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Fan Talk: Reality vs. Myth: Tyson vs. Lewis

Posted on Monday, December 27, 2004 @ 16:54:18 UTC by tysonian
I recently read an excellent column by John "Johnny Detroit" Lepak at RingsideReport.com that i wanted to share with you.

By John "Johnny Detroit" Lepak - December 21, 2004

It's been 2 ½ years since Lennox Lewis defeated Mike Tyson in the ring. Is boxing now bigger and better than ever with Tyson pretty much gone? I'm not here to bash Lewis, he was a good champion. Let's take a look at the two fighters side-by-side and compare careers. I have grown tired of people in the media saying how Tyson never fought anyone and his career was a myth. In a III part series RSR will take a closer look at the how the two fighters developed year by year and how they would have done against one another in the ring as well as in the box-office.

More quotes and pictures available in the extended section of this post (click 'Read More' below).

Lennox olympics - article 1 (9K) Lewis KOd - article 1 (9K) Lewis WBC - article 1 (9K) Tyson Berbick - article 1 (9K)
Tyson Biggs - article 1 (9K) Tyson oldschool - article1  (9K) Tyson Time - article 1 (9K) Tyson WBC - article 1 (9K)
1985/86 TYSON vs. 1989/90/91 LEWIS:
Tyson turned pro in March of 1985 and 12 months later he was 19-0 with 19 KO's. His record was built up on the quality that most fighters face in their first year as a professional. (The same caliber of opponents that boxers like Oscar De La Hoya, Sugar Ray Leonard, Muhammad Ali, and even Lennox Lewis fought in the beginning) Most fighters these days are lucky to fight 19 times in 3 years. All of Tyson's early fights were featured on local cable networks on the East Coast with a few bouts being shown on ESPN undercards. He was featured in numerous magazine articles (many of which were non-boxing) and even made the cover of Sports Illustrated. In his 18th fight 11 months after turning professional he faced 14-1 Jesse Ferguson in his nation-wide network TV debut on ABC Sports. Ferguson was no slouch. He went on to become a solid journeyman pulling off a few upsets along the way. Tyson destroyed Ferguson taking him out in 6 rounds. He signed a deal with ABC and was back on TV where he won a 10 round decision over veteran and former world title challenger James "Quick" Tillis (31-8). In his next fight he made his HBO debut when he faced off against Mitch "Blood" Green (16-1-1). Three months later and 3 KOs later, he faced off against Marvis Frazier (16-1). It was one of the most brutal KO's I have ever seen. Tyson picked up 2 more KO's over Jose Ribalta (23-3-1) and Alfonso Ratliff (21-3) on HBO before becoming the youngest Heavyweight Champion of all time when he defeated WBC champion Trevor Berbick at the age of 20.

Lewis turned pro in June of 1989 in London after coming out of the 88' Olympics where he represented Canada. He fought basically the same quality of opposition that Tyson did, facing guys that show you a variety of styles to build your record on (The same exact quality of guys Ron Borges likes to refer to as the "Tomato Cans" Tyson was built on). Lewis was 12-0 in his first 12 months as a professional winning 10 by knockout. Lewis had not yet made any real headlines here in America because during this time the headlines were being dominated by Tyson and Holyfield. What little coverage Lewis did receive, it was often in the shadow of Americans Riddick Bowe and Ray Mercer. In his next 12 months as a pro he captured the European Heavyweight Title in his 14th professional fight with a 6th round TKO over Jean Chanet (24-10). Lewis then captured the British title with a 7th round TKO over Gary Mason (34-1). He also defeated an over-the-hill former Heavyweight Champion Mike Weaver (35-15-1) and Glenn McCrory (28-6). He made his American television debut on a PPV undercard when he TKO'd far-faded former Olympic Gold medalist Tyrell Biggs. Keep in mind Tyson KO'd Biggs almost 4 years earlier and his battles with drugs were no secret. Lewis was now 20-0.

