anything to prove. I achieved all of my goals."

GL: Fighters who completely understand the business side of boxing are in the minority, I know several boxers in the game reach out to you for advice and your opinion.

LL: "Let me tell you, this business is not easy. It's another fight all together. You may be the best boxer out there, but when it comes to business there's things you don't know. You don't know accountants, you don't know what the law is, you don't know what these people have over you that you're signing on."

GL: Does seeing today's heavyweight landscape and knowing you can come back and probably be dominant make it more difficult for you to stay retired?

LL: "No. It doesn't make sense to establish a legacy and then keep going and going until you fail. It doesn't even make sense. I'm trying to show all of these boxers something different. You don't have to keep on going, and going until they take your license away or something like that. You want to go out there, accomplish your goals, show that you're a true champion and boom, get out and go set some other goals for yourself.

"All of a sudden I'll have a lot of people go back and look in their history books and say, 'this is what this guy did.' He went back and he beat everybody that beat him and he held the title for a good amount of years, he built his legacy and then went on to create a business empire."

"These boxers have to know, boxing is not just boxing in the ring. Boxing is also dealing with lawyers and accountants."

GL: It looks like Vitali and Rahman are going to be fighting later this year. Who do you like in that one?

LL: "I think Rahman knows what it's like to be up there at the top, so he's definitely going to be a determined foe for Vitali Klitschko. I think it's going to be a great fight, and I think it's going to be a great fight for Rahman."

GL: How important do you feel it is for there to be a unification series to have one true champion?

LL: "Well, when I was boxing, I said I would be the last man standing. I achieved that and now it's time for someone else to do the same thing and achieve that."

GL: Did it surprise you to see Wladimir Klitschko go from being the next big thing, to the next big bust so quickly?

LL: "It really did surprise me because I thought he had a great athletic ability, because doing the movie Ocean's Eleven with him, he's a real nice guy, we were fooling around and they both seem like normal upstanding citizens. I really did expect him to achieve a lot more than he did, but this is boxing and this is what happens. Some people you could get by with skill and talent, but sometimes a little luck always helpful."

GL: How did all those rumors about you coming back to fight for $40M or whatever it was, get started?

LL: "It was a situation where, I was on my land and I seen some guy running off my land. We went up to him and asked him what he was doing there. He said he was on Holiday vacation with his wife, who was six months pregnant. He said they were traveling around to different places and somebody told him, that's Lennox Lewis's house you should check it out.

"He continued to flatter me and tell me how great I was, and then I said to him, 'what are you doing with the camera? Is it digital? Can I see?' I looked at it and I saw all sorts of pictures of my house all over it. I said to him, 'that's kind of strange walking around taking pictures of people's houses....

GL: It sounds like it was a reporter acting like a crazed fan type of thing to me.

LL: "Yes."

GL: And you just basically said something to him to get him off your property and they dude wound up being a reporter.

LL: "Yes."

GL: But had he indentified himself as a reporter, you would have told him your retired and not coming back, so have a nice day.

LL: "Yes, and that's a nice way of putting it!"



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