Lewis takes aim at Bowe

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The Independent Online
Lennox Lewis cut through the world heavyweight championship maze yesterday and offered to settle his differences with Riddick Bowe.

Lewis is prepared to bide his time in his pursuit of Mike Tyson and take on Bowe, his former Olympic rival.

The American's manager, Rock Newman, is due in London later this week for talks about a possible fight in Las Vegas in September. Lewis, who accepted pounds 4m compensation to allow Tyson to face the World Boxing Association holder Bruce Seldon, maintained: "I favour Bowe. It's time we got it on. The fight has been stagnating for too long.

"World titles are important but so are the big fights, and this would be one of them. If I can't beat Bowe I shouldn't really be going after Tyson. The question is, 'Does Bowe want it?' Nothing is sure in this business. You can map out a route, but whether it comes off is another matter."

Only Seldon's title will be at stake when he meets Tyson on 13 July. Lewis' handlers say that if Seldon opts to fight for the World Boxing Council crown and Tyson refuses, the American will be automatically stripped.

Lewis will then dispute the title with Oliver McCall, the man who took it away from him in two rounds at Wembley in September 1994.

Alternatively, Lewis can take an interim fight against any heavyweight. Tyson will then have until 1 September to agree to meet him. If not, Lewis will take on McCall, who lost to Frank Bruno, for the vacant title.

"You need a degree in kidology to progress in this business," Lewis's financial backer, Panos Eliades, said.

"It's all very complicated, but what is clear to us is that Tyson does not want to fight Lennox. He is hedging. So Lennox holds Tyson's belt in his hands."

Eliades added: "What worries me about Bowe's people is the sort of money they have in mind.

"I can see Bowe trying to leapfrog over all Lennox's good work."