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Lennox Lewis

From Academic Kids

Lennox Lewis
Career Snapshot
Born September 2, 1965
Died
Total Fights 44
Won 41
Lost 2
Drew 1
Knockouts 32
Titles Won Heavyweight (WBC, IBF,

IBO, Olympic gold)


Lennox Claudius Lewis (born 1965 in West Ham, London, England) is a British former boxer, who represented Canada in the Olympics and was a former heavyweight champion.

Lewis moved to Kitchener, Ontario, Canada in 1977 at the age of 12 and excelled in the sports of football and basketball in high school; he eventually decided that his favorite sport was boxing. Future events proved him right, as he became a dominant amateur boxer and won the world amateur junior title in 1982.

Two years later, Lewis represented Canada as a heavyweight in the Olympic Games held in Los Angeles. He advanced to the quarterfinals, where he lost a controversial decision to American Tyrell Biggs and settled for a fifth-place finish.

Surprisingly, Lewis chose not to turn professional after the Olympics, and instead fought four more years as an amateur, hoping for a second chance to win a gold medal. After winning several more amateur titles over those years, he traveled to Seoul, South Korea for the 1988 Olympics and achieved his goal. In the gold medal match, Lewis defeated future world champion Riddick Bowe by a second-round technical knockout. This decision was also controversial because the referee stopped the fight after two standing eight counts, and Bowe showed no signs of being in trouble.

Having achieved one goal, Lewis now declared himself a professional boxer and moved back to England, having always considered himself a British national. The early part of his pro career was filled with knockouts of journeymen, and he quickly shot up the world rankings.

He captured the European heavyweight title late in 1990, added the British heavyweight title in March 1991 and the Commonwealth title in April 1992. By this time, Lewis was a consensus top-five heavyweight in the world.

On October 31, 1992, Lewis knocked out Canada's Donovan Ruddock for the No. 1 contender's position in the WBC world rankings. But ultimately, the victory won Lewis even more than that. After Bowe, who had become world heavyweight champion by upsetting Evander Holyfield, refused to fight Lewis, his WBC title was declared vacant. On January 14, 1993, the WBC declared Lewis its champion. He thus became the first world heavyweight titleholder from Britain in the 20th century.

Lewis successfully defended the belt three times before he suffered a knockout loss at the hands of Oliver McCall on September 24, 1994. He eventually moved back to the No. 1 contender's slot in the WBC rankings, but agreed to give up the spot in exchange for a multi-million dollar payoff by promoter Don King, who wanted his fighter, Mike Tyson to receive a title shot. in 1995 Lewis's life was documented in 'Respect', produced and directed by Pogus Caesar for Carlton Television the seven part series featured some of the biggest names in British sport.

Tyson later returned the favor and relinquished the WBC title, leaving it vacant for Lewis and McCall to square off on February 7, 1997 in Las Vegas. In one of the most bizarre fights ever seen, McCall refused to fight in the fourth and fifth rounds, beginning to cry and eventually forcing the referee to stop the fight and award Lewis the victory.

On March 28, 1998, Lewis retained the WBC world title when he knocked out Shannon Briggs in five rounds. He had also retained the title this time against former WBO world champion Henry Akinwande, who was disqualified after five rounds for constantly clinching Lewis. He then went up against Andrew Golota, whom he knocked out in the first, and against eljko Mavrović, beaten by a twelve round unanimous decision.

On March 13, 1999, Lewis faced WBA and IBF titlist Holyfield in New York City in what was supposed to be a heavyweight unification bout. Although most observers believed Lewis had won the fight, the bout was declared a draw. Eight months later in Las Vegas, the two men fought again and Lewis won a close, but unanimous decision.

Later in 1999, Lewis became the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Lewis later dropped the WBA and IBF titles in disputes, (Lewis refused to fight the WBA's number 1 challenger, John Ruiz). He successfully defended his title three times: knocking out Michael Grant in two rounds, knocking out Frans Botha in two, and winning a twelve round decision against David Tua. However, on April 22, 2001, Lewis was knocked out again, this time by 14-to-1 underdog Hasim Rahman in a bout in South Africa. The loss, coupled with Lewis' earlier KO loss to McCall, lead many ringside observers to question Lewis' ability to take a punch. Lewis regained the title on November 17 by knocking out Rahman in the fourth round of their rematch.

