Lewis vs. Mavrovic: No Contest!

by Francis Walker

Very soon, WBC heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis will return to action. Unfortunantly, Lewis is not challenging Evander Holyfield, nor will Lewis defend against Mike Tyson. On Saturday, September 26, at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT, Lewis (33-1, 27KOs) will instead defend against undefeated Zeljko Mavrovic (27-0, 22KOs). It will be Lewis' eighth defense in two-reigns as champ.

The bout, promoted by Main Events and Panix Promotions, will be telvised on HBO "World Championship Boxing."

In his previous defense last March, Lewis looked odd and bewildered against young heavyweight Shannon Briggs. Briggs landed a couple of good left hooks that had Lewis realing against the ropes during the opening seconds of the contest. Lewis, who managed to shake it off, dismantled Briggs' cranium with left jabs and big right-hand follows. Lewis' pin-point accuracy enabled him to floor Briggs several times, en route to a fifth-rounf knockout victory. Since Lewis had a difficult time with Briggs (as anticipated), it left doubts in the minds of many as to whether Lewis can beat Holyfield.

Styles make fights, and Mavrovic's style should not give Lewis as many problems he had against Briggs.

The 29-year-old Croation is approximately the same height as Lewis (6' 5"). The difference is Mavrovic has a stand straight-up "European" style. He does not posses a huge arsenal at all. In fact, Mavrovic is a relatively light-hitter, whose never been hit. That could be dangerous meeting a boxer-puncher as good as Lewis. Lewis, 32, London, England, has power, speed, accuracy, and movement has adapted well to the American style.

Although Mavrovic has not fought anyone of importance, he is undefeated in 27 professional contests - good enough to be ranked No. 1 by the World Boxing Council. Expect Lewis to not have much (if any) difficulty with Mavrovic. Nevertheless, at the same token, expect no walk over. Remember, Hasine Cherifi's upset ttile win against former middleweight champion Keith Holmes in May? Cherifi, who never fought anyone worthy of contention, was ranked No. 1 by the WBC.

After Mavrovic, what does Lewis have to look forward to? A unification bout with Holyfield, who turned down $20 million to face Lewis? Mike Tyson, who if he gets his license back from the Nevada State Athletic Commission, could meet Holyfield in a third battle? No, Holyfield will not fight Lewis, because of IBF mandatory Vaughn Bean. No, Tyson will not meet Lewis because, Tyson still seeks... redemption! Until Holyfield-Tyson III takes place, expect Lewis to remain in the spotlight defending against the lkies of: Lou Savarese, Kirk Johnson, Hasim Rahman, Chrid Byrd, Michael Grant, and more...

Lewis is going to knock Mavrovic out early! Say about... three rounds?


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