| LEWIS: Reel life to real life
Berlin: Lennox Lewis once fought one of the Klitschko brothers for fun but now he has to take on the other — for real. Two years ago, on the set of Hollywood picture Ocean’s Eleven, Lewis filmed a fight scene with the younger Klitschko, Vladimir, while elder brother Vitali watched from ringside.
Now Lewis will step inside the ropes to face Vitali, with his WBC heavyweight title at stake.
The 37-year-old Briton’s manager, Adrian Ogun, said Friday the fight would definitely take place, probably at the end of February or the beginning of March in the US.
“Lennox has been interested in the Klitschko brothers since he met them on the set of Ocean's Eleven,” Ogun said after a meeting in Hamburg with German Klaus-Peter Kohl, who promotes the Germany-based Ukrainian pair. “He likes them both and he also likes a sporting challenge.”
It was during the film, about a daring plan to rob three Las Vegas casinos during a fight night, that Lewis told the brothers he could have one for breakfast and the other for lunch.
Now he might have to eat his words. “Lewis must be careful he doesn't swallow his breakfast the wrong way,” Kohl said.
The film not only allowed Lewis to meet two fighters eager to challenge him but it also contributed to the celebrity of the brothers, up until then famous in their Ukrainian homeland and in Germany but little-known elsewhere.
Boxing insiders knew Vladimir for having won the Olympic super-heavyweight title in 1996 in Atlanta but Vitali was by no means a star.
Since joining Kohl’s Universum stable, the brothers, who train in Hamburg, have been promoted as a package and are now among the country’s most popular sports celebrities.
Both smart, friendly and talkative, they make frequent appearances on television and Vitali is now often referred to as Doctor Faust after the character created by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe — a particularly fitting nickname since Vitali holds a university degree and Faust means fist in German.
Giants with sculpture-like bodies, the two are similar in appearance but different in the ring, with the 26-year-old Vladimir arguably the most gifted. Vitali, 31, is a dangerous puncher and a formidable athlete but has yet to be tested against a big name fighter.