Lewis looks for respect

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The Independent Online
Mike Tyson is "running scared" of Lennox Lewis, Frank Maloney, Lewis's manager, said in Manchester yesterday.

"One way or another Lennox will bring the world title belt back to Britain by the end of 1996," Maloney said as Lewis arrived back from New York, after an American court judgment this week cleared the way for Lewis to take on Tyson and earn a reported pounds 25m.

Tyson, the World Boxing Council champion, will meet Bruce Seldon, the World Boxing Association holder, in Las Vegas on 13 July. Tyson then must agree a date to fight Lewis by 1 September. "If he doesn't, he will be stripped of the title," Maloney said.

Lewis, a points winner over Ray Mercer in New York last weekend, is thought to be receiving pounds 4m for allowing Tyson to meet Seldon. Then there will be an pounds 8m purse for a rematch of Lewis's 1988 Olympic Games final with Riddick Bowe.

Next would come a possible pounds 13m showdown with Tyson. "The money aspect does not bother me," Lewis said. "Getting to Tyson, that's important. The only way I can earn respect in this game is to prove I'm the best. And that means beating Tyson and Bowe. I'm out to show that I'm the best heavyweight in the world."

Maloney added: "The only reason Tyson wants to fight Seldon is because he's running scared of Lennox. It cost them a lot of money to have another fight in between.

"Tyson doesn't feel confident of meeting someone of Lennox's size, experience and speed without a warm-up first."