RESULT if they met during the above years: Tyson by KO inside 3 rounds. This is an easy one. You could make a decent argument that the level of opposition was somewhat comparable, but looking back I think Tyson's opponents would have beaten Lewis' opponents hands down. Regardless of who fought tougher opposition, Tyson was by far the more developed and skilled fighter. Tyson was ferocious and possessed lighting fast hands with power that would have knocked Lewis back across the pond faster than the Concord! Lewis was still a skinny uncoordinated heavyweight who needed much grooming before stepping up to challenge anyone as qualified as Ferguson, Ribalta, Tillis or WBC Champion Berbick, let alone Mike Tyson. Take a look at the Alfonso Ratliff fight on tape and you will see what would have happened to Lewis.

1987 TYSON vs. 1992/93 LEWIS: Hey, I'm trying to be fair here by giving Lewis the advantage with multiple years to match up with Tyson. Almost 2 years to the day from when Tyson turned professional he won the WBA Heavyweight Championship with a 12 round win over James "Bonecrusher" Smith. By this time, Tyson was already one of the most popular figures in sports. In his next fight he destroyed former WBC champion Pinklon Thomas (29-1-1) with an awesome 6th round TKO. Tyson then became the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World when he won a 12 round decision over Tony "TNT" Tucker (35-0). At the time Tucker was a very skilled boxer with good power in both hands. He was schooled in Detroit and if you ever saw early footage of him, I would take 1987 Tucker over 92/93 Lewis. In Tyson's last fight of 1987 he faced 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist Tyrell Biggs (15-0). Many experts were saying Biggs had the tools to beat Tyson and some predicted him to do so. It wasn't even close. Tyson destroyed Biggs when he TKO'ed him almost in Oprah's lap at ringside in 7 rounds at Trump Plaza.

Lewis began 1992 with a 4th round TKO over Mike Dixon (10-5). Lewis took a big step up in his next fight when he stopped Donovan "Razor" Ruddock in the second round with a big overhand right. Ruddock had already been defeated by Tyson twice and was nowhere near the same fighter after the beatings Tyson gave him. Lewis was still somewhat of an uncoordinated heavyweight with bad balance. In May of 1993 he faced Tony Tucker for the vacant WBC championship after Riddick Bowe threw the title in the trashcan during a press conference. By this time, Tyson was already doing time and the recognized champion to the public was Riddick Bowe. You remember Tucker, the guy Tyson defeated back in 1987 to unify the title? Tucker hung around the game and through Don King's influence managed to get in line for another shot at the title. Lewis won a 12 round decision to become WBC champion. In October of 1993 he defeated Frank Bruno (the same guy Tyson KO'd back in 1989) with a 7th round TKO. The fight took place in Wales before a huge crowd where Bruno was the fan-favorite. Lewis just couldn't seem to win any respect even as champion. (TYSON CRITICS TAKE NOTE: championship belts were not the only thing Lewis and his handlers were digging through the trash looking for, looks to me like they were also looking for old used up Tyson opponents to fight)

RESULT if they met during the above years: Again, not even close. Tyson by KO in 2 rounds! Tyson was already a HUGE worldwide box office attraction after 3 years as a professional selling out arenas wherever he fought. HBO's subscriptions went through the roof with Tyson on their network. Tyson would have had Lewis shaking like a leaf on a tree if the two had faced off at these comparable levels of their careers. Lewis was still being groomed and nurtured while Tyson was already a champion gladiator destroying all champions and top ranked contenders. Lewis was now in the mindset he had a big overhand right ever since his KO over "Razor" Ruddock. He may have had a decent right hand, but he still had bad balance and a shaky chin. Lewis was now a confident fighter and even a champion, but Tyson was now known as the baddest man on the planet in only his 3rd year as a professional. Lewis would have been raw meat for the young lion Tyson. Again, Tyson critics take note: look at the level of opposition both were facing. The stats don't lie and either does the fight footage. If Tyson fought nothing, but "tomato cans", who was Lewis fighting? crushed tomato cans?

