|The Cyber Boxing Zone Newswire -- APRIL 20:2001|
LENNOX LEWIS: AN ASSESSMENT|
As usual, Lennox Lewis is catching a lot of flak. He's being criticized for being out of shape, not arriving in South Africa soon enough to acclimate to the elevation & for defending his title against a no-hope opponent. The Ol' Spit Bucket disagrees with these complaints ...There is a long, time honored tradition of heavyweight champs taking "gimme" fights. They have to, they can't fight non-title fights & they've got to avoid rust. The beloved Joe Louis pleased a lot of fans by appearing in their hometowns while traveling the country on his "Bum of the Month" tours.
Besides, Lennox has fought - & soundly beaten -three consensus #1 contenders Between November of '99 & November '00. Not to mention a solid KO over Franz Botha in the interim between #1 contenders. ... I defy anybody to tell me when the last time a heavyweight champion did that in the span of one year?
The answer is: NEVER.
So I don't begrudge Lennox fighting a "gimme". While he is hardly my favorite fighter, he has been a good champion who fights regularly. Not since the salad days of Ol' Leg Iron have we had such an active heavyweight champ. Think about it, with the exception of Michael Moorer, Tyson, Bowe & Foreman - all who avoided him like he was contaminated, in fact Tyson paid him 4 million bucks NOT to fight him; he has fought & beaten every major heavyweight since 1990.
With that being said, the critics are correct in that Lewis has made it harder for himself with lackadaisical training for this fight ... But hey, let's cut the guy a little slack, he's been an honorable heavyweight champ & deserves a little respect.
Years from now people are going to look back on Lewis & I believe history will be much kinder to him than the critics are today. I think it will be a process much like what Larry Holmes went through. It wasn't until many years after his prime that the general sporting public finally woke up & realized what a great fighter he was. I'm not saying Lewis is in a league with Holmes but he is far better than he is generally given credit for.
Having written such a stirring defense of Lennox I am now totally convinced he's gonna go out there & get waxed within 4 rounds
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