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Lennox Lewis Slaps Mike Tyson Fans Down on Twitter

BY Kelsey McCarson ON August 06, 2013
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Lennox Lewis vs Mike TysonFormer heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis, who knocked out a diminished version of Mike Tyson back in 2002, told fans via Twitter on Tuesday that he'd have beaten any version of Tyson ever.

The debate started off when a fan tweeted a question to Lewis asking how the bout would have gone had both fighters met during in their prime years.

"The same," Lewis replied.

"I'd have to dispute that, no disrespect to you," argued a particularly passionate Tyson fan. "You beat everything that was put in front of you, but Tyson was a different level."

Lewis simply wasn't having it.

"Really?" asked the heavyweight champion of social media. "So tell me...when was his prime?"

Next up, Lewis tagged Mike Tyson into the conversation and told him he was about to have a debate with fans about whether or not Tyson would've KO'd Lewis in his prime.

"First, let's establish his prime years," said Lewis. "What were they?"

When the particularly passionate Tyson fan in question didn't reply fast enough, Lewis filled in the dates for him.

"If you say 1985-1990 Tyson, we would have never fought. I was an amateur until 1989. When I was going for gold in the Olympics, Mike Tyson was conquering the heavyweight division."

Lewis told fans he never would've faced Tyson in the 1980s anyways, and that the two never would have fought while Tyson was in his prime unless "Tyson pulled an Ali-Spinks." Moreover, Lewis took umbrage to those saying Tyson's competition during that time was better than what Lewis faced during his runs as champion in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

"He never faced anyone like me," said Lewis. "So knocking out Mike Spinks is quite different."

Lewis said Tyson's win over Larry Holmes couldn't really be counted, and that the other guys Tyson fought when unifying titles in 86-87 "were solid fighters...but not of historical levels."

Lewis ended things by saying he recognized Tyson's accomplishments as one of the best heavyweights in history.

"He was a great fighter and youngest [heavyweight] champ ever," said Lewis. "Mike and I made history together and apart. That can't be taken away from either of us. Me versus Mike Tyson, prime vs. prime, is no more reality than me vs. Jack Johnson. We made history together. [That's] all that counts."

Well that, it seems, and laying the wood to fans on Twitter who disagree with him.

Comment on this article

brownsugar says:

Good and proper diplomacy...and a very mature response

amayseng says:

Lewis got knocked the F out by Rahman so what would a more spirited and younger version do to Lennox?
Who knows we can't throw triangle theories into boxing so what's the point of this discussion or article?
I must be bored.

the Roast says:

Lennox was a great champion. One of the best of all time in my opinion. That size and skill would be tough for anyone to beat from any era. These dream matchups or prime vs prime can always go either way. Easy to see prime Mike catching Lennox on the chin and putting him down and out. Just as easy to see a prime Lennox landing hard jabs and overhand rights beating the fight out of Mike and stopping him late. Lewis was tougher than he was given credit for. Ray Mercer gave Lewis a very tough fight in '95 or '96. Mercer was up and down in his career but that night he was up.

MisterLee says:

I'd put my moula on Lewis in his prime. That's just me. Glad it didn't turn into a twitter war.

tlig says:

The Tyson fan asking Lewis that question has to be naive. What answer was he expecting? Of course Lewis would say he would have won (and genuinely believe it too). Why is this an article?

kidcanvas says:

lewis is absolutely correct. whether u like it or not, tyson fought nobodies aside from holyfield...

Radam G says:

Not quite "nobodies." Maybe you can call them weakling bodies. Iron Mike fought the top guns of the heavies in that short time that he ruled. Pundits always claimed that he, Rocky Maricano and even Jack Johnson fought nobodies, aside Joe Louis and Jim Jeffries. It's just ain't fair. All you can do is fight the best that is around at the time of your era. Holla!

Hop says:

1) I don't think you can fairly characterize Lewis's tweets as "slapping Tyson fans down". His comments seemed fairly balanced to me.
2) The prime Tyson-prime Lewis non-fight is yet another example of what happens in the modern era of a politically-controlled sport. The fans lose out AND the legacies of fighters are obscured in the murky waters of 'what if ...". The principle that boxing should operate on is this: the best fight the best. Pure and simple.