1988 TYSON vs. 1994/95/96 LEWIS:How about I throw in a pair and brass knuckles and a sledgehammer for Lewis too! Tyson opened up 1988 with former Heavyweight Champion Larry Holmes. Holmes fought bravely before being TKO'd in the 4th round. Tyson next scored a 2nd round TKO over Tony "TNT" Tubbs (25-1) in Japan. Remember the first Nintendo game system? Tyson already had his own video game at this time, Mike Tyson Punchout. He was a sports mega-star that the public, boxing fans or not, followed his every move. A lot of writers put food on their tables covering Tyson during this time. He ended the year with his mega-fight with Michael Spinks (31-0) who was still recognized by Ring Magazine as world champion because he never lost his title in the ring. It is one of the most famous knockouts in heavyweight championship history, 91 seconds in the first round. At this point in his career I would say in my opinion PRIME TYSON.

Lewis was now champion and began 1994 with a TKO over Phil Jackson (30-1) in the 8th round. Jackson had never defeated any real fighter leading up to his challenge of Lewis and wouldn't for the remainder of his career. Lewis then lost his title against journeyman Oliver McCall (24-5). McCall was best known as a sparring partner for Mike Tyson. A Buster Douglas caliber fighter, McCall hit the jackpot. This was no beat down however. He just wound up and let one go and Lewis was on the seat of his trunks. The fight was over in the 2nd round. Lewis came back 8 months later with Emanuel Steward in his corner and earned a 5th round TKO over Lionel Butler. The story of what it took to get Butler into the ring this night is worthy of an article by itself! It is the only time that I have ever seen HBO have a fighter to stand by gloved and ready to fight Lewis if for some reason Butler decided to walk out of the arena. Lewis began to fine tune his skills with new trainer Emanuel Steward. He then TKO'd Justin Fortune (11-2-1) in 4 rounds. This was the type of guy Steward knew Lewis needed to fight because of his poor balance and to correct his now cautious style. In his next fight he TKO'd contender Tommy Morrison on HBO. Next out of the gate, he was lucky to squeak out a majority decision over Ray Mercer (23-3-1). Lewis was beginning to get some ink, but was still fighting for average ratings on HBO.

RESULT if they met during the above years: Do I really even need to tell you? TYSON BY KO! Tyson was at his prime and we all know what that meant, a world of trouble for anyone who stepped in the ring with him. The stage where Lewis was skill wise and the quality of his opponents, is more like that of Tyson in 1994 when he got out of prison and faced guys like Peter McNeely, Buster Mathis, JR and Frank Bruno. Again, I want to remind everyone of the level of media attention Tyson was not only getting himself, but also the sport of boxing. Because of the exposure Tyson was bringing to boxing, there were more TV dates for promoters, more money to skim off the top of fighters purses for greedy booking agents, more fights for boxers, and higher purse monies as well. Lewis was lucky to get a mention in the local sports section with his fight result posted while Tyson had the world of boxing on his shoulders.

In Part II we take a further look at Tyson-Lewis side by side, inside and outside the ring. RSR will continue to break down the "myth" that the media will have you believe about the awesome career of one of boxing's all time greatest champions and one of its most over-hyped champions of all time. Can you figure out which one is which? Be sure to come back

Lewis Steward - article 2 (9K) Lewis Tua - article 2 (9K) Tyson Bruno 1 - article 2 (9K) Tyson Bruno 2 - article 2 (9K)
Tyson money - article 2 (9K) Tyson Ruddock - article 2  (9K) Tyson undisputed - article 2 (9K)

Boxing: Reality vs. Myth: Tyson vs. Lewis Part II
By John "Johnny Detroit" Lepak - December 22, 2004

Read: Reality vs. Myth: Tyson vs. Lewis Part I

First, I want to thank the RSR readers for taking the time to read yesterday's lengthy article and coming back to read Part II (and hopefully Part III). Writing about this subject is a very serious matter to me because it really makes me sick how so many people don't give Tyson the credit he deserves for not only his accomplishments in the ring, but what he did to help carry the sport outside the ring as well. Say what you want about the street fight with Mitch Green, crashing his Bentley and giving it to a couple cops, the whole situation with Robin Givens and even the ruckus with Holyfield?the negative with the positive it kept boxing in the headlines of major network media outlets. Good or bad publicity, it kept the sport of boxing on people's minds. That in turn, made people tune it to watch it. Back in the 80's you could talk to just about anyone on the street about boxing, today you're lucky to talk boxing with a boxing fan.

