Akinwande meets Lewis in small ring

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The Independent Online
Lennox Lewis and Henry Akinwande, the tallest heavyweights to contest the world title, will have to trade punches in an 18ft ring in Lake Tahoe on Saturday.

That is by no means a great deal of space for two such big fighters to engage in the more scientific aspects of the sport in the premier division.

But the 6ft 7in Akinwande said: "The ring is small, but it doesn't make any difference. You just need to find a way to find your breathing room, your own style. I just want to fight, get the fight out of the way and get home.

"I will fight anybody. To me the sport is like a game of chess. So if I have to fight my own brother, then I'll fight my own brother. Fighting is my job."

Akinwande is unbeaten in 31 fights, including 19 stoppages, and relinquished the World Boxing Organisation title to gain his World Boxing Council championship chance against Lewis.

His trainer, Don Turner, who is also Evander Holyfield's mentor, said: "Akinwande is a guy who may never totally live up to his potential because we don't have the calibre of fighters in the heavyweight division who can push with him."

Darren Corbett, the new Commonwealth cruiserweight champion from Belfast, has been given a prime position on the undercard to the unofficial world heavyweight title eliminator between the Polish-born Andrew Golota and the American Ray Mercer in Atlantic City on 16 August. Corbett won the Commonwealth title last month in Belfast when he sensationally knocked out the unbeaten title holder Chris Okoh in three destructive rounds.