Sports

Lewis-Johnson unsanctioned by WBC

NEW YORK, NY—The World Boxing Council will not sanction WBC heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis’ bout against Kirk Johnson on June 21. WBC instead demand that Lewis’ mandatory defense against No 1-ranked Vitali Klitschko is past due. NEW YORK, NY—The World Boxing Council will not sanction WBC heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis’ bout against Kirk Johnson on June 21. WBC instead demand that Lewis’ mandatory defense against No 1-ranked Vitali Klitschko is past due. To complicate matters more, Lewis is also obligated to fight a rematch against former undisputed world heavyweight champ, Mike Tyson later in the year.

Both Lewis and Tyson camps agreed to one interim fight before a rematch. Lewis and Tyson, who earlier in the week was granted a boxing license by the California Athletic Commission, will share a doubleheader at the Staples Center in Los Angeles – the home of the three-time defending champions – the Lakers.

The WBC may allow Lewis to fight Johnson in a non-title counter without stripping Lewis of the WBC title.

Klitschko has a noteworthy record of 32-1 and has been the mandatory challenger since June 2002. Klitschko, Chris Byrd, stepped aside to watch Lewis dismantle Tyson in Memphis, TN last year.

Afterwards, Lewis vacated the IBF title and Byrd has to defeat a 40-year-old Evander Holyfield by decision to win a piece of the heavyweight championship in last December. Klitschko was scheduled to fight Lewis in March of this year, but the bout was pushed back on several occasions to make room for Roy Jones, Jr.’s historic WBA heavyweight championship victory against John Ruiz.

The wait continues for Klitschko, who is also the mandatory challenger for Jones’ WBA crown.

De La Hoya-Campus on May 3.

Oscar De La Hoya will defend both the WBC and WBA junior middleweight titles against former IBF champion, Yori Boy Campus on May 3, in Las Vegas. If De La Hoya (coming off a career-defining 11th round TKO of Fernando Vargas last September) beats Campus, “The Golden Boy” will march toward a September 2003 rematch against Sugar Shane Mosley.

Mosley beat De La Hoya back in June 2000 on a sensational 12-round split decision. Mosley was not as strong, but used his speed and quickness to out hustle De La Hoya, who is not looking past Campus at all.

Campus is a solid fighter, but has lost his most significant bouts in his career. Losses to Vargas and Felix Trinidad put Campus as a second tier fighter. Some insiders believe that Campus is a “tune-up” for De La Hoya’s bout with Mosley.

Please send comments to: FrancisWalker1@aol.com.

April 28, 2003
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