3 minute read

Lennox Lewis

Defeated Tyson

Lewis again showed his power as a fighter when he finally got the chance to fight Tyson in June 2002. Lewis had wanted this fight for years, but Tyson had avoided him. The pair even got into a scuffle at the press conference announcing the fight in February 2002. Tyson charged Lewis and bit him in the leg. The fight took place at the Pyramid in Memphis, Tennessee, because Tyson had problems getting a license elsewhere. Lewis dominated the fight, the first in which Tyson was an underdog. He knocked Tyson out in the eighth round, though he could have done it earlier in the fight.

Awards and Accomplishments

1983 Canada Winter Games, gold medal; World Junior Championships, gold medal; Named Athlete of the Year in Canada
1984 Stockholm Box-Open International Tournament, gold medal; National Senior Championships, gold medal; Canada Super Heavyweight champion
1985 National Senior Championships, gold medal; Albena Tournament, gold medal; World Cup, silver; Canada Super Heavyweight champion
1986 National Senior Championships, gold medal; Commonwealth Games, gold; Quebec Cup, gold medal; Canada Super Heavyweight champion
1987 Box Open Tournament, gold medal; National Senior Championships, gold medal; French International Tournament, gold medal; Pan Am Games, gold medal; North American Championships, gold medal; Felix Stamm Tournament, gold medal; Canada Super Heavyweight champion
1988 Won gold medal in the Olympics in boxing in super heavyweight division; Intercup, silver medal; Canada Cup, gold medal; Canada Super Heavyweight champion
1989 Won first professional fight against Al Malcolm on June 27
1990 Became European heavyweight champion defeating Jean Chanet
1991 Won British heavyweight title, defeating Gary Mason; retained European heavyweight champion
1992 Defeated Donovan "Razor" Ruddock; in December, awarded World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight championship when Riddick Bowe refused to fight him
1993 Defended WBC title by defeating Tony Tucker and Frank Bruno; named British Boxer of the Year, British Boxing Board of Control
1994 Defended WBC title by defeating Phil Jackson; lost WBC title to Oliver McCall
1996 Defeated Ray Mercer; regained WBC title by defeating Oliver McCall
1997 Defended WBC title by beating Andrew Golota
1998 Defended WBC title by defeating Shannon Briggs and Zelijko Mavrovic; awarded the MBE
1999 Fought to a draw with Evander Holyfield (the International Boxing Federation (IBF) and World Boxing Association (WBA) champion), then defeated him later in the year to become undisputed heavyweight champion; named BBC Sports Personality of the Year; awarded honorary doctorate by University of North London
2000 Defended undisputed title by defeating Michael Grant, Francois Botha, and David Tua
2001 Lost undisputed title by losing to Hasam Rahman; regained title later that year by defeating Rahman
2002 Defended title by defeating Mike Tyson; awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire)

After the victory, Lewis was left with a problem. He was arguably the best heavyweight fighter but had no real competition except to fight Tyson again and was an enigma who did not draw many boxing fans. He was forced to give up his IBF belt in September 2002 because the challenger they picked, Chris Byrd, would not be challenging. Lewis was scheduled to fight Vitali Klitschko, a Ukrainian, in the United States in April 2003, then Klitschko's brother, Wladimir, and perhaps Tyson again, then retire. After the Tyson fight in 2002, Hoffer wrote in Sports Illustrated, "He avenged those defeats [McCall and Rahman], his attention restored, and now with this fight he must be recognized as a pretty powerful performer. If Lewis retired now—and that's possible, as he seems at long last to have cleaned out the division—he need not apologize for his departure."

Additional topics

Famous Sports StarsBoxingLennox Lewis Biography - Introduced To Boxing, Success As Amateur Boxer, Turned Professional As A Boxer, Won First Professional Title - CONTACT INFORMATION