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Yahoo.com Jun 9, 02
Lewis Calls His Victory a 'Defining Fight'
By Steven Ginsburg
MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Reuters) - Lennox Lewis called it his "defining fight." The same could be said for Mike Tyson, although for very different reasons.
Lewis bloodied both of Tyson's eyes and his nose before knocking him out two minutes and 25 seconds into the eighth round with a punishing overhand right to the jaw.
"I wanted to complete my legacy as the best fighter on the planet," said Lewis.
"I showed boxing who is the best in the world. I can adapt to any style. No one gets away from my jab."
Lewis's performance before 15,327 at The Pyramid Saturday night was stunningly complete. The heavyweight champion's stinging jab kept Tyson off-balance and searching -- unsuccessfully -- for ways to turn the fight into a toe-to-toe brawl.
"It was quite easy in one sense," said Lewis. "I showed him I was a pugilist specialist. I showed him the sweet science of the sport.
"He was trying to get me out with that one big punch but I wasn't really allowing it... It was a defining fight."
It was "defining" for Tyson too because he was so thoroughly dominated. The 35-year-old former champ is not ready to retire but his big-money paydays may be over.
Lewis punished Tyson for most of the fight, winning the final seven rounds on each of the judges' cards. Tyson suffered a nasty cut on his right eye in the third round and never recovered.
"He was just fighting marvelous," said Tyson, who needed some locker-room stitchwork to repair the gash on his eyelid. "He was too big and too strong and I couldn't get to him."
Tyson, who earned nearly $20 million from the fight, is reportedly deep in debt. But he insists money is not the reason he wants to keep fighting.
"Of course I'm disappointed because the only thing I have out of this deal is money," he said. "I want greatness more than money. It's really disappointing."
Tyson's brawl with Lewis at a pre-fight news conference forced promoters to separate the two until they met in the ring. With as much as $150 million in revenue at stake, no one was taking any chances.
Many were surprised that Tyson was so cordial after the fight.
"This fight was good for boxing," said Lewis's trainer, Emanuel Steward. "And I have to thank Mike Tyson for it because he very easily could have turned it into an ugly event. But he was very gracious afterward and very humble. I have a lot of respect for him."
Lewis, who wants to take a few weeks off before deciding his next move, said it was the whipping that made Tyson humble.
"My friends said to go in there and make sure I give him some discipline so I did," said Lewis. "He had no choice in the matter. I had to make him humble."
Lewis did not rule out a re-match with Tyson. But he clearly enjoyed winning in such dominating fashion.
"People had to see me against Mike Tyson before they'd see me as the best," said Lewis. "Well, now they've seen it."
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 09, 2002
After the fight, Tyson was seen on Beale street soliciting poontang
-- (Burt Sugar@Fedoras R.Us), June 09, 2002.
Lewis is a great fighter but a liability in the game of pre-fight promotion. It was the so-called acting skills of Tyson that made this event so profitable for all involved. The burning question is:
“Who would now pay a red cent to see Tyson fight again?”
The answer is: “Too many idiots that buy into the hype.”
The ‘quality’ boxing these days takes place in the welterweight and middleweight divisions, with Roy Jones Jr. plodding along without any worthy challengers in the LH ranks.
How bout this for an all-time gate:
Shaq –vs- Lewis
-- Send (email@example.com), June 09, 2002.
I watched a good fight lastnight...Harrison from Scotland and Santiago from Puerto Rico. I think they are featherweight.
I couldn't care less about a Tyson fight anymore. I certainly wouldn't pay to see him.
-- (her@highness.), June 09, 2002.