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Lennox Lewis

Lennox Lewis

British and Canadian professional boxer who competed in the heavyweight category. Champion of the XXIV Olympic Games in the weight category over 91 kg (as part of the Canadian national team). North American amateur champion in the over 91 kg category (1987). Absolute world heavyweight champion among professionals (1999).

Childhood and youth

Lennox Lewis was born on September 2, 1965 in Stratford (England). The parents of the future champion immigrated to the UK from Jamaica in search of better living conditions. The father left the family when the boy was 3 years old. Lennox's mom worked two jobs. The child was left to himself. Lewis spent his childhood on the harsh English streets. He had impressive data and learned to defend himself from racist attacks from his peers. In 1972, the mother left her son in the care of relatives. The woman went to work in Canada. Orphaned Lennox was sent to a secondary school for troubled teenagers. Over a 4-year period, he changed 6 educational institutions. The reason: fighting and causing bodily harm to his classmates. From early childhood, the future champion learned to defend his honor with his fists. Over time, he mastered other ways to demonstrate his strength. The harsh experience of childhood conflicts helped the Jamaican boy become the greatest heavyweight in the history of professional boxing. In 1977, the 12-year-old Lennox moved to the city of Kitchener (Ontario, Canada). The boy met with his mother. The woman arranged for her son to attend high school, where Lewis became addicted to football and basketball. In 1982 and 1983, Lennox became the Ontario provincial champion as part of the school basketball team. In parallel with basketball classes, the Jamaican young man attended the boxing section. In 1980, the 14-year-old Lewis lost to Donovan Ruddock by a split decision in the first round of the Ontario Provincial Junior Championship. 12 years later, he knocked out Ruddock in the professional ring. The ability to draw conclusions and take revenge for his defeats is the main trait of Lennox, which helped him become the best heavyweight in the world. Lewis learned the basics of the fist art under the guidance of John Davenport.

Amateur career

In 1983, Lennox left basketball training and switched completely to boxing. He found his sport. The talent of the young fighter was revealed by Ernie Boehm and Adrian Teodorescu. Lewis' first success was winning the World Youth Championship in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic, 1983). The young heavyweight won the right to represent the Canadian national team at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles (1984). In 1/8 finals Lewis defeated an athlete from Pakistan, and in 1/4 he lost to Tyrell Biggs, the future winner of the Olympics. 7 years later, in the professional ring, Lennox knocked out Tyrell in the 3rd round. Lewis received several lucrative offers to start a career as a professional. But Lennox is used to always achieve the highest goal. He decided to stay in the amateurs for another 4 years and with the second attempt to conquer the Olympic peak. Lennox became the best heavyweight in North America. He won the open championship among adult fighters twice (1985 and 1987). In 1986, Lewis won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh (Scotland), and in 1987 he became a silver medalist at the Pan American Games in Indianapolis. In the decisive battle, he lost to Jorge Luis Gonzalez, the representative of Cuba. A few weeks later, Lennox took revenge on Gonzalez in the final of the North American Championship. The Canadian qualified for the Olympic Games in Seoul (1988). At the main start of the fourth anniversary, Lewis defeated rivals from Kenya and the GDR. Lennox made it to the final without a fight. His opponent by 1/2 Pole Janusz Zarenkevich refused to fight due to injury. In the final, the Canadian was waiting for the main favorite of the tournament, the American, Riddick Bowe. Lewis knocked out his opponent in the 2nd round and won the gold medal in the super-heavy weight category. The story of the confrontation between Riddick and Lennox got its start. A few years later, they had to "cross the gloves" in the professional ring. However, the rematch of the two best heavyweights of the 90s of the 20th century was never destined to take place. After the triumph at the Seoul Games, Lennox took a one-year break. During this period he returned to England. The best heavyweight of the amateur ring received several offers from various promotional companies. Lewis decided to sign a contract with Frank Maloney. His amateur record is 85 wins and 11 losses.

