My Favourite Fighter: Lennox Lewis
By Simon Graham
As a fight fan youwould think its easy to pick your favourite boxer, in truth it’s harder than you think!
I love Sugar Ray Robinson, Ali, the gruesome foursome of Marvin Hagler, Tommy Hearns, Sugar Ray Leonard or Roberto Duran, I almost forgot Tyson. Then there’s the home-grown fighters like Nigel Benn or Joe Calzaghe.
In truth I could have chosen any one of those former greats but for me there is only one boxer that stands out above all others and that man is the former European, British, Commonwealth, Olympic and Undisputed world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis.
I first caught on to Lewis when he fought and beat Gary Mason for the British and European heavyweight titles at Wembley Arena, London, England – 6th March 1991.
I had always admired Muhammad Ali’s style of boxing and here we had a British born boxer cut from the same cloth as Ali, fighting behind a stiff jab, superior hand speed, terrific combinations and an obvious great boxing brain but unlike Ali, Lewis was armed with a great knockout punch.
Lewis struggled during his early career to gain the recognition and support of the UK boxing fans, they seemed unwilling to forget that Lennox had boxed as an amateur for Canada winning Olympic gold however, the night he fought and beat Donovan ‘Razor’ Ruddock that all changed, a clinical and decisive knockout saw Lennox become the number one contender for the WBC crown.
Lewis eventually developed into one of the most complete heavyweights in history: able to box at range or fight aggressively when necessary, as well as being considered one of the hardest punchers of all time.
During his career from 29th June 1989 until he retired on 21st June 2003 he racked up 41 wins 32 Ko’s, only 2 two defeats, both of which were avenged, and a draw, and was the last fighter to become unified and undisputed heavyweight champion.
Lewis has notable wins against such top heavyweights as Evander Holyfield, Tommy Morrison, Ray Mercer, Vitali Klitschko, David Tua, Michael Grant and of course Mike Tyson.
In my opinion, Lewis is the epitome of the ‘perfect heavyweight boxer’ and one of the elite greatest of all time heavyweights, I’m honoured to have lived in a time where I can tell my grandchildren in years to come about the greatest British heavyweight of all time who went on to dominate world boxing.