Former undisputed heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis has a good relationship with his past opponents.
He gets along with everyone from Vitali Klitschko to Mike Tyson to Evander Holyfield.
But the only past opponent that he doesn’t get along with to this day, is another former undisputed champion, Riddick Bowe.
Their rivalry began in the 1988 Olympics, where Lewis stopped Bowe in the final round to capture the gold medal.
In 1992, when the two boxers were top pros, Lewis became the mandatory challenger to Bowe’s WBC world title. After the sanctioning body applied pressure on Bowe to take part in the fight, he held the infamous press conference where he dumped the WBC championship belt into a trash can and relinquished it to show his displeasure with the WBC.
Now in their 50s, the rivalry has not died down.
Bowe is still holding a deep grudge against Lewis.
“Me and Lennox have a policy,” Bowe said last year. “If he keeps my name out of his mouth, I’ll keep my foot out of his ass.”
The two fighters came face to face, during the official weigh-in for last December’s heavyweight clash between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury, which took place in Los Angeles.
The event coordinators attempted to position the two boxers next to each other – when some heated words broke out and they had to be separated.
“The only [past opponent] I actually almost slapped would be Riddick Bowe,” Lewis told Complex. “Everybody else, from Mike Tyson to the Klitschko brothers, we are all friends. We are brothers in arms. We understand that was then and this is now.
“Riddick Bowe has been saying a lot of stuff about me, and then, all of a sudden, he wanted to come stand beside me. And I’m like, ‘Dude, you can’t stand beside me.’ Simple as that. And there were a couple of more words than that. It wasn’t going to go off.”