Lennox Lewis life and biography

Lennox Lewis picture, image, poster

Lennox Lewis biography

Date of birth : 1965-09-02
Date of death : -
Birthplace : London, England
Nationality : British
Category : Sports
Last modified : 2010-09-01
Credited as : Heavyweight boxer, world champion, beat Riddick Bowe

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Lennox Claudius Lewis, born September 2, 1965, London, England was the first British boxer to hold the undisputed heavyweight world championship since Bob Fitzsimmons held the title in 1899.

Lewis was born to Jamaican parents, spent his early childhood in England, and then moved with his mother to Canada. An all-around athlete in high school, he excelled in several sports but soon focused on boxing and developed into one of Canada's best amateur fighters. At the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea, Lewis beat American Riddick Bowe to earn the gold medal in the superheavyweight division.

The man destined for international fighting greatness came to the world on September 2, 1965, in London's tough East End. Lennox Claudius Lewis, the son of a Jamaican woman and a father who left him while still a tot, was born to modest surroundings. His mother, Violet, towed him to Canada where she found work in a Styrofoam plant.

But her low income forced her to send Lennox back to London. It was at the age of 12 -- when Lennox was reunited with his mother back in Canada -- that his greatness began to show.

Power was a born athlete, excelling at basketball, football, soccer, track, and volleyball while still in high school. But it was in the sphere of pugilism where he truly shone. "I love the sweet science of the sport," said the 6'5", 247-pound giant known for his calm demeanor and elegance. If his amateur record of 95-9 (with 52 knockouts) was not enough, he took the gold medal at the World Junior Championship in 1983 and the silver medal for Canada at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, only to claim the heavyweight Olympic gold in Seoul in 1988.

His professional debut on June 27th, 1989 foreshadowed the glory that was on the way. Lewis vanquished Al Malcolm with a KO in two rounds to subsequently claim 20 straight victories, 17 by knockout. Half of his opponents did not make it past the third round.

A pivotal fight with Donovan Ruddock in 1992 would decide who would face the winner of the Evander Holyfield-Riddick Bowe bout, and potentially claim the undisputed champion belt. Lewis floored Ruddock by TKO on round 2, with his devastating left hook/right cross combos followed by a barrage of overhand rights that left the fighter helpless. But it was Bowe who beat Holyfield, and subsequently refused to fight Lewis. The World Boxing Council took away his title, crowning Power heavyweight champion.

In 1994, Lewis met his first conqueror; Oliver McCall, the WBC's No. 1 contender, took Lewis' belt by TKO in round 2. He would exact his revenge three years later.

With his unstoppable fury, Lewis defeated Lionel Butler, Justin Fortune and Tommy Morrison, to face the feared and respected Ray Mercer. He won by unanimous vote on the 10th round. Lewis was then ready to challenge the unpredictable Mike Tyson offering $45 million for Iron Mike to defend his WBC title. After refusing, Tyson was ordered by a court to defend it. He chose instead to surrender the title.

It was then, in 1997, that Lewis revisited his old foe McCall and atoned for his sole defeat. After refusing to face the daunting strongman, McCall entered the ring, only to leave with a fifth-round TKO trouncing. Lewis regained his WBC title -- the first British boxer to regain the world title.

After plowing Henry Akinwande, Andrew Golota and Shannon Briggs, Lewis earned the Linear Heavyweight Championship in 1998.

March 13th, 1999 was a date that would live on in boxing infamy. Facing his greatest opponent to date -- WBA/IBF heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield -- Lewis was clearly the better man. But to the shock of 20,000 witnesses and over 1 million pay-per-view spectators, the fight was closed at a draw on round 12, in whatMuhammad Ali called "the biggest fix in history."

A rematch was ordered by the three boxing bodies. In Lewis-Holyfield II, on November 13, 1999, the champ pounded the "Real Deal" for 12 rounds with right uppercuts and his trademark overhand rights. By unanimous decision, Power became the first undisputed heavyweight champ since Riddick Bowe in 1992.

In 2000, it was Michael Grant, David Tua and Frans Botha who fell to Lennox's power and he maintained his undisputed title. Lewis lost the belt in his second and last defeat, to Hasim Rahman in South Africa, in April of 2001. But with a fighting spirit and lust for victory, he overwhelmed Rahman seven months later, reclaiming the WBC, IBO and IBF titles, and the three-time world championship.

The fight of a lifetime occurred on June 8th, 2002. On one corner Lewis, the star-studded recluse, a man who shines in the ring but remains anonymous outside of it. The volatile, frenzied Mike Tyson a man known to proclaim that he eats his rivals' babies, on the other. Tyson, bleeding on both eyes from the flurry of left jabs and overhand rights, was pounded to the floor on the eighth round. At 2:25, the referee counted him out.

Iron Mike, in a rare moment of grace said, "There's no way I could ever beat him... He's just too big and too strong."

Will the man who George Foreman has described as "beyond doubt the greatest heavyweight of all time" ever know defeat? With these credentials, he will likely remain the untainted legend, even more so now that he has announced his retirement from boxing in February 2004.

Lewis also announced his plans to marry long-time girlfriend Violet Chang and become a family man. One can only guess how cool it would be to grow up having a boxing icon as your dad.

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