Lewis challenges Tyson to legitimise his title

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The Independent Online

Lennox Lewis believes Mike Tyson must fight him to legitimise his claim as the world's top heavyweight.

Lewis has gone to the courts in his efforts to get a match against Tyson, and last month a New Jersey judge ruled he must be the next challenger for the World Council title.

"I don't believe Tyson can actually say he is the best in the world yet not fight me," Lewis said yesterday. "I believe Tyson is a warrior and would want to take on the challenge."

Lewis had argued the WBC were ignoring their own 1995 ruling that he should fight for the championship next, having beaten Lionel Butler in a title elimination bout. Instead, the WBC sanctioned Tyson's fight with Frank Bruno.

Lewis vowed to compensate British fans for Bruno's performance against Tyson last month if he does get a title bout.

"Tyson just went out there and beat him up," Lewis said. "Bruno did all that talking, saying he would do this and that, and really he exposed himself and just embarrassed himself. He not only let himself down, but the British public."

Lewis, who hopes the judge's ruling will stand and force Tyson to make his next defence against him, said he would knock Tyson down and reclaim the title he held in 1993-94.

"It would be just like Buster Douglas, but I have better tools than Douglas," Lewis said. Douglas knocked out Tyson six years ago in the champion's only defeat.

The Briton, beaten only once in 29 professional fights, will meet the 1988 Olympic gold medal-winning American Ray Mercer on 10 May.

Robbie Regan believes that he can successfully step up a division to become the first Welshman to capture the world bantamweight title when he meets the defending champion, Daniel Jiminez, of Puerto Rico, for the World Organisation title in Cardiff on Friday.

Regan, who admitted that 12 months ago he would have been more likely to shed the pounds rather than pile them on, believes he has made the right decision to move up from flyweight.

"My weight is 8st 6lb and I am happy with that," Regan said. "I feel stronger in the gym now, yet a year ago I was thinking of going down to light-flyweight, not up.

"It is easier going up than down and I'm ready for a good fight against Jiminez. He's busy and durable, and to beat him will be a big feather in my cap."

Regan will be keen to repeat the performance he put up in his last fight, when he knocked out Ferid Ben Jeddou in two rounds for the International Federation interim flyweight title.

"This is a true fight and you will see a true champion at the end of it," Regan said. "It could be a classic."