Happy 51st Birthday Lennox Lewis

Happy 51st Birthday Lennox Lewis.  Lennox Lewis  is a well known figure and not just in boxing circles. He has been successful in many areas of his life.  Lennox was part of one of the best heavyweight eras in the history of the sport and despite not facing all of the top guys in that era, he did have success against the majority, racking up wins over the likes of Vitali Klitschko, Holyfield, Tyson, Tua, Golota, and many others.  There were many colorful moments throughout his career so let’s take a minute to have a look at the man inside and outside the ring.

Lennox was British-born to a Jamaican mother who was worried that he would get into too much trouble if he stayed in London’s dangerous neighborhoods.  So, at the age of 12 he was off to Canada where he picked up boxing a few years later.  He was instantly successful due to his size and talent and became a world junior amateur champion.  Before long he was the best amateur boxer in Canada and made the Olympic team in 1984 only to lose in the quarterfinals to eventual gold medalist Tyrell Biggs.  Four years later he would achieve his goal of winning a gold medal after stopping tournament favorite Riddick Bowe. Subsequently, a rift developed between the two fighters that lasted throughout their pro careers. Many remember the incident where Bowe threw his belt in a trash can rather acquiesce to the dictate that he fight Lennox Lewis.

Lennox would go on to fight a plethora of good fighters not named Riddick Bowe.  Instead of going over all of his big wins that can easily be found online what this writer finds interesting are the three fights he didn’t win.  His two losses were shocking — one would never have expected him to lose to fighters of this caliber — and then there was the dubious draw with Evander Holyfield.

First up we have Oliver McCall, where Lewis walked into a right hand.  This was early in his career where he hadn’t yet adopted the more cautious approach for which he was known. Against McCall in their first meeting he walked right in on McCall behind not only no jab but his left hand held down by his waist.  He then cocked a right hand and squared himself up only to get blasted by a 1-2 combo that was the beginning of the end. Lennox’s legs were rubber when the referee waved the fight off.

He would avenge this loss several years later in a bizarre bout in which Oliver McCall had an emotional breakdown while the fight was in progress.

Lennox’s other defeat came at the hands of Hasim Rahman.  Lennox was doing well in the fight but, akin to his first bout with Oliver McCall, simply got careless. It only took one punch to make Rahman an overnight sensation as he knocked out Lewis with a stiff right hand, ruining a potential megafight between him and Mike Tyson, for the time being anyways.  Lewis would end up having to take Rahman to court to press the rematch clause where he returned the favor with a highlight reel one punch knockout of his own.

With his ring earnings, Lennox purchased a beautiful mansion in Jamaica overlooking the Caribbean Sea.  He loves playing chess and still turns up at many of the big fights, claiming that he is glad he retired as a champion and that he doesn’t miss the competition.

Lennox in known in boxing circles as a class act. Almost everyone you talk to that met him would say that he is just that.  In this writer’s few encounters with him, he was very gracious.  Happy 51st birthday to a great ambassador of the sport.

Happy 51st Birthday Lennox Lewis / Check out more boxing news and videos at The Boxing Channel.

COMMENTS

-Radam G :

Ditto! Holla!


-KO Digest :

When I broke into the boxing media in 2010, Lewis was literally the first boxer I talked to. It was my first media conference call and the exchange I had with Lewis and Vitali Klitschko was good. I wrote: In 2003, Los Angeles is witness to the world's last great heavyweight championship title fight when champion Lennox Lewis survives challenger Vitali Klitschko in a battle for the ages, winning by bloody TKO in six rounds to retain the title. Lewis had just beaten Mike Tyson and was scheduled to fight Kirk Johnson. When Johnson dropped out, Vitali stepped in and gave Lewis a reason to step off the boxing stage for good. There has not been a world heavyweight title bout since that's been as great or as real as what Lewis and Klitschko gave the world. In 2011, I asked both super sized heavyweights about the experience of fighting the other. Here is what they told me. "In all my career, I never meet so strong an opponent as Lennox Lewis," Klitschko admitted to me. "I never took so many punches. I never looked so horrible like this fight. Definitely it was one of the hardest fights and I'm appreciative that Lennox gave me a chance to prove my skills against the strongest boxer of all time. I have a lot of experience as amateur and professional. I can definitely say Lennox Lewis was the hardest fight in my career." Lewis was slightly more reserved. "It was a hard fight," Lewis conceded. "He was a guy I had to figure out. And when I say figure out, the man wasn't easy to hit. Plus he was way taller than me and had longer arms than me. My last major opponent before that was, you know, Mike Tyson so to adapt to his different qualities such as the height and the reach, was a challenge to me. Vitali was a big challenge, and one of my toughest fights."


-brownsugar :

When I broke into the boxing media in 2010, Lewis was literally the first boxer I talked to. It was my first media conference call and the exchange I had with Lewis and Vitali Klitschko was good. I wrote: In 2003, Los Angeles is witness to the world's last great heavyweight championship title fight when champion Lennox Lewis survives challenger Vitali Klitschko in a battle for the ages, winning by bloody TKO in six rounds to retain the title. Lewis had just beaten Mike Tyson and was scheduled to fight Kirk Johnson. When Johnson dropped out, Vitali stepped in and gave Lewis a reason to step off the boxing stage for good. There has not been a world heavyweight title bout since that's been as great or as real as what Lewis and Klitschko gave the world. In 2011, I asked both super sized heavyweights about the experience of fighting the other. Here is what they told me. "In all my career, I never meet so strong an opponent as Lennox Lewis," Klitschko admitted to me. "I never took so many punches. I never looked so horrible like this fight. Definitely it was one of the hardest fights and I'm appreciative that Lennox gave me a chance to prove my skills against the strongest boxer of all time. I have a lot of experience as amateur and professional. I can definitely say Lennox Lewis was the hardest fight in my career." Lewis was slightly more reserved. "It was a hard fight," Lewis conceded. "He was a guy I had to figure out. And when I say figure out, the man wasn't easy to hit. Plus he was way taller than me and had longer arms than me. My last major opponent before that was, you know, Mike Tyson so to adapt to his different qualities such as the height and the reach, was a challenge to me. Vitali was a big challenge, and one of my toughest fights."
Good insider perspective... sounds about right.


-stormcentre :

Lennox Lewis is a legend.


-SophiaMeekins1956 :

Lennox is such a good person. Best of luck and another 51 yeras!