Eight Years Ago Today - The Heavyweight We All Miss KO's Francois Botha In Two Rounds!
15.07.08 - by James Slater: Back when he was the main man at heavyweight, holding the majority of the alphabet titles and taking on all manner of top contenders, Lennox Lewis was a vastly under appreciated fighter. How things have changed now that he's retired and left us with what we currently have atop the most important weight class in boxing.
Article posted on 16.07.2008
Now recognised as the great heavyweight he was, Lewis is a big guy we could use so badly today. Surely the Lewis of 1999 to 2003 would have been too much for today's best heavyweight, Wladimir Klitschko? After all, even in his very last fight, when he was past his best, Lewis beat Wladimir's older brother (and better, more natural fighter) Vitali - making a disgraceful mess of "Dr. Iron Fist's" face in the process. Had Lewis been in with the more robotic and reluctant younger Klitschko that night - or any other night when he was still akin to his prime - the British boxer's hand would have been raised inside only a few rounds..
Even now, people are still asking Lewis to make a comeback and give us a glimpse of what the heavyweight division should be. Wladimir is a good, steadily improving fighter, but he doesn't possess half the talent Lennox Lewis did. Speaking of his prime years, one of Lewis' more impressive performances took place exactly eight years ago today.
Defending his heavyweight crown in London - in one of only three title fights Lewis ever had in his own country - Lennox met the durable "White Buffalo," Francois Botha. Expected by some to give Lewis a hard fight (respected commentator "Colonel" Bob Sheridan even went as far as to say he "smelt an upset."), Botha was instead despatched inside two rounds. Lewis simply never gave the South African, who had given both Michael Moorer and Mike Tyson frustrating night's before being KO'd, a chance to do anything. Lennox' big guns blew the fighter who figured to stick around for a while completely through the ropes. It was all over at 2 mins and 39 seconds of round number two.
Once again proving he was THE best heavyweight on the planet to all reasonable observers, it wouldn't be until he gave Mike Tyson a fearful hiding four fights later (after losing to Hasim Rahman in a monumental upset that was subsequently avenged) that Lewis was universally accepted as such. Then came Lewis' TKO win over Vitali Klitschko, then his retirement and now here we are with today's heavyweight division.
How we could use the 2000 version of Lennox Lewis today!
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