| AGE FACTOR: Klitschko feels age is against Lewis
Moscow: Ukrainian boxer Vitali Klitschko, who says he would have beaten Lennox Lewis in last month’s world heavyweight title fight if it had not been stopped, has pledged to resume training in two months for a rematch.
Briton Lewis said he was ready to give Klitschko a rematch, tentatively set for December 6, and the Ukrainian said he could start training again by September.
“I will just stay and relax in Ukraine until September, then I will go wherever I have to, depending on where the rematch will take place. I always train in the same city as I fight,” Klitschko said in a Russian daily Thursday.
Lewis was awarded a technical knockout after the ring doctor stopped last month’s fight because of a deep gash above Klitschko’s left eye, which needed more than 50 stitches.
“In the judges’ opinion, as well as my own, I was ahead of Lewis after the sixth round and I would have won if the doctor hadn’t stopped the fight,” said Klitschko.
The German-based challenger again accused the champion of using underhand tactics in their first fight in Los Angeles.
“He kept head-butting me and I felt like a steel brush was rubbing against my face,” Klitschko said.
“I have been boxing for 16 years and until now I never had any cuts. I also knew that Lewis has cut many of his opponents in the past. Maybe it happens because of his technique, or because of his dirty tactics.”
Klitschko also said he was better prepared than Lewis.
“I was 100 per cent ready, both physically and mentally, for that fight. Lewis has too much of an ego and on June 21, he simply underrated me.
“Lewis is getting older, becomes more half-hearted with every passing day. Whether he likes it or not, it’s natural for him to lose his speed, his reflexes,” Klitschko added. “Every extra day counts against him. Physically, he is not ready to box for 12 rounds, that’s why he was boasting he would knock me out in five.”
On a personal note, the 31-year-old said one of his goals away from the ring was to learn Ukrainian in a post-Soviet state still dominated by the Russian language.
“In our family everyone speaks Russian,” said Klitschko, who was born in Kazakhstan, grew up in Ukraine, has lived in Germany and now trains in the US.