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.
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."
- Lennox Lewis - Awards And Accomplishments
- Lennox Lewis - Lost Unified Titles
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