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Editorial - Rinsing Off The Mouthpiece

by GorDoom


   It's time to give Lennox Lewis his due. For the last decade, with the exception of the first Oliver McCall fight, which proved to be an aberration, Lewis has dominated or beaten everyone placed in front of him.
  
   Granted, Lennox Lewis will never have boxing fans screaming & clawing to get through the turnstiles to see him. He's by no means a dynamic, charismatic, heavyweight champion, but all he does is win & win convincingly.

    The fight of the year will undoubtedly be the Marco Antonio Barrera & Erik Morales epic. & most critics will probably anoint Shane Mosley as the fighter of the year based on his huge win over Oscar De La Hoya.

   But the Ol' Spit Bucket would  like to make a case for Lewis as fighter of the year. First off, I will admit that I have been very critical of Lennox in the past. But ever since the first McCall fight in 1994, Lewis has cleaned out the division. With the exception of Leg-Iron Mike, Michael Moorer & Riddick Bowe, Lewis has faced & beaten every major contender in the last decade.

   Granted, some of these performances may not have been among the most exciting in the annals of the sweet science, but as Al Davis says, "Just win baby!" & that, Lennox Lewis has.

   This year Lewis faced two #1 challengers, Michael Grant & David Tua, that many pundits actually favored over Lennox. Yeah, well ... He absolutely destroyed Grant & put on a boxing clinic against Tua that was exactly the way to beat him. In between, he demolished a capable (for these days) contender
in Frans Botha.

   By the way, it's been a helluva long time since a heavyweight
champion has defended his title three times in one year - especially against two consensus # 1 contenders. Which brings me back to the Fighter Of The Year issue.

   The only logical contenders for this honor are Lewis, Shane Mosley & possibly Felix Trinidad or Fernando Vargas. Tito & Fernando's quest for this honor is still up in the air because of their unfinished business. If either one wins convincingly, combined with their previous impressive victories over David Reid (Trinidad) & Ike Quartey (Vargas) would definitely put either under strong consideration.

    Sugar Shane Mosley's tremendous win over De La Hoya, is definitely the kind of fight that merits this kind of recognition. But, it was only one fight. Mosley's other defense was against Antonio Diaz, a tough but limited jr. welterweight contender, who was completely out of his depth when faced with Mosley.

    Shane Mosley, Felix Trinidad & Fernando Vargas are tremendous fighters. Trinidad & Mosley are already well on their way to the Hall Of Fame ... But, keep in mind, so is Lennox Lewis. All four of them are excellent fighters that would have been at the very least top contenders if not champions in almost any era.

    If either Trinidad or Vargas wins conclusively, one of them will emerge as a serious top pound for pound entry for having partially unified the jr. middleweight title. The winner -if it's a great performance -  will deserve any honors that he might accrue. If he doesn't, in The Bucket's view, as hard as it might be for some folks to swallow, Lennox Lewis is the clear cut choice ...





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