Lewis give seniors excuse
for return to ring

Feb 17, 2004 3:22 AM

They’re coming out of the woodwork, scurrying like cockroaches when you turn on the lights in a New York City apartment.

I didn’t remember them all retiring, now here they are, coming back to foul the waters once again. Just as Lennox Lewis walks away, and maybe because he did, suddenly former champions are lining up to make more money.

One week later, Lewis is looking better already. When he turns 55, I believe it is safe to say he won’t be clamoring for one more fight. George Foreman, who quit announcing for HBO, a job that entailed showing up the day before a fight and, the way he handled it, doing no homework, saying he wanted to spend more time with the family.

The sweat isn’t dry on Lewis’s jockstrap and Foreman wants to fight again.

Go away, George, please. Isn’t there a kid somewhere who needs some preaching?

Mike Tyson didn’t need Lewis’s departure as an incentive, not when the word ”” and don’t believe everything you read in depositions ”” is that he was down to around his last $6,000. At least Mike doesn’t want to fight; he has to.

Sorry, Tyson couldn’t get a job as a commentator to replace either Foreman at HBO or Max Kellerman on ESPN. He’s overqualified. He "knows" boxing. Plus, he’s a fascinating talker. He might make Al Bernstein or Teddy Atlas sound exciting.

Foreman and Tyson are not alone. Two other heavyweight chumps want to come back. I can understand why Riddick Bowe does. He’s in prison, but he’ll be getting out this summer and wants to resume fighting. The other chump shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a ring. That’s Bruce Seldon, who’s been gone for seven years ”” I think there are laws against what he did with a young girl ”” and when he was around, he was a disgrace to the game.

What’s he want? A rematch with Tyson? You remember their first meeting, when Seldon ”” who had the WBA title he won from a faded Tony Tucker beneath another great heavyweight "title" bout that evening in 1995 (Oliver McCall hanging on to outpoint an aging Holmes).

Against Tyson, Seldon was so frightened, he went down from the first punch that came close. It went sailing over his head in the opening round. Maybe it grazed Seldon’s hair. The joke was that "The Atlantic City Express" had glass follicles. The game plan is obviously another ripoff. Win a couple of bouts against the guys a Sean the Shovel can dig up, then qualify for a decent payday against a Joe Mesi somewhere.

But the worst is not with the heavyweights. They had a press conference the other day for a fight that, if it happens May 27 in Mexico City, boxing should be banned completely after boiling the principals involved in their own grease.

Are you ready for Julio Cesar Chavez-Frankie Randall III?

Randall, one of my least favorite personalities, is 42 and has lost seven of his last 10. He is a walking minefield. Chavez, who was way past it when losing to Randall 10 years ago, is a spritely 41.

So there they were, in Mexico City, surrounded by the Twin Towers of Turpitude (and Arum makes three), Don King and Jose Sulaiman. That the WBC, and Sulaiman, would allow this dangerous travesty to happen in their backyard is just another sign that organization should be banned from the United States.

And so should King. The New Jersey gaming commission ”” not Hap Hazzard, that state’s commissioner ”” has ruled King off limits in Atlantic City. Let the rest of the world follow. Let his good buddy, George W., send him to Mars, where it is understood the President thinks there is much oil. Chavez and Randall III. Ridiculous.

Even in Mexico, King will wrap himself in a flag and proclaim what a nice guy he is, coming to Julio’s aid after all those things Chavez tried to pin on him years ago, after Chavez left him for Arum of all people. Don is forgiving.

The rest of us should not. This is the worst type of exploitation possible. You want to help Julio, Don? Give him a squeegie. Randall, as far as I’m concerned, can be fed to other dogs. Quick history: I never spoke to the Surgeon, yet in 1994, while out sick, I asked my good buddy Pat Putnam of Sports Illustrated to bet on Randall against Chavez. He thought I was nuts. He cashed the ticket, anyway. I wasn’t well enough for the rematch, a few months later, but I told Putnam, never mind, there’s no way in hell Randall would be allowed to win this time.

In case you forgot, he was beating the crap out of Chavez when Julio quit because of a head cut that was not deemed bad enough to warrant a stoppage by Dr. Flip Homansky. Quickly, though, it was ruled that Randall caused the bleeding and a point, under Sulaiman”˜s favorite WBC rule, was deducted from Randall and Chavez wound up winning a technical decision.

Naturally, I railed against the injustice. So it was a shock when I showed up for Randall”˜s next bout. He was going to be given a chance to pick up a minor title against Juan Coggi on one of those King marathons (headlined by the sick matchup of Chavez and Meldrick Taylor, four years too late). I wanted to do a story on Randall, the poor guy buried in the prelims while the guy he beat was treated like a headliner.

I was told by Aaron Snowell, his trainer, the Surgeon was out, wouldn’t speak to me. Obviously, it was the work of Carl King, Randall’s manager, but I have never forgiven the fighter. On second thought, let him fight.