Sorry, George, Lewis is next on Bowe's hit list

November 24, 1992|By Wallace Matthews | Wallace Matthews,Newsday

LOS ANGELES -- Forget about the appetizer, bring on the main course.

That is heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe's Thanksgiving wish, that his first defense not be against fattened-up old George Foreman but against Lennox Lewis, the No. 1 contender with whom Bowe feels he has a score to settle.

"I don't know where it's going to be or when, but I think I know who," Bowe said yesterday on a Los Angeles radio station. "I think I'm going to knock out Lennox Lewis next."

Bowe and his manager, Rock Newman, had been negotiating to make the first defense of the title Bowe won Nov. 13 from Evander Holyfield against the 43-year-old Foreman, but talks broke off last week between Newman and Bob Arum, Foreman's promoter.

Newman said Arum talked down the Foreman fight and tried to sell him a fight with Ray Mercer instead. More important, Bowe -- worried about being stripped of one of his three titles by the WBC and angered by Lewis' remarks after the Holyfield fight -- told Newman he wanted to fight Lewis next.

"Lennox has never given me my propers, period," Bowe said. "Lennox is very dishonest. He has no morals. It's about time I shut his mouth."

The hostility goes back to 1988, when Lewis stopped Bowe to win the gold medal at the Olympics in Seoul. Bowe thought it was an unfair stoppage and has had to answer criticism of his desire to fight ever since.

After Bowe beat Holyfield, he and Lewis got into a shouting match at ringside that continued at the postfight news conference.

"Whatever I have to do to keep all three belts, then let it be," Bowe said.

"This is not hype. I try not to dislike anyone, but I dislike Lennox Lewis. I'm going to enjoy it very much when I knock him out."

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