He’s not even a month into his title reign and newly crowned heavyweight title holder Tyson Fury 25-0 (18) can’t say enough stupid things, ultimately painting himself as a rodeo clown. Weeks after winning one of the ugliest and dullest heavyweight title fights one can remember over defending champ Wladimir Klitschko, Fury is facing severe backlash for comments made and was accused of homophobia after he was quoted in an article in The Daily Mail as grouping “homosexuality and abortion as being two of three “evils” alongside pedophilia.” It’s hard to tell if Fury says things just for attention or if he’s speaking from the heart. Perhaps someone in Fury’s circle should remind him that copying and mimicking Muhammad Ali never goes over well and usually backfires. Either way, he’s certainly becoming a lightning rod in the overly politically correct USA and UK.
If that’s not enough, Fury is also contemplating fighting an MMA match, so he says. Really, Tyson? How about clearing up the confusion in boxing’s heavyweight division first. Is it too much to ask that you prove beyond a doubt that you’re the real alpha fighter in the division, and you didn’t just beat Wladimir Klitschko because he had an off night and didn’t take you seriously.
Speaking of former champs, Fury recently was quoted saying that retired undisputed champ Lennox Lewis 41-2-1 (32) is a has-been and jealous of him? Which is so ridiculous it’s beyond being disrespectful, it’s actually sad on some levels. Seriously, Lewis jealous of Fury? To steal a phrase coined by Muhammad Ali when he fought Canadian champ George Chuvalo in 1966, Tyson Fury looked like a “Washerwoman” throwing punches at Klitschko during their fight, and that’s being nice. Think of it this way, Tyson Fury has partaken in one noteworthy fight in 25 professional bouts – and Lennox Lewis compiled one of the most stellar and accomplished careers in heavyweight history. Is it possible that Fury could convince any rational person that Lewis is jealous of him or his stature?
Fury looked like a novice Giraffe throwing slapping punches at Klitschko, 39, during their 12-round title bout last month. What a correlation to Lewis who could box and punch and usually looked like a seasoned pro in the ring. Lennox Lewis also fought the best of the best of his era and never paid step aside money to get out of fighting any particular opponent. And despite losing twice, Lewis never met a fighter he couldn’t beat and exacted revenge on the two fighters who did beat him in rematches.
If the criteria for ranking great fighters consist of, level of opposition who you fought and defeated, how you would do versus other greats in a head-to-head confrontation along with longevity and versatility factoring in, than Lennox Lewis ranks among the top-10 greatest heavyweight champions in history. In fact I would go as far as saying only Muhammad Ali, George Foreman and Evander Holyfield fought as many outstanding fighters as Lewis did during their careers. If you doubt that I suggest reviewing the opposition that such immortals the likes of Jim Jeffries, Jack Johnson, Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, Sonny Liston, Joe Frazier, Larry Holmes and Mike Tyson fought and beat, and then try and conclude their opposition rivals Lennox’s from top to bottom. I’ll save you the time, you can’t.
Not only did Lewis compile a hall-of-fame career, aside from Evander Holyfield, Lennox was clearly the heavyweight of his era which also included Mike Tyson and Riddick Bowe. And in three bouts against Holyfield and Tyson, Lewis is 2-0-1 (1) and should be 3-0 because he was robbed out of the decision in the first Holyfield bout. Granted, when Lewis fought Holyfield and Tyson they were on the decline, but only Riddick Bowe and Michael Moorer had defeated Holyfield at the time, and Evander beat both of them in rematches…..and only Buster Douglas and Holyfield beat Mike Tyson before he fought Lewis.
Lennox Lewis retired at age 38 with his health and wealth and in his last bout retained his title by defeating the fighter, Vitali Klitschko, 32, who was perceived to be his biggest threat and eventual successor….and for the record Klitschko did capture the title after Lewis was out of the picture and never lost again going 13-0 to close out his career. Only two other heavyweight champions retired at the perfect time like Lewis with their title and money, and that’s Gene Tunney and Rocky Marciano.
Lennox is a class act and another great ambassador for professional boxing. If you doubt that, take note of how he took the high road and retorted Fury’s childish remarks suggesting Lewis is a has-been and jealous of him…..
“I’m honestly at a loss.I just heard Tyson Fury calling me out AGAIN because I apparently “hate him and am jealous of him”. Neither are true and just when I thought we squashed anything between us, I hear his interview.
It seems to me that Tyson Fury has a LOT to say, EXCEPT when he’s in my face. I had dinner with him the night before his win over Klitschko and it was all very cordial and the next day he even apologised for the things he’s said.
I thought we were good so you can imagine my surprise to hear this interview today. I’m honestly not sure if he’s got two personalities or what.
Nonetheless, he’s done NOTHING for ME to be jealous of nor do I hate him. I’m actually starting to think its the other way around. In my prime, I didn’t call out retired champions. In my era, we respected them. Ali is my idol. If he picked Holyfield or Tyson to beat me, he would STILL be my idol.
With the exception of Bowe, I’ve gotten along well, and shown plenty of love and respect, to all of my opponents, as well as the champions before me. This is how it’s done.
For a man that has battled and fought very hard to get the respect he deserves, it’s seems to me that he missed the most important lesson… that it’s a two way street.”
Talk about kicking someone’s butt with style and class without making a fist, I’ve never witnessed it done so eloquently and succinctly than the way Lennox Lewis took apart Tyson Fury last week for making some very childish and unnecessary remarks. Sadly, it’s doubtful that Fury even grasps how completely Lewis showed him up by just being the adult and bigger man.
Who said fighter’s don’t adjust and adapt to their post boxing life? I’d say Lennox Lewis has adjusted to civilian life away from the cruelest and least forgiving sport of all quite well.
Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com