Lennox Lewis $100m return: five other boxing comebacks
The former undisputed heavyweight champion is said to be preparing to get back into the ring - how will he fare?
LENNOX LEWIS, the former undisputed heavyweight boxing champion of the world, is said to be considering a $100m comeback, at the age of 48.
The Daily Mail reports that the British fighter is in talks over a bout against one of the Ukranian Klitschko brothers, most probably Wladimir, who holds the IBF, WBA and WBO titles.
The Mail reports that Lewis was offered $50m to make a comeback at the weekend, but demanded a nine-figure sum to get back into the ring. "That is my price tag and it is under discussion," he told the paper. "I have told them I can be ready in six months and I am in provisional training."
If he did decide to make a ring return he would be following in the footsteps on many other boxers, not all of whom were successful. Here are five of the most famous:
Sugar Ray Robinson:
The American middleweight is regarded as one of the best ever. He first quit the sport at the age of 31 with 131 wins and three losses to his name. His second career as a dancer kept him in good shape physically but not financially, so he was lured back into the ring in 1955. He went on to win the middleweight title for a third, fourth and record fifth time before finally retiring in 1965, with a career record of 173 wins and 19 losses.
The Brown Bomber, as he was known, was one of the first black athletes to gain acceptance in the US. He was world heavyweight champion from 1937 to 1949 and defended his title a record 25 times. He retired in 1949, but was forced back into the ring the following year by a $500,000 tax bill. By then he was not the fighter he once was, and some even feared for his life when he took on Rocky Marciano in 1951. He was knocked out in the eighth round, and afterwards Marciano told him: "I'm sorry, Joe."
Ali's first comeback in 1970, after three years out of the ring following his refusal to fight in Vietnam, is the stuff of legend and set the scene for his epic, era-defining fights with Joe Frazier (The Fight of the Century) and George Foreman (The Rumble in the Jungle). Ten years later, at the age of 38 and two years after his previous fight, the man once known as 'The Greatest' returned to the ring against Larry Holmes. He looked anything but great, and after ten gruelling rounds Ali’s trainer Angelo Dundee threw in the towel. His last fight was another defeat, this time to Trevor Berbick, in the Bahamas in 1981.
If Lennox Lewis does succeed in winning back the title, he will surpass Foreman as the oldest heavyweight champion ever. Foreman returned to the ring in 1987, aged 38, after a ten-year absence. He lost title shots against Evander Holyfield in 1991 and Tommy Morrison in 1993, before beating Michael Moorer in 1994 to claim the Lineal, IBF and WBA titles. He eventually quit for good in 1997 at the age of 48 and is now best-known for his range of grills.
Holmes was one of the great heavyweights of the pre-Tyson era, and became synonymous with comebacks. His first, in 1988, was against Tyson and lasted only four rounds. It prompted Holmes to quit the ring for a second time. But in 1991 he was back again and this time he lasted a lot longer, winning 19 fights but losing three heavyweight title shots. Eventually, at the ripe old age of 52 he retired for good, after beating Eric "Butterbean" Esch in 2002. ·