1989 TYSON (Incld. Douglas) vs. 1997/98/99 LEWIS

Okay, it's starting to get a little more even. The fireworks outside the ring for Tyson had started and the original members of Team Tyson were gone. Tyson was now working with a crew made up of people more qualified to be working with a guy like Lionel Butler than the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of The World. Tyson began fighting less and probably partying a lot more. In February 1989 he TKO'd Frank Bruno (32-2) in the 5th round. While it was a devastating TKO, Tyson was wobbled in the first round before he beat down Bruno. Tyson's activity was slowing down in the ring but it seemed was picking up outside the ring where the media followed his every move unlike any fighter in the history of the sport, maybe even more so than Ali. He was at this time the most followed athlete in sports along with Michael Jordan. In his only other fight in 89', Tyson TKO'd Carl "The Truth" Williams (22-2) in the 1st round. I think it is safe to assume that Tyson was not taking his training as serious as he once did during this time. In February of 1990, he faced James "Buster" Douglas. We all know what happened here, the biggest upset in the history of boxing. Tyson was considered so unstoppable, that most casinos would not even post a line on the fight. Those who did listed Douglas as a 40-1 underdog. I don't recall Lewis ever being even a 20-1 favorite. Douglas came in and handed Tyson an old fashion butt whoopin'. Tyson had his moments with Douglas and even dropped him in the process, but it was Douglas who had the will to win and refused to lose this night. He wanted it more than Tyson did. Gone was the vintage Tyson "bob-n-weave" and gone was his qualified corner. To treat his swelling eye the cut man used a rubber glove filled with ice water to keep the swelling down! To his credit Tyson didn't quit, he took his beating like a man. Keep in mind he wasn't knocked out with one shot like Lewis was against McCall.

Lewis began 1997 by avenging his only loss to date against Oliver McCall where he won the vacant WBC title. McCall was reported to be in and out of drug abuse programs at the time. McCall walked around the ring with his hands down while Lewis punched away. He still failed to knock McCall out after landing several clean blows and McCall was DQ'd. He then won a DQ over Henry Akinwande (32-0-1) when Akinwande just refused to fight. Lewis was fighting on HBO and believe me, the crowds were nowhere even close to those watching Tyson at the compared time. I will give Lewis credit that under Steward's guidance, he was looking much better than in the past. Lewis had his best performance to date with a smashing KO over Andrew Golota (28-2). Lewis opened up 1998 with a big 5th round TKO over Shannon Briggs. Briggs had a couple of moments where he came close to pulling it off, but Lewis was now coming into his own under the guidance of Emanuel Steward. Lewis may have been recognized as the WBC Heavyweight Champion, but the headlines he was receiving were more do to the whacky result of his recent victories. Believe it or not, but the public became more aware of Lewis through those types of stories than him being champion. Lewis closed out 1998 with a dull 12 round victory over some guy I had never heard of (Zeljko Marovic) and have not heard from since.

RESULT if they fought in the above years:

Even though Tyson may have been beginning to be somewhat on the downside with his lack of serious training, he still was ferocious enough to put a beating on Lewis. Tyson did not lose to Douglas because Douglas was the better fighter at the time. It was for no other reason than he just did not prepare himself properly. Lewis had his moments during this time with a couple highlight worthy KO clips, but he made more headlines with his whacky wins over McCall and Akinwande. I am not going to tell you Lewis faced off against a bunch of "Tomato Cans" like boxing scribe Ron Borges would say Tyson faced, but can you seriously tell me that Lewis was beating legends?

1990/91 TYSON vs. 1999 LEWIS:

The year was 1990 and Tyson wanted his title back. An out-of-shape Douglas lost the title to Holyfield, but Tyson was still the champion of the television ratings and media headlines. He came back before a sold out arena (while Lewis was lucky to half fill an arena) to KO Henry Tillman (20-4). (The story behind the fight was that Tillman, a former amateur friend of Tyson's was down on his luck and Tyson wanted to see him make a payday). In his next fight he fought Alex Stewart (26-1) who's only defeat was to Evander Holyfield. Stewart went toe-to-toe with Holyfield before losing on 8th round TKO (watch this video). A lot of people thought he would give Tyson a test. Tyson came out like a hungry lion and Stewart was down 3 times in the first round. He closed out 1991 with 2 battles with "Razor" Ruddock in what are 2 of my favorite fights to watch to this day. Those were some of the hardest shots I have ever heard in a fight in my life. Tyson even without the title was drawing the biggest ratings in boxing and was along with Jordan, still the most popular figure in sports.

