Boxing: Lewis rebuffs rumours of return to ring

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The Independent Online

On Saturday Lennox Lewis announced that he was making a comeback, but yesterday he made another announcement that he was staying retired.

On Saturday Lennox Lewis announced that he was making a comeback, but yesterday he made another announcement that he was staying retired.

Lewis, who is 39, last fought in June 2003 and finally announced his ring exit last February. There had been several rumours regarding his future since he walked away and last weekend it appeared that he had changed his mind and would definitely be boxing.

However, the ink was barely dry on the back pages when the boxer released a formal statement firmly denying any chance of him getting back in the ring. "I want to reiterate what I said when I retired in February 2004 that I was fortunate to leave the sport on my own terms and I will be one of the few heavyweight champions in history to retire on top and stay retired," Lewis said.

After a furious 48 hours of speculation, the statement yesterday appeared to end any notion that the fighter will make a comeback this year or any year.

One of the things to emerge is that Lewis's financial situation may not be as solid as many in the business thought. It is estimated that he made well in excess of $150m (£80m) during his career, but there are several people at the money end of the business who have suggested that the boxer faces some horrendous future tax bills. Members of his management team have firmly denied that the boxer is in need of money.

Perhaps the biggest loser from the two days of non-stop rumours is Vitali Klitschko, who was the last man to share a ring with Lewis, and was in theory due to receive more than £20m for his part in their return fight, which until yesterday was due to take place in November.

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