On June 8, 2002, Lewis defended his title against Tyson, winning on an eighth-round knockout.

In May of 2003, Lewis sued King for the amount of $385 million dollars, claiming that King used threats to have Tyson pull out of a rematch scheduled Lewis for a month later. Lewis then scheduled a fight with Kirk Johnson for the championship belt of the less-recognized IBO, but dropped it when Johnson suffered an injury in training. Instead, Lewis fought Vitali Klitschko, the WBC's No. 1 contender and former WBO titlist. Lewis had planned to fight him in December, but since Klitschko had been on the undercard of the Johnson fight anyway, they agreed to square off on June 21. Klitschko dominated the fight and Lewis was trailing on all three scorecards after six rounds. However, the ringside doctor stopped the fight before round seven due to a severe cut above Klitschko's left eye and Lewis was awarded the win by TKO.

Because Klitschko had fought so well against Lewis, boxing fans soon began calling for a rematch. The WBC agreed, and kept the Ukrainian as its No. 1 contender. Lewis was evasive about fighting Klitschko a second time and ultimately decided to pursue other interests, including sports management and music promotion. On February 6, 2004, in a press conference held in London, Lewis became the first reigning lineal heavyweight titlist to relinquish the title since Rocky Marciano in 1956. Lewis said he will not return to the ring. At his retirement, Lewis' record was 41 wins, 2 losses and 1 draw, with 32 wins by knockout.

Lewis' boxing legacy is mixed. Despite having beaten the likes of Holyfield and Tyson, Lewis fought both when they were well past their primes. He was also highly criticized during his career for having a 'glass jaw', as evidenced by his shocking knockout losses to McCall and Rahman, both journeymen fighters. Furthermore, Lewis' deliberate style in the ring did not endear him to many in the boxing community, who expected the heavyweight champ to force the action in the ring. As a result, Lewis was often labeled as 'boring.'

Lewis reportedly lives with his mother in London and owns a poodle. [1] (http://archive.salon.com/people/col/reit/2000/07/10/npmon/)

References


Preceded by:
Mike Tyson
Heavyweight boxing champion (WBC)
1997–2004
Succeeded by:
Vitali Klitschko

Template:Succession box one to two

Preceded by:
Brian Nielsen
Heavyweight boxing champion (IBO)
1999–2004
Succeeded by:
(vacant)

Template:End box

Previous champion:
Gary Mason
British Heavyweight 43rd champion
March 6,1991 - 1992
Next champion:
Herbie Hide
Previous champion:
Jean Chanet
EBU Heavyweight 63rd champion
October 31,1990 - 1992
Next champion:
Henry Akinwande
Previous champion:
Derek Williams
Commonwealth Heavyweight 34th champion
April 30,1992 - 1993
Next champion:
Henry Akinwande
Previous champion:
Tommy Morrison
IBC World Heavyweight champion
October 7,1995 - unknown
Next champion:
unknown
Previous champion:
Hasim Rahman
IBO World Heavyweight 7th champion
November 17,2001 - 2003
Next champion:
-
Previous champion:
Brian Nielsen
IBO World Heavyweight 5th champion
November 13,1999 - April 22,2001
Next champion:
Hasim Rahman
Previous champion:
Hasim Rahman
IBF World Heavyweight 10th champion
November 17,2001 - September 5, 2002
Next champion:
Chris Byrd
Previous champion:
Evander Holyfield
IBF World Heavyweight 14th champion
November 13,1999 - April 22,2001
Next champion:
Hasim Rahman
Previous champion:
Evander Holyfield
WBA World Heavyweight champion
November 13,1999 - April 29,2000
Next champion:
Evander Holyfield
Previous champion:
Mike Tyson
WBC World Heavyweight 20th champion
February 7,1997 - April 22,2001
Next champion:
Hasim Rahman
Previous champion:
Riddick Bowe
WBC World Heavyweight 16th champion
December 14,1992 - September 24,1994
Next champon:
Oliver McCall
Previous champion:
Hasim Rahman
WBC World Heavyweight 22nd champion
November 17,2001 - 2003
Next champion:
Vitali Klitschko
de:Lennox Lewis

nl:Lennox Lewis ja:レノックス・ルイス sv:Lennox Lewis

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