Originally created 05/16/03

Vitali Klitschko to fight Boswell on Lewis card



LOS ANGELES -- Top heavyweight contender Vitali Klitschko will face unbeaten Cedric Boswell on the undercard of the fight between heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis and Kirk Johnson.

Klitschko is taking the June 21 fight as part of a deal that will give him a bout against Lewis by the end of the year.

The Ukrainian heavyweight was added to the card after Mike Tyson backed out of a deal to fight Oleg Maskaev. After Tyson refused to sign a contract arranged by his manager, ticket prices for the fight at Staples Center were slashed and the fight was moved from pay-per-view television to HBO.

Klitschko (32-1, 31 knockouts) is the No. 1 contender in the World Boxing Council, and had thought he had a deal to fight Lewis in April. Lewis, however, wanted to fight a rematch against Tyson instead, a fight that now appears unlikely.

As part of a deal to get Klitschko on the card and to stop litigation over whether Lewis owes him a mandatory title defense, Lewis agreed to meet him by December, assuming he beats Johnson.

Boswell is 21-0 with 16 knockouts, but the 33-year-old hasn't fought any top competition. Only nine of his opponents had winning records when he fought them.