Lewis faced Evander Holyfield in April of 1999 for the Undisputed Heavyweight Title. While I personally thought Lewis did enough to win, the judges called this one a draw. The Lewis and Holyfield rematch was in Las Vegas in November 1999 and this time Lewis won a 12 round decision. To be honest, I think that Lewis won the first fight, but the rematch I thought Holyfield did enough to pull it out.

RESULT had they fought during the above years:

Drum-roll pleaseeeeeeeeeee.... TYSON BY DECISION! Sure Lewis was getting better and better each time out under the guidance of Emanuel Steward, but if you look back at "Razor" Ruddock and put him side by side with this version of Lennox Lewis, there is not too much difference. Sure Lewis was better than Ruddock, but not by much. And surely not enough to be able to fend off a hungry Tyson who wanted his championship belts back. The fight would have been far closer than any of the above, but if you take a look at the Tyson-Ruddock videos and then view Lewis-Holyfield, you will see my point. I think this fight would have the same outcome as Tyson-Ruddock II.

1995/96/97 Comebacking-TYSON vs. 2000 LEWIS

Tyson was returning to the ring after being away from the game for close to 4 years. He attempted to shake off the rust by taking out opposition like Peter McNeely and Buster Mathis, Jr. The McNeely fight was one of the most celebrity and high-roller attended events I have ever seen in my life. I have never seen Las Vegas that well attended in all my years going there. He ended the year TKO'ing WBC Heavyweight Champion Frank Bruno who had recently won his title from Oliver McCall who had recently won it by TKO'ing Lennox Lewis. (Tyson critics take note) He then picked up the WBA Heavyweight title over Bruce Seldon (33-3) with a first round TKO. Tyson came out lightning quick looking for the kill. In his next fight he faced off with what many people believed to be a faded Evander Holyfield. Holyfield fought tooth and nail and pulled of a huge upset. In the next fight we all know what happened. As crazy as it sounds, after Tyson bit him however, remember how Tyson started to land some hard leather on Holyfield? The rematch did HUGE PPV numbers!

Lewis had a highlight knockout when he blasted out Michael Grant in April of 2000 in the 2nd round. (Tyson critics take note about what Grant went on to accomplish or better yet, what he failed to accomplish). I am not trying to take anything away from Lewis who was looking great at this time, but more so reminding everyone who fails to give credit to the quality of opposition that Tyson had faced during similar times during his career. Lewis then smashed Frans Botha in 2 rounds with a TKO that was another career highlight. He then followed up those 2 great victories with a dull 12 round decision over David Tua. Allow me to elaborate on this for a moment. Tua was at the time being compared a little bit to Tyson as far as his compact style and punching power. He was however, far from "Tyson-like". Lewis stayed as far away from Tua's power as he possibly could like a matador does from a bull.

RESULT had they fought in the above years:

You have to look at it 2 ways. 1) Lewis would have been able to avoid the smaller Tyson and allowed to him to get bored and tired and win a dull chess match which would have been very Lewis-like. 2) If a cautious Lewis wanted to play it safety first and Tyson moved in for the kill and landed some serious leather then he would have knocked Lewis out early. If it was Lewis who was wearing the WBC championship against the Tyson who fought Bruno, I would pick Tyson by KO in 3 rounds. But to all the Lennox Lewis fans (and Tyson haters), yes it was during this time that Tyson gave up the WBC title for not fighting Lewis. But let me tell you all this, it was more Don King giving up the WBC title because he had no way of getting control of Lewis from Main Events.

Be sure to come back for PART III. We are getting close to the end and so far the fight hasn't even been close. Let's see if Lewis can rally with a late round comeback. Don't bet on it!

