Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis Both Had a Huge Snub When Naming Their Toughest Opponent of All Time

by Jeremy Spirogis
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Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson are simply two of the most effective heavyweight boxers in historical past. Each held the heavyweight title on a number of events and every is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame. The two famously squared off in 2002, years after the combat ought to have occurred, with Lewis dominating Tyson and claiming victory through eighth-round knockout.

But when naming his hardest opponent within the ring, Lennox Lewis didn’t title Mike Tyson simply as Mike Tyson didn’t title Lennox Lewis. The two truly named the identical particular person and it shouldn’t shock anybody.

Lennox Lewis destroyed Mike Tyson of their solely combat in opposition to each other

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It took a few years to get Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis within the ring collectively but it surely lastly occurred on June 8, 2002, at The Pyramid in Memphis. Lewis had simply regained the WBC, IBO, and IBF heavyweight titles after avenging his loss to Hasim Rahman and entered the combat with a 39-2-1 document. Tyson got here in with a 49-Three document and was preventing for a title for the primary time in practically 5 years.

With greater than $1.97 million buys on pay-per-view, the Tyson-Lewis bout was one of many most-watched fights in historical past and people who tuned in watched Lewis destroy Iron Mike. Lewis used his top and attain to maintain Tyson from touchdown his signature blows whereas touchdown jabs and uppercuts that swelled Tyson’s face because the combat went on.

By the time the eighth spherical started, Mike Tyson was clearly winded and Lennox Lewis took full benefit. He scored an official knockdown about halfway by means of the spherical, though Tyson by no means left his ft, and completed issues off lower than a minute later, this time really flooring Iron Mike, who made no actual effort to stand up as he was counted out.

Never earlier than had Tyson been dominated like that however when requested who the hardest opponent of his profession was, Lennox Lewis was not the reply. In truth, as talked about, each had the identical response when requested: Evander Holyfield.

Mike Tyson says Evander Holyfield was his hardest opponent

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While initially set to battle each other in 1990 earlier than the Buster Douglas upset, Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield didn’t meet within the ring for the primary time till 1996. Tyson had returned to the ring the yr earlier than after serving a three-year jail sentence and had received the WBC and WBA heavyweight crowns forward of his combat with Holyfield, who was only one combat faraway from his closing bout with Riddick Bowe.

Like Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield confirmed no concern in opposition to Mike Tyson, which was as soon as a significant benefit for Iron Mike. Tyson staggered Holyfield with the primary massive punch he landed however actually didn’t harm him the remainder of the best way. Holyfield dominated the combat and the referee stopped it within the 11th spherical as Tyson was clearly out on his ft. And everyone knows what occurred within the rematch with Tyson being disqualified for biting Holyfield’s ear off.

In an interview with The Ring Magazine, Mike Tyson defined simply why Evander Holyfield was the hardest fighter he ever confronted.

“He threw terrific pictures with each fingers and with dangerous intentions.

“Great champion: chin, coronary heart, willpower, work ethic, demeanor.”

Mike Tyson on Evander Holyfield

Lennox Lewis is in full settlement.

Lennox Lewis picked Evander Holyfield as nicely

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People appear to be genuinely stunned once I inform them @evanderholyfield was my hardest opponent, to not be confused with my hardest combat, which was Mercer, however once you actually dive into why that’s, it truly makes numerous sense. – Holyfield, like me, has an in depth beginner pedigree that has served him nicely all through his skilled profession. He began boxing at Eight years outdated and was an Olympic Bronze medalist in 1984. Before he moved as much as the heavyweight division, he’s a person that cleared out the cruiserweight division to grow to be the undisputed champion, and arguably the most effective ever, in that weight class. – That’s numerous expertise and it’s protected to say that by the point we met for the undisputed heavyweight championship in 1999, he had seen all of it. – When you mix Evander’s beginner {and professional} expertise, you’d be arduous pressed to not see the sort of success he’s had within the ring. – I’ll tease him a bit on our two fights, he is aware of I received each fights even tho he received’t admit it, however in all seriousness, he’s the one man that has gone 24 rounds with me. – I can’t stress sufficient the significance of beginner expertise. Consider the amateurs as your internship into the professionals. The extra you study your craft, the higher it should serve you. – Me and Evander’s in depth beginner expertise introduced us to the highest of our video games. In a sport the place there are not any ensures, and even one mistake can finish in catastrophe, it’s essential to play the percentages. So though we now have each had setbacks in our careers, there was little or no probability that the success we sought within the sport of boxing wouldn’t be reached primarily based on our expertise. – #LennoxLewis #undisputed #heavyweight #boxing #world #champion #pugilistspecialist #noguytest #evanderholyfield #holyfield #cruiserweight #amateurboxing #amateurboxer

A post shared by Lennox Lewis, CBE, CM (@mrlennoxlewis) on Apr 1, 2020 at 9:21pm PDT

Earlier this yr, Lennox Lewis took to Instagram (seen above) to clarify why he thought Evander Holyfield was his hardest opponent. Lewis and Holyfield first met in March 1999 at Madison Square Garden and fought to a 12-round draw, which was a extremely controversial resolution as most felt that Lewis had clearly received the combat. Lewis did get the choice of their second combat precisely eight months later and have become the primary undisputed heavyweight champion in seven years.

In praising Holyfield, Lewis spoke on how each had nice success within the beginner ranks, which he feels was very important to their success as professionals. He stated that Ray Mercer was his hardest combat however that Holyfield was his hardest opponent.

“People appear to be genuinely stunned once I inform them [Holyfield] was my hardest opponent, to not be confused with my hardest combat, which was [Ray] Mercer, however once you actually dive into why that’s, it truly makes numerous sense.

“I’ll tease him a bit on our two fights, he is aware of I received each fights though he received’t admit it, however in all seriousness, he’s the one man that has gone 24 rounds with me.”

Lennox Lewis on Evander Holyfield

Looks like Evander Holyfield really is the true deal.

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