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‘I'm gonna fight Lennox Lewis’: Mike Tyson claims he will face old heavyweight foe in September after Holyfield fight falls apart

‘I'm gonna fight Lennox Lewis’: Mike Tyson claims he will face old heavyweight foe in September after Holyfield fight falls apart
Alleviating fans' disappointment over a failed trilogy clash with Evander Holyfrield, boxing legend Mike Tyson has now claimed he will fight former heavyweight title rival Lennox Lewis in a rematch of their epic 2002 showdown.

Making his way out of Catch in Los Angeles on Tuesday, former champion Tyson was getting into a private vehicle when he was asked about the Holyfield fight that he had said was close to being finalized in March.

Brushing that aside, the 54-year-old said he had lined up a meeting with the man who knocked him out in eight rounds in Tennessee almost 20 years ago. he claimed:

"I'm gonna fight Lennox Lewis... [in] September," Tyson told TMZ, naming the 55-year-old as his next opponent following his draw with Roy Jones Jr last November.

The developments are a dramatic switch from Tyson allegedly pricing himself out of a third meeting with Holyfield next month.

Earlier, in March, Iron Mike gave an interview to Haute Living where he stated the trilogy bout was ready to be finalized.

"There’s a small, fundamental difference to get some paperwork done, and then it’s on to the races with me and Evander. I've learned so much. We don't need promoters. What's a promoter? [An] overrated cheerleader?," he asked.

“I just want everyone to know the fight is on with me and Holyfield. Holyfield’s a humble man, I know that, and he’s a man of God, but I’m God’s man, and I'm listening, and I’m gonna be successful on May 29.”

Also on rt.com ‘My dance partner is a no show’: Holyfield says Tyson has backed out of trilogy despite Iron Mike claiming that fight is on

That confused Holyfield's camp, who insisted Tyson had declined "all offers" to face the 'Real Deal', including a guaranteed $25 million purse on Memorial Day.  

"We were negotiating in good faith all along and it appears we just ended up wasting our time," revealed Holyfield's manager Kris Lawrence at the time.

"The parties have been in intense negotiations for several months and Team Holyfield sincerely believed a deal was imminent, especially after the Hard Rock [Stadium] threw its support behind the project, and there were multiple other offers conveyed to Team Tyson.

"However, Team Tyson’s demands recently became untenable, and not what Mike Tyson had originally agreed on in direct conversations with Holyfield," a statement read.

This caused Holyfield to head to Instagram and lament that his "dance partner" was "a no show for the last dance".

But if anyone is to pull out this time, it is likely boxing's last undisputed heavyweight king, Lewis.

Told last week by an admirer on Twitter that the masses missed him fighting and that he was the sport's last great heavyweight champ, 'The Lion' replied with a smiling emoji stating that he didn't "miss getting hit in the face".

He has also spoken out on celebrity boxing matches involving YouTubers and pugilists who did not honor the traditional journey of heading through the amateurs before progressing to the professional ranks, remarking that "we need a category below amateur for folks who fake the process".

This would suggest that Lewis might also not approve of long-retired former greats with combined ages between the 100-to-120-year mark lacing up the gloves once more.

But there will be an appetite among fans for a Tyson-Lewis clash greater than that when the former took on Roy Jones in a well-received exhibition bout with ex-pound-for-pound great Jones Jr.

Facing each other only once, their 2002 meeting broke pay-per-view records eclipsed only by the disappointing flop between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao in 2015.

Whereas that welterweight clash took place in Las Vegas, the Nevada State Commission refused to host Lewis-Tyson in the gambling capital after the pair brawled at a press conference.

Tyson bit Lewis on the leg and famously threatened to eat his children despite the Brit having no offspring back then, with interest in the fight gaining each participant a $17.5 million purse while earning more than $100 million for broadcasters HBO and Showtime.

Ended by a Ring Magazine Knockout of the Year by Lewis, who retained his WBC, IBF, IBO, The Ring and lineal straps, it could be argued that the duo can demand similar paydays even if their bad blood has subsided thanks to a more mellow approach to life from Tyson in his post-fighting days.

Elsewhere, Holyfield will take on Tyson's last foe Kevin McBride, who sent him into retirement in 2005, on June 5.

Also on rt.com ‘My grandmother would whip him’: Boxing fans scoff at Evander Holyfield fighting Kevin McBride after Mike Tyson ditches rematch