Lewis Rahman 1 - article 3 (9K) Lewis Rahman 2 - article 3 (9K) Tyson Brooklyn - article 3 (9K) Tyson ringisde - article 3 (9K)

Boxing: Reality vs. Myth: Tyson vs. Lewis Part III
By John "Johnny Detroit" Lepak - December 23, 2004

Read: Reality vs. Myth: Tyson vs. Lewis Part II

Read: Reality vs. Myth: Tyson vs. Lewis Part I

Thanks for coming back. Tyson's activity was really slowing down during this time. While he still was a major box-office attraction, it seemed the fans wanted him to fight more often than his schedule had him fighting. You have to agree this was the time when Lewis was really coming into his prime. Now let's get back to the action.

1999/2000/01 TYSON vs. 2001 LEWIS

Tyson was back in 99' after serving an 18-month suspension after his DQ loss to Evander Holyfield. He squared off against former IBF Heavyweight Champion "The White Buffalo" Frans Botha (39-1). Botha was outboxing Tyson before he was hit with a vintage-Tyson overhand right that turned out the lights. He then faced Orlin Norris. Tyson then headed to London where he fought journeyman Julius Francis (who had beaten Danny Williams). In London, Tyson drew more attention and fans than Lewis ever had in his own "home country". Tyson still was drawing in legions of fans when he fought in an outdoor arena in Scotland where he TKO'd Lou Savarese in the first round. In October of 2000 he TKO'd Andrew Golota in three rounds. He showed he still had the knockout punch, but the classic "bob-n-weave" had slowed down quit a bit. In 2001, Tyson only fought one time winning a 7th round TKO over Brian Neilson (62-1). Shoulda, coulda, woulda, if?but if Tyson would have stayed active his upcoming bout with Lewis would have been a different story.

Lewis opened up 2001 fighting contender Hasim Rahman. This fight drew so little public interest, that promoters were forced to take it to South Africa. While Lewis was busy filming a movie clip for Oceans Eleven, Rahman was training hard (much like how Tyson was distracted from serious training before his fight with Buster Douglas). However, let me remind you all again, Lewis got clipped again by one shot, not a series of punishment like Douglas inflicted before Tyson was worn down. Lewis came back to avenge his loss to Hasim Rahman, who after becoming champion forgot what it took to get him the title. You could tell by the look in Lewis' eyes as he walked down the isle that night he was going to destroy Rahman. This was one of, if not, Lewis' best fights ever! I would say this particular fight was PRIME LEWIS. Not to take anything away from Lewis' awesome performance, but take a look at Rahman's record in depth. Rahman was (and still is - I have him over Klitschko) a solid heavyweight no doubt, but was he better than Pinklon Thomas,

RESULT had they fought in the above years:

Take a look at it two ways once again. 1) If Lewis came into this fight like he did against Rahman in their first fight, Tyson would have had the same result as he did with Botha. How can you argue with that? Tyson hit way harder than Rahman and while Lewis would have managed to outbox Tyson for a couple rounds, he eventually could have caught him just like he did Botha. 2) If Lewis entered the ring like he did for Rahman II, the result would have been the opposite. He would have stopped Tyson like he would do 7 months later. Its about time Lewis wins one.

2002/03/04 TYSON vs. 2002/03 LEWIS

Tyson was far past his prime from his best years (87-89) while Lewis was somewhat still in his. I say somewhat because while Lewis did have some great victories, they were often followed up with lack-luster victories and even one punch knockout defeats. Tyson fought once a year losing to Lewis, Knocking out Clifford Etienne and losing via TKO to Danny Williams. Tyson actually looked pretty good before tearing his knee against Williams and I think there are a lot of people still interested in seeing him fight. Think about this, do you ever hear anyone talk about Trevor Berbick beating Muhammad Ali in his last fight ever?

Lewis had his career defining fight with a 8th round KO victory over Tyson in June of 2002. I guess you would consider this PRIME LEWIS. He fought only one more time and was lucky to escape with a 6th round TKO over Vitali Klitschko. I had to laugh sitting ringside as so many people who called for Lewis to rid the "evil" Tyson from the sport of boxing were now chanting "Klitschko?Klitschko.." and even booed him when his hand was raised in victory. Seriously, did beating an aging Muhammad Ali make Larry Holmes The Greatest?