Radam G says:

Editor Mike is just being hyperbolic, Hop. He rolls that way sometimes. Holla!

Hop says:

Editor Mike is just being hyperbolic, Hop. He rolls that way sometimes. Holla!


Ok, Rad. I'll learn.

Carmine Cas says:

A nice mature response, I think the results would have been the same.

Carmine Cas says:

A nice mature response, I think the results would have been the same.

dino da vinci says:

1) I don't think you can fairly characterize Lewis's tweets as "slapping Tyson fans down". His comments seemed fairly balanced to me.
2) The prime Tyson-prime Lewis non-fight is yet another example of what happens in the modern era of a politically-controlled sport. The fans lose out AND the legacies of fighters are obscured in the murky waters of 'what if ...". The principle that boxing should operate on is this: the best fight the best. Pure and simple.


@Hop. Great post.

No secret I'm a huge Lennox Lewis fan. Part of that may stem from I've never made more money wagering on a heavyweight. The casual boxing fan can't comprehend just how great the 'Lion' was. He's a short list all-time great in any weight division. The example I used to give was:

If a scientist devised a way to Jurassic Park the fight game and you took every champion that ever lived and had them fight in a bracket format until you had a winner, and every person in the room was 'eliminated' the moment their fighter was, the first thought of those drawing Lennox's name is, "I just might live!"

I believe Lennox was the better fighter. If you moved their fight back five years and they fought every six months until one retired, there is know doubt in my mind that LL would have many more wins than setbacks. That said, Tyson was a beast in his own right.

Radam G says:

DDV, I remember even in my kiddie grade-school days that Lennox Lewis and Holy used to be the only fighters -- amateur or pro -- who would spar with Iron Mike in 1984 leading up to the LA O-Games.

Mike busted everybody else the one time or two that they entered that squared jungle with him. Lennox would come from Canada to spar with Mike in New York. And Holy sparred Mike in U.S. Olympic team box-off camp. Mike never could get the rhythm on the two eventually 1984 O-Games bronze medal recipients. Remember that Lennox lost to eventual G-medal winner Tyrell Biggs.

Bottom like, there some fighters that have your number, and that doesn't take away your greatness. Holla!

gibola says:

Peak on peak LL beats Tyson 7/8 times out of ten. The Tyson 'peak' includes the Tillis, Smith and Tucker fights. No way that Tyson beats LL. Big danger would be Tyson catching LL with a bomb and using his speed and combinations to end it soon after (think the Pinky Thomas KO). It would've been a great matchup but Jimmy Young v Fast Eddie Chambers is still the one I dream of!

dino da vinci says:

Interesting dream there, Gibby. Jimmy Young could fight! Heavyweight division ran deep back then. If you had the 18 sanctioning bodies as you do today, JY would have certainly won one of them. Now 'Fast' Eddie Chambers...

tlig says:

Interesting dream there, Gibby. Jimmy Young could fight! Heavyweight division ran deep back then. If you had the 18 sanctioning bodies as you do today, JY would have certainly won one of them. Now 'Fast' Eddie Chambers...


Young didn't need 18 sanctioning bodies- just competent and brave judges. Dude had wins over Ron Lyle and George Foreman and unofficial wins over Earnie Shavers and Muhammad Ali (who he clearly beat).

Real Talk says:

I'm leaning Tyson, an in shape motivated Tyson was a tasmanian devil in the ring. Look what he did to Razor Ruddick, the man had a granite chin and kept coming with head movement and tenacity behind the power punching and in hid mind he couldn't be beat and wouldn't bend, fold or take defeat from no man in the squared arena. 90-10 goes a long way, beleive me when I tell you and I'm not speaking from sofa chair analysis are computer chair feedback. I've been hit hard as a mule kick and felt the shock go down my spine. I bit down instead of laid down because in my mind or 90-10 defeat was not an option so I stopped my opponent and made the next guy who thought he saw something and climbed through the rope because as he said " I want some work" I made him quit too. Well he quit when he tried to get me out of there and it didn't work and when the next time he rushed me I popped that jab in his eye and snapped his head back and his eyes got big as a deer in the head lights and I stepped off to my left and was ready to set him up again. I got master boxing qualites, I get started not in the first rd. but more as fight progresses. I think and adapt heat up as fight progresses. 90-10 it's all in the mind but the body is connected. The thought is the cause of it all. Dueces

Radam G says:

A fox always spooks "a tasmanian devil." This is what Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield did to Iron Mike from the JUMP in sparring in the amateurs. If you don't have it mentally, you can turn into all the types of physical devils that you desire. You are still going to get dat @$$ tapped. The above are two that Iron Mike just couldn't beat.

