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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Lewis Wants to Ignore Foe, but Won't

LONDON -- Lennox Lewis would rather be someplace other than in the Wembley Arena ring against Oliver McCall early Sunday morning.


The World Boxing Council heavyweight champion sees the American as more of a nuisance than a threat, though he swears he is not taking the challenger lightly.


"If it were up to me, I'd skip the fight," Lewis said. "I'd rather get ready for the big one (a fight against former undisputed champion Riddick Bowe). McCall is just a stepping stone, an interference in my plans. But he will help me get ready for Bowe."


It is a mandatory defense for Lewis, since McCall, 29, is the WBC's No. 1-ranked contender. While Lewis does not consider McCall a serious threat, he realizes that a chance at a championship can make any challenger dangerous. "Once you achieve something, there's always another guy who says, 'You can't beat me,' then you have to prove it."So far the champion from Britain has proved himself better than 25 opponents, beating them all, 21 by knockout.


The odds are 4-1 that McCall will become Lewis' 26th victim in the fight that is scheduled to begin at 1:30 A.M. in London (4:30 A.M. in Moscow) so that it can be televised in the United States during prime time Saturday.


McCall, 24-5 with 17 knockouts, is a man who has a solid chin and decent power, and he could force Lewis to go the 12-round distance.


Because of McCall's staying power -- he claims never to have been knocked down as an amateur or a pro -- Lewis said at a joint news conference Thursday, "I think McCall will bring some things out of Lennox Lewis that the public hasn't seen in awhile."