PRIME vs. PRIME

I don't even think it is close! Tyson would have beaten Lewis close to death if Lewis would have stood and fought him. If not, Lewis would have ended up hanging on to Tyson in a 12 round snoozer much like "Bonecrusher" Smith. Now I am sure a lot of you think my predictions seemed a bit biased towards Tyson, but I want to remind you that Tyson was never dropped or stopped by one single punch like Lewis was. Tyson more or less defeated himself with underestimating Buster Douglas and was past his better years when he lost to Holyfield. When Lewis lost it was because he had a poor chin. Sure Lewis came on strong at times later in his career and had some great victories, but he never faced a fighter with the intensity, quickness and power a prime Tyson had.

He fought a safety first fight when he faced David Tua because he was afraid of Tua's power. Tyson was 30 times faster than Tua and hit much harder than Tua. The media always blames Tyson's fans for holding onto a myth of what they think Tyson was. What myth is that? The myth you all created? Or did the fans look at the fact that he destroyed any and all he faced. Take a look at www.boxrec.com and compare side by side the records for yourself. If Tyson never fought anyone, who did Lewis fight? Lewis' prime years were mixed between dramatic KO victories, lack-luster decisions, whacky endings and one punch KO loses. I think it was Wally Mathews who wrote Tyson lost his only 3 big fights in his career: Douglas, Holyfield and Lewis. That's funny. I don't recall the 40-1 underdog Douglas being that big of a fight until after the upset loss. And Holyfield, well sure it was a highly anticipated fight, but the box-office ratings for the McNeeley were far greater than the first Holyfield fight and no one really gave Holyfield a shot at winning. What was so big about that? As for the timing of the Lewis fight, that's like saying one of Michael Jordan's biggest games of his career was when he was playing with the Washington Wizards and faced Allen Iverson. Give me a break! While Tyson went off to fight in Japan it was because he was a worldwide attraction with endorsement deals from companies like Nintendo, Diet Pepsi and Toyota, Lewis was forced off to South Africa because no one wanted to even put up a site fee for his first fight with Hasim Rahman because he stunk so bad against David Tua.

Again, the main difference between a 1987-88 Tyson and a 2001-02 Lewis, was Tyson was just an old-school gladiator who needed no motivation other that to know he was fighting. It didn't matter where or when, someone was getting knocked out. Lewis needed Steward to motivate and push him against a tired and aged Tyson during their fight in 2002. Lewis had his moments for sure against Golota, Grant and Botha. Those names are hardly the stuff legends are made of if you are going to knock the guys Tyson was busting up in his days. I am not here to discredit Lewis and his accomplishments, more so rather to remind everyone what they somehow seem to forget about what Tyson accomplished. While people like Jim Lampley and numerous others in the sport always say how Tyson never fought anyone while he was champion, take a look at whom Lewis fought. What did any of them really accomplish? About the same as Tyson's opponents, if not less. 20 years from now when people talk about heavyweight boxing they will always bring up 3 names: Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson. Then as the conversation furthers will come names like Dempsey, Marciano, Liston, Frazier, Foreman, Holmes, Holyfield and Lewis. Don't believe me? I was sitting ringside at the Byrd-Golota fight and as Lewis got up to leave the arena, the fans began chanting "Tyson?Tyson?Tyson".

This series was no meant to be of any disrespect to Lennox Lewis. He was a fine champion who wore the title with class. Just remember when Tyson was fighting on Saturday nights on HBO back in the day where were you? If I had to guess I would say with a group of friends in your living room waiting for him to walk down the isle with his black trunks and black shoes on counting the seconds before he gave you what you wanted to see, a knockout.

And hey HBO, how were your ratings on telecasts with Tyson as champion compared to when Lewis was champion? Another Tyson KO victory I'm sure.

tyson bring it (9K)

Ding?Ding?Ding?Ding..Ding.. The fight is over, and it wasn't even close.

Source: ringsidereport.com


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