Report: Lennox Lewis to retire

Feb. 4, 2004 at 9:42 PM

LONDON, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Lennox Lewis, who endured a star-crossed run as heavyweight champion, will announce his retirement Friday, according to a British radio report.

BBC Radio Five Live said the 38-year-old Lewis plans to call it quits after a 15-year career that has seen him spend almost 10 years as champion. A news conference is expected here Friday.

Lewis would be retiring with boxing's most important division in shambles. Former middleweight Roy Jones Jr. holds the WBA title with no intention of defending it. Interim champion John Ruiz and IBF titleholder Chris Byrd are unattractive champions who would have trouble headlining a card.

Lewis, 41-2-1 with 32 knockouts, has not fought since June 21, 2003, when he rallied to stop Ukrainian Vitali Klitschko on cuts after six rounds. Facing mounting pressure to defend his WBC title and possibly give Klitschko a rematch, Lewis has been noticeably absent from the spotlight.

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