One month.

Hardly seems long enough for a guy who has held his division hostage for seven months while he ponders whether or not he wants to return to work.

Ask Lennox Lewis if he'd like a little more time to decide his future and he'd probably tell you he could use at least a full year to mull it over, chew it around a little before spitting out an answer.

These things take time. Money is involved. Money and reputations and logistics all have to be considered.

Something as rare as an actual, bona fide, I'm-not-takin'-it-back decision has to be carefully thought out and discussed before anything can be decided. Thirty days? For Lewis, that's the snap of the fingers, a long lunch, a short vacation.

Lewis has until March 1 to decide whether or not he's going to give Vitali Klitschko another crack at his WBC title. Going by Lewis time, that's like telling him he has to decide something in the next few minutes.

For most of us, 30 days is long enough to do just about anything short of building an empire. That's enough time to quit one job and get comfortable with another. That's enough time to fall in love, fall out of love and fall in love again. Thirty days?

To a guy on death row, that's a lifetime. To Lewis, it's a long cab ride.

Why does he have to make a decision? If he doesn't agree to fight Vitali, the WBC has threatened to strip him of his title. It's one of the funny rules of the fight game. If you don't defend your title, you can't keep it. Darn. If he just had a little more time.

For Lewis, the real decision seems to be more a question of whether or not he fights again rather than who he fights. He's been teasing us with retirement since he beat Klitschko last June, though some of us feel he's been semi-retired for the last two years. Do the math and he's fought only twice in over two years. That's not a world champion, that's a guy working part-time.

The heavyweight champion of the world used to be a busy guy who was easy to find. He was always drawing a big crowd, attending ribbon cutting ceremonies, giving commencement addresses, standing behind a cause he believed in. And two or three times a year, he actually climbed into a ring to defend his title, putting away the scissors, the crib notes and the special causes that needed his attention.

His day job was fighting and all the other things were just something to do between fights.

With Lewis, fighting is an annual event. He climbs into the ring about as often as he has a birthday. And if he does decide to give Klitschko a rematch, that fight won't happen until this summer, or another three or four months down the road.

Three more fights and the AARP will be trying to recruit him.

The thing is, if Lewis doesn't want to fight anymore, we can probably learn to live with the disappointment. And now would seem like a good time to break the news to us. The speculation of what he is going to do has grown stale and the questions have all become tired. It's time for him to either climb back into the saddle, or to put the old nag out to pasture.

I don't really care which it is, I'm just tired of waiting for the horse.