Professional career

For the first year of his professional career, Lennox "stuffed his hand" on fighters from the top 100 rating of the heavy division. In 1990, he signed a contract with the Main Events company, won the vacant European and British Commonwealth titles. Frank Maloney and Dan Duva, the head of Main Events, systematically promoted the Canadian heavyweight to the top of the heavy division. Lennox was nicknamed "The Lion" for his resemblance to the king of beasts. The problem of the talented heavyweight was his coaching staff. Lewis changed his mentor several times and, in fact, independently planned his preparatory process. By 1992, Lennox had come close to fighting for the main titles of the heavy division. In 1992, the absolute champion of the world in the royal weight was Evander Holyfield. Representatives of the World Boxing Council (WBC), with the assistance of other leading organizations (WBA and IBF), decided to hold a mini-tournament with the participation of the four best heavyweights of the world ranking: Evander Holyfield, Donovan Ruddock, Riddick Bowe and Lennox Lewis. Bowe was supposed to box with the champion Holyfield, and Lewis with Ruddock. In the contract signed by the teams of four fighters, there was a clause obliging the winners of the semifinal pairs to meet each other. On October 31, 1992, Lewis knocked out Donovan Ruddock in the 2nd round, and on November 6, he was present as a commentator at the Evander and Riddick duel. Bowe defeated Holyfield and won three major heavyweight division titles. A rematch between the two rivals in the final of the Seoul Olympics was inevitable. However, Rock Newman, Bow's manager, had an influence on his boxer. The duo refused an immediate fight with Lewis. The negotiation process has reached an impasse. On December 14, 1992, at a memorable press conference in Las Vegas, Bowe publicly threw a copy of the World Boxing Council championship belt into the trash. Riddick was stripped of the WBC title. Lennox was appointed the new gold belt holder. Lewis became the first boxer of British origin to win the world heavyweight title since the legendary Bob Fitzsimmons (1897). The American public did not accept the new champion. The audience booed every appearance of Lewis in the media. Lennox had a strong character. He understood that only his victories could win the hearts of boxing fans. Lev held defenses against Tony Tucker, Frank Bruno and Phil Jackson. On September 24, 1994, the first defeat in his professional career awaited him. Lewis lost to Oliver McCall by technical knockout in the 2nd round. The American public was glad of the stranger's defeat. The first fiasco was the beginning of Lennox's total dominance. Dan Duva tried to get the right to an immediate rematch with Oliver. However, McCall's plans did not include a second fight with Lewis. Dan invited his ward Emanuel Steward, ex-coach Oliver McCall, to the camp. The union of Lennox and Emanuel has become one of the most successful coach-student duets in the history of the heavy division. Under the guidance of a great mentor, Lennox restarted his career and began a new path to the top of the royal weight. He defeated two former world champions, Tommy Morrison and Ray Mercer, and became No. 1 in the WBC. The title according to the World Boxing Council belonged to Mike Tyson. Don King's plans did not include a mandatory defense against Lewis. The promoter decided to give up the WBC belt in favor of a money fight with Evander Holyfield. The World Boxing Council has scheduled a duel for the vacant title between the top two ranking numbers, old acquaintances, Lewis and McCall. On February 7, 1997, one of the strangest championship duels took place. Lennox won 3 opening rounds, but strange things started happening in the ring from the 4th segment. McCall was under the influence of drugs. Oliver walked around the perimeter of the ring, did not react to commands and was not interested in what was happening. Mills Lane stopped the meeting in the 5th round. Lennox took revenge for the only defeat in his career and became a two-time world champion in the heavyweight division. Lewis defended the title in fights with Henry Akinvande, Andrzej Golota, Shannon Briggs and Zeljko Mavrovic. On March 13, 1999, he entered a unification bout with Evander Holyfield, the holder of the WBA Super and IBF titles. Lennox won most of the rounds of the fight, but the judges gave a draw verdict. On November 13, in a rematch, Lewis defeated Holyfield by unanimous decision and became the undisputed world champion. It is noteworthy that the second duel of the two best heavyweights of the 90s of the 20th century was more competitive than their first meeting. Frank Maloney, Lewis' manager, decided to give up the title according to the World Boxing Association because of his unwillingness to conduct a mandatory defense against John Ruiz. In 2000, Lennox held 3 WBC and IBF title defenses: Michael Grant (April 29) Frans Botha (July 15) David Tua (November 11) On April 22, 2001, Lewis unexpectedly lost to Hasim Rahman by knockout in the 5th round, but took revenge on November 17. Lennox knocked out Hashim in the 4th leg of the fight. Lewis forced the American public to "bend the knee" and recognize the stranger as the king of the heavy division. On June 8, 2002, Lev knocked out Mike Tyson in the 8th round, and on June 21, 2003 defeated Vitali Klitschko due to the withdrawal of the Ukrainian boxer due to injury after the 6th leg. A rematch was planned between Lennox and Vitaly. However, Lewis was not only an outstanding boxer, but also a very intelligent and calculating person. His time is gone. There was a natural decline in physical conditions. In 2004, he announced his retirement from sports. His professional record: 41 wins, 32 by knockout, 2 defeats, for which the champion took revenge and 1 draw, the same in the first fight with Evander Holyfield.

After boxing

Lennox left the ring with the rank of world champion, avoided serious injuries and annoying defeats. From 2006 to 2010, Lewis worked as an analyst for HBO. The ex-champion invested the money earned in the development of several projects in the field of charity and sports. Thanks to his efforts, professional boxing in Canada has received a new round of development. In 2009, Lewis was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Lennox has played several cameo roles in motion pictures. The ex-champion lives in Miami Beach, Florida. Lewis is married to Violet Chang. The boxer's wife has been among the prize-winners at the Miss Jamaica contest for several years. The couple has three children. The family owns a golf club, a villa and a plot with a total area of 0.5 square miles. Lennox Lewis is the greatest heavyweight of the 20th century. Throughout his life, he overcame many difficulties and always achieved the highest result. He made the picky American public respect his successes. The history of professional boxing keeps in its memory the names of dozens of world champions. Lewis stands out against the overwhelming majority. He took revenge for all his defeats and proved in practice that he is the best heavyweight in one of the strongest eras of world boxing.

Timeline

September 2, 1965
Lennox Lewis was born in Newham.

Patents

Further Resources

Title
Author
Link
Type
Date

Lennox Lewis - The Last Undisputed Heavyweight Champion Of The World- Intro Ticker

Web

Lennox Lewis | Biography, Record, Bouts, & Facts

Web

Битва титанов: Майк Тайсон vs Леннокс Льюис

msimur

Web

April 11, 2012

Бокс. Майк Тайсон - Леннокс Льюис. (комментирует Гендлин) Mike Tyson v Lennox Lewis

Web

September 6, 2014

Жесткий поединок Эвандер Холифилд против Леннокса Льюиса

Web

September 30, 2020

News

Title
Author
Date
Publisher
Description
Barnaby Lane
December 11, 2019
Business Insider
"I got respect for [Ruiz]," the "Mama Said Knock You Out" rapper said. "[But] you can't come into the ring 16 pounds heavier!"

References

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