LEDYARD, Conn. -- Lennox Lewis was to make a last-ditch effort to get a fight with world heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe today. According to promoter Dan Duva, Lewis will again say he will accept $3 million for the fight -- and if he loses, he will donate his entire purse to the starving people of Somalia.
Of course, this is likely to result in an entire nation rooting against Lewis -- but it is more likely that Bowe will go ahead with a two-fight deal he signed last week with HBO, beginning with a Feb. 6 title defense against Alex Garcia. Bowe and his manager, Rock Newman, are scheduled to announce a long-term deal with Time Warner at a news conference tomorrow.
"It's for a very long time," said Duva, who refused to specify terms and conditions. "But Lewis is going to make one more try at getting the fight that all boxing fans want to see."
Duva said yesterday he had been told by Lewis' manager, Frank Maloney, that Lewis would make the offer at a London news conference by telephone from Jamaica, where he is vacationing. On Monday, Bowe tossed his World Boxing Council title belt in a trash can to symbolize his disdain for the organization and Lewis, its No. 1 contender. Afterward, WBC president Jose Sulaiman said he was stripping Bowe and awarding the belt to Lewis.
Duva said the belt Bowe trashed was not even his, that it had once belonged to Evander Holyfield, who Bowe beat for the title Nov. 13, and was bought by Bowe for $1,700 at a Washington, D.C., auction.