It is no difference from the two fighters -- Ken Norton and Doug Jones -- that the GOAT Ali couldn't ever decisively beat. Or even Marquez that Da Manny couldn't decisively beat. Never mind Hulkquez. He was kicking Hulkquez's arse, and would KAYO him in a second fight IMHO. Holla!

Hop says:

Hey, Dino. Nice of you to compliment my post and thereby welcome me to the forum. Appreciate that!

Re. your comments about Lennox Lewis, here are my responses:

1) If you don't mind my asking, are you British?
2) Just that you knew his ring name (The Lion) shows me that you are no casual fan, as very many would not have known that. At least here in the States that nickname really never caught on (much like Calzaghe). I think of those two - especially the latter - as two top-level boxers who really had no aliases that were widely known (Roy Jones, Jr. was another).
3) I don't think I share your degree of enthusiasm for Lennox, though believe me I'm no hater. Feel free to correct where I'm wrong, but as I look at who LL faced, I'm not particularly impressed at the overall quality level, and I think that is one of the most important considerations when we're talking about greatness. Who do you think was his toughest opponent? I think the top two would probably be Holyfield and Vitali Klitschko. Let's just give him the "W" w/Evander. Yes, the first fight was called a draw, but most think that was a terrible decision (probably me as well, though I'd need to watch it), and the second fight he won fairly soundly. BUT, Dino, don't forget that vs. Klitschko he was behind on all three cards before the fight was stopped. This has nothing to do w/his fighting, of course, but I thought his post-fight interview w/Larry Merchant was one of LL's worst ever (hollow big-talk). Tyson was a faded version of his former self, as you know. Lewis beat Mercer, Briggs, Grant, & Tua (quality wins), and Oliver McCall the second time. However, it's only fair to mention that he was knocked out by McCall the first time and by Hasim Rahman the first time. You can't just ignore those. So what am I saying? Basically that I would rate Lewis as a very good HW champion, but not quite "great" -- whereas you've got him way up high on the all-time list.
4) On my short list of 'terrible non-fights' (in other words matches that SHOULD have happened but didn't) is Lennox Lewis vs. Riddick Bowe (in his prime, of course). How I wish that fight had come off. It could have been a classic!

Nice to make your acquaintance!

Hop says:

BTW, Dino. I responded with a fairly lengthy post to your last one but instead of it posting I got a msg (from a mod?) saying that my comments would be posted once it was determined that everything was appropriate. (?) Maybe it's because I am new here.

SouthPawFlo says:

Lennox Lewis is one of the greatest Heavyweight Title Holders ever, but in my opinion Tyson was a phenom..


Im gonna make my "argument" short and sweet, Tyson had 1 punch KO power, Lennox's Chin was his only major weakness.....




In my opinion......

DaveB says:

That one is a hard call. Everyone knew the blue print on how to beat Tyson after he was beaten but everyone thought he was unbeatable until then. When he was with Kevin Rooney and had the head and body movement he was incredible. I'll never forget that Holyfield and Lewis as well as Lewis and Riddick Bowe never got it on. I wasn't really that impressed with Lewis in his heyday it really wasn't until it was pretty much the end of his career that I respected him more. I would pick Tyson at his best to beat Lewis at his best. Tyson had those cat like reflexes and gave big guys like Lewis fits when they tried to hit him. They were just too slow for his elusive nature. When he stood up and stopped the movement different story but that wasn't prime time Tyson that fit into Lewis' favor.

DaveB says:

What I meant was the Holyfield and Lewis didn't get it on when it really mattered.

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