Date: 21st June 2003
Venue: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California, USA
Title: WBC & IBO World Heavyweight Titles
Promoted by: Gary Shaw Productions
( 40 - 2 - 1 )
Weight: 256 1/2 lbs
( 32 - 1 - 0 )
Weight: 248 lbs
In what turned out to be the final fight of Lennox Lewis's career, 15,939 fans inside The Staples Center in Los Angeles, California watched as the WBC and IBO world heavyweight champion overcame a game Vitali Klitschko, the WBC No 1 contender on cuts, but only after a life and death struggle.
Klitschko had the skills to match the 38-year-old champion, unlike so many of his previous foes, what he didn't have was the skin to withstand Lewis's slashing punches. By the end of the fight, the challenger had four cuts on his face and one in his mouth that required a total of 60 stitches.
Ringside physician Paul Wallace asked referee Lou Moret to stop the fight after the sixth round due to the cut over Klitschko's left eye.