Lennox Lewis, who faces Vitali Klitschko here on Saturday, yesterday completed a dramatic U-turn and challenged Roy Jones Jnr to get in the ring with him.
The 37-year-old World Boxing Council and International Boxing Organisation world heavyweight champion has been angered by Jones' comments that he and Evander Holyfield are better boxers than Lewis.
In March, Jones stepped up from middleweight to beat fellow American John Ruiz for the World Boxing Association crown.
Lewis played down the chances of a bout with Jones at the time, saying: "I don't think he would fight me at this point. What for really?"
But Jones has now claimed he is a better fighter than Lewis - a statement which drew a fierce response from Lewis. "Jones believes he's the best heavyweight on the planet right now," said Lewis. "He did a rating system and put himself first, Holyfield second and me third. But if he wants to be a real heavyweight, he should come and fight me. I'm the king."
Lewis faces Klitschko in a bout lined up after Kirk Johnson withdrew with a torn chest muscle and Lewis was in his usual super-confident mood when asked how he would respond to Klitschko's claim he will knock him out.
"That's easy," he said. "How many people has he knocked out compared to how many I've knocked out? Lennox Lewis will be victorious.
"We're going to give the people in Los Angeles what they want - a great fight. I thought it was a good opportunity for me to make a fight and a lot of people don't know Johnson as much as they know Klitschko. We decided this was the best move forward. I didn't want to wait for November as I wanted to take advantage of being in a training camp."Reuse content