Unless contracts are signed by 10pm GMT on Friday, Lewis, the World Boxing Council champion, will instead fight either the former undisputed champion James "Buster" Douglas or George Foreman's recent conqueror, Shannon Briggs, in Las Vegas or Atlantic City on March 6 or 7.
That was the suggestion last night by the Briton's promoter, Panos Eliades, who said that a US District Judge, Norma J Shapiro, has decreed that the promoter Don King cannot be involved in any negotiations for the WBA heavyweight belt.
The judge had previously ordered that London-born Henry Akinwande must meet America's Orlin Norris in a final eliminator for the WBA crown. That fight takes place in Pompano Beach, Florida, on Saturday.
It seems that Holyfield will have to fight the winner by June 28, which eliminates Lewis because he is the WBC champion, although initially it did not appear that Judge Shapiro's ruling would pose a major problem.Reuse content