SI Vault
 
burning Question
December 04, 2000
Q When will we see a Lennox Lewis-Mike Tyson fight?
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
December 04, 2000

Burning Question

View CoverRead All Articles

Q When will we see a Lennox Lewis-Mike Tyson fight?

A Don't hold your breath. Before Lewis and Tyson can make war, their respective cable networks must make nice. Neither HBO, which has Lewis under contract, nor Showtime, which has Tyson signed up, wants to release its boxer to the other cable outlet for what could be the most lucrative pay-per-view bout ever. HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg is adamant that Lewis will fight only for HBO. Ditto Tyson and Showtime. "We have enough of an investment in Mike Tyson that we're not going to back off," says Showtime executive Jay Larkin.

Even if one side were inclined to budge, roadblocks remain. Shelly Finkel, Tyson's adviser, wants his man to get another crack at Evander Holyfield, to whom he has lost twice. A Tyson victory would give him the WBA belt and set up Lewis-Tyson as a unification bout. That would make the event even more profitable and provide Tyson with more leverage in negotiating his share of the take. But while Larkin sees Holyfield-Tyson III as a real possibility, nothing is in the works—and time may be the final arbiter. Says Greenburg, "the longer we go without [Lewis-Tyson], the bigger the risk of its never happening."

1