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King of the World
Lennox Lewis Was The Last Great British Boxer
Posted Oct 13, 2010 by Shaun Edwards
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As a British sports fan, it’s fairly routine for our representatives in the various different disciplines to plod forward and be fairly average, whilst our press routinely builds them up so much that even if they are to become the best in the world it would still be a letdown. This stream of constant mediocrity and under-achievement is sharply contrasted by a wave of adulation whenever a British sportsman or woman prove themselves to be genuinely exceptional: it happened to Sir Steve Redgrave, it happened to the 1966 World Cup winning squad, and it happened to Lennox Claudius Lewis. It’s hard to explain just how unusual it was for British sportsman to be so completely dominant in his chosen field as Lewis was throughout his career. With only two losses and one draw in 44 fights, Lewis was simply a colossal force in the world of boxing, becoming the first British man in the 20th century to become the undisputed world champion, holding the WBA, WBC and the IBF titles simultaneously, after defeating Evander Holyfield. It is a great example of Lewis’ class that there is not one opponent he’s faced that he hasn’t defeated. Whilst he did lose two fights in his career - to Hasim Rahman and Oliver McCall, respectively – he immediately avenged both losses in the respective rematches. The list of men that Lennox defeated in his illustrious career reads a bit like a ‘who’s who’ of the boxing world: Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson, Vitali Klitschko, Tyrell Biggs and Frank Bruno are all men that Lennox has defeated. In the case of Tyson, Lewis destroyed the man over eight rounds in a fight that many were expecting to be a very even bout. In terms of titles, Lewis was equally dominant, being one of only five men who have won a heavyweight championship three times, alongside only Ali, Holyfield, Moorer and Klitschko. In the world of boxing, Lewis is remembered for his steadfast refusal to be the plucky British underdog, and for being able to truly excel in the ring. Until Ricky Hatton, Lewis set new standards for a British boxing. Long live The King!