Lewis considers himself undisputed champion

Lennox Lewis knows where he stands, even if the courts disagree.

"I don't care what they say, I'm still the undisputed champion," Lewis said.

No, he isn't. A US federal judge ordered that Lewis give up the WBA heavyweight title if he fights Michael Grant on April 29 in Madison Square Garden.

The 33-year-old Briton, however, remains to many in boxing the real heavyweight champion.

"I wasn't surprised but I was disappointed," said Lewis, who remains the WBC and IBF champion and who will fight the unbeaten Grant.

"When a guy punches me in the ring, do I get angry?," Lewis said today in a conference call. "No, I just roll with the punches."

He plans to roll with the judicial punch by appealing the decision.

Lewis added the WBA and IBF titles to the WBC championship he already held by winning a unanimous decision over Holyfield on November 20. The two had fought March 13, 1999, and the decision was a draw, although most thought Lewis had won.

Promoter Don King, who sued Lewis, plans to have top-ranked John Ruiz and second-ranked Holyfield fight for the WBA title.

"King said he had a letter from the WBA that they wouldn't sanction it (Holyfield-Grant) unless we agreed to fight Henry Akinwande or the leading available contender," said Milton Chwasky, a lawyer representing Lewis.

So, Chwasky said, he had put into the contract for a Lewis-Holyfield rematch contract - over King's objections - a paragraph that stated that Lewis would fight Akinwande or the No 1 contender, "consistent with the rules of the WBA."

The WBA ruled in March that it would sanction a Lewis-Grant fight as long as Lewis agreed to make a mandatory defense against the highest available contender. Chwasky said Lewis did agree.

Akinwande was the No 1 contender when he was scheduled to make a mandatory challenge against then WBA champion Holyfield in June 1998. The fight fell through when Akinwande contracted hepatitis. Akinwande has fought only twice since, winning both bouts. Lewis defended the WBC title in 1997 against Akinwande, who was disqualified in the fifth round for holding.

Akinwande is ranked ninth by the WBA.

Kaplan ruled that Lewis knew he got his opportunity to fight Holyfield by making a deal with King in which he promised his next fight would be a mandatory defense against the leading WBA challenger. But he then signed to fight Grant, who is not in a mandatory challenger's position, being ranked only No 5.

Chwasky said once the appeal is filed, the court could block a Holyfield-Ruiz fight until a ruling is made. If the fight is allowed to be held, the winner would no longer be champion should Lewis win the appeal.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sheridan Maine: Accounts Assistant

£25,000 - £30,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you looking for a fantastic opportunity...

Neil Pavier: Commercial Analyst

£50,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you a professionally qualified commercial ...

Loren Hughes: Financial Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Loren Hughes: Are you looking for a new opportunity that wi...

Ashdown Group: IT Support Engineer - Professional Services Firm - Oxford

£21000 - £24000 per annum + 21 days holidays: Ashdown Group: Technical Support...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor