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Heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis
"I'm ready to fight him now"
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BBC Boxing Correspondant John Rawling
"Lewis believes he is a saviour for the sport"
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banner Tuesday, 27 June, 2000, 07:24 GMT 08:24 UK
Lewis ready for Tyson
Lewis and Grant
Lennox Lewis walks away from the prone Michael Grant
World heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis says he is prepared to fight Mike Tyson and dodge his mandatory challengers.

Despite widespread condemnation for Tyson's antics in Scotland at the weekend, the 34-year-old Lewis wants to face the former champion for the chance to land a huge payday and also knockout one of the few heavyweights he has not faced.

Lewis' comments may well be a reaction to the threats issued by Tyson after he knocked out Lou Savarese in 38 seconds on Saturday at Hampden Park.

Tyson threatened to tear out the world heavyweight champion's heart and eat his children.

While the outburst has offended the usually tolerant boxing fraternity, it has enticed Lewis into considering a fight with Tyson as soon as possible.

David Tua
David Tua: Lewis' mandatory challenger
Lewis, who unified the heavyweight titles by beating Evander Holyfield in November 1999, says he will risk losing the IBF belt by dodging a mandatory defence against New Zealander David Tua, a fight tentatively set for November.

"I'm willing to side-step Tua and box Tyson straight away. The Tua fight doesn't really matter to me. I want to box guys in my era, Tua is out of my era, I don't think Tua should even be in the ring with me," said Lewis.

"I'd give up IBF belt. Right now the belts don't matter to me because I'm still undisputed. If he's mentally and physically right I'd fight him tomorrow. I would get a lot of money but the main reason for getting in the ring would be to knock him out.

He's talking about eating my heart, eating my babies, he's got to eat my right and left hand first

Lennox Lewis

Despite the general repulsion towards Tyson and his behaviour at the weekend, Lewis showed a little sympathy for the 33-year-old.

"I guess he doesn't get any peace anywhere he goes, his life is basically an open book. Everybody is waiting for the next thing to happen."

Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson: Condemned in Britain
But the bad news for Tyson is that those insults have certainly awakened the Britain's fighting instincts.

"Some people want me to go in there and give him seeing-to, sort him out because he's got no right coming out with those sort of insults. He's talking about eating my heart, eating my babies, he's got to eat my right and left hand first.

Lewis is currently camped at his Pennsylvania preparing for his July 15 defence against South Africa's Frans Botha at the London Arena, probably his last fight in Britain.

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Tyson in Scotland
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25 Jun 00 | Tyson
Anger as Tyson walks it
25 Jun 00 | Tyson
Tyson v Savarese in pictures
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Tyson fight ends in farce
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Tyson leaves sour taste
24 Jun 00 | Tyson
Tearful Tyson's grief
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