Lennox Lewis is the Heavyweight Champion of the World. His constant humbleness and graciousness in loss have earned him worldwide attention and respect.
Lennox Claudius Lewis weighed in at 10lbs 10oz, with such an imperious Roman ring to his name, the writing was on the wall. “He was always very big and full of energy from birth”, says Violet his mother.
Lennox moved to Canada at the formative age of 12 and took up the art of pugilism where Arnie Boehm his coach, friend and father figure overlooked his amateur career of 95-9 (52 by stoppage). He always avenged his defeats when presented with the opportunity. At High School, Lennox excelled at many sports including basketball, volleyball, track and field, American football, soccer and of course boxing.
After losing a football game at school Lennox said, “I refuse to cry – I’ve got bigger things to come. There’s a lot more for me to achieve in life than this little high-school championship.” He knows exactly what he wants and how he is going to get it, says his long-time friend and physical conditioner Courtney Shand.
Lennox is a diligent vigorous trainer of the sweet science of boxing and big things started with his first gold medal win at the World Junior Championship in 1983 and in 1984 won silver medal at the Olympics. A tremendous athlete, he rejected the financial temptations to ascend to gold medal in the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Turning professional in 1989, he went on to win the European title in 1990 against Jean Chanet and followed this up with the British Commonwealth Heavyweight Championship in 1992 against Derek Williams.
Lennox Lewis was officially crowned WBC Heavyweight Champion of the World on 14th January 1993 when he also became the first British Heavyweight World Champion this Century!
Lennox has successfully defended his title against the American No. 1 challenger 'Tony Tucker' in Las Vegas and stopped the Briton 'Frank Bruno' in seven rounds at Cardiff Arms Park, Wales, in the same fashion that Mike Tyson had done a year earlier. In September 1994 Lennox unexpectedly lost his WBC Title to what many experts have called a lucky punch thrown by Oliver McCall of the USA at Wembley Stadium in London. On 7th February 1997, Lennox Lewis became the first British boxer to regain the world title when he defeated Oliver McCall, for the World Boxing Council Heavyweight Title.
Taking on all comers with defences against Andrew Golota, Tommy Morrison, Henry Akinwande, Evander Holyfield, Frans Botha and David Tua to name a few.
In April 2001, South Africa witnessed the fall of Lennox Lewis when he faced Hasim Rahman only to rise from the ashes. This was merely a trip and he turned the world around on its head by avenging the loss to Hasim ‘Has-Been’ Rahman. He showed great character to come back.
Lennox Lewis has taken the sport, the title, back to a world of elegance and sportsmanship –that old-fashioned world that he understands quite well. It’s all about respect. He is a beautiful champion. In 2001, he was nearing the end of his reign as he had done with Oliver McCall.
Lewis is 10-2-1 against men who have at one point or another in their careers held the IBF, WBA, WBC or WBO title. Back on top of his game and looking to take on all comers there again Lennox Lewis turned his attentions to Mike Tyson, an old boxing adversary of his.