Lennox Lewis was told Mike Tyson would be his EASIEST fight ahead of their 2002 heavyweight clash in Memphis
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In 2022, it will be 20 years since the long-awaited fight between Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson. Where did the time go?
Lewis, the last unified heavyweight world champion, dominated and stopped “Iron Mike” in the eighth round in what turned out to be a mismatch in Memphis.
The Lion exploited his seven-inch height advantage over Tyson to retain his titles and destroy the legend of “Baddest Man on the Planet,” whose last professional fight was three years later.
But has he ever been afraid of his opponent?
He said, “Yes and no. Yes, because the television made him look like King Kong, ”he told The Guardian in 2020.
“But no, because Manny [Lewis’ trainer Emanuel Steward] always told me Tyson would be my easiest fight.
“I would say, ‘Come on, now. It is going to be a little difficult. But Manny said, ‘No. It’s your easiest fight.
Lewis had plenty of reason to be scared due to Tyson’s violent demeanor during preparation, sparking a brawl at their New York press conference and even threatening to eat Lewis’ children, although he didn’t did not at the time.
“Lennox Lewis, I’m coming for you,” warned rival Tyson in 2000 after finishing Lou Savarese in 38 seconds. “I am the most brutal, vicious and ruthless champion there is.
“Lennox is a conqueror?” No, I am Alexander. It’s not Alexander. I’m the best ever … My style is brash, my defense is impregnable and I’m just fierce.
“I want your heart. I want to eat her children.
Thinking back on those comments, Lewis admits he was happy to let Tyson talk about garbage.
“When he said he was coming for me, I was like, ‘Is he coming for me? He is crazy. Doesn’t he realize that I’m coming for him? ‘ Lewis added.
“When he said he was going to eat my children, my mother said, ‘What is he talking about? You don’t have children.
“I am not in this vulgar prison talk.”
Their eventual meeting had lasted for years, dating back to their teenage years when they trained together in Catskill, New York and legendary trainer Cus D’Amato predicted the two would become champions.
“We know each other pretty well. We talked, we went down to town, we went dancing together.
“He was a giant because during training in the Catskills you would watch him knock people out easily. I thought he was awesome. When the time came, I knew we would meet in the ring. I wanted to know if what Cus had said would come true.
What a time it was for boxing fans.
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