Boxing: Lewis expects Tyson fight 'later this year'

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Lennox Lewis said yesterday that, although he will not be fighting Mike Tyson on 6 April as originally planned, he still hopes to take on the former world heavyweight champion later this year.

Britain's reigning world champion, Lewis had been expected to defend his titles in Las Vegas, but last week Tyson was refused a licence to box there. Lewis may take on an alternative opponent in April but remains confident that he will eventually fight Tyson.

"The 6 April date is definitely out the window for the Tyson fight, but it may be OK for another fight," Lewis said. "Later in the year for a Lewis-Tyson fight – definitely.

"Mike Tyson is the ultimate match-up in my era and it would be disappointing not only for me but for the public not to see that match-up, so on the sport aspect that fight should be made."

Lewis did not rule out the possibility of fighting Tyson away from the United States. "There are a lot of different situations that could develop from this," he said. "Everything is still young. We need to go back and see what comes out of this. But I would love to beat up Tyson and give him a whipping because the public want to see it, plus the fans want to see a Lewis-Tyson match-up, so it is a disappointment to those people as well."

If Lewis goes ahead with a fight on 6 April, his most likely opponent would be the IBF challenger, Chris Bird.