The CyberBoxingZone News

Lewis Skins The White Buffalo

Chris Bushnell (

Lennox Lewis is peaking.  At 34 years of age and well into his second reign
as heavyweight champion of the world, the man now dubbed "The Tower and Power of London" is fighting as well as he ever has.  Chalk it up to confidence. 

Facing Frans Botha only eleven weeks after destroying former heir apparent Michael Grant in two rounds, Lennox Lewis bounced to the ring exuding relaxation.  As the reggae strains of Bob Marley filled an arena in his hometown of East London, Lewis dispatched with the cold aggressive stare he has frequently worn into the boxing ring.  His opponent, rugged journeyman Frans Botha, was expected to stick around awhile.  He didn't.

Lewis coolly began the fight by thrusting his jab into Botha's face.  A second jab was followed by a big overhand right than landed on Botha's temple and brought a roar from the crowd.  Botha began his retreat.  Circling left, Botha moved away from Lewis, who cautiously continued with the jab.  With a minute to go in the opening round, Lewis again landed the overhand right, this time to side of the White Buffalo's head.  Moments later another right slammed into Botha's face and buckled his knees.  Stepping back on his heels, a stunned Botha survived the round.

Despite pleas from trainer Abel Sanchez to not circle left, Botha began the second round doing just that.  On his toes and working to stay farther away from Lewis, Botha got on his bike while he contemplated a strategy to stop Lewis' steady and measured aggression.  Lewis used improved footwork to escape without Lewis even throwing a punch.  For two full minutes, absolutely nothing happened.  Botha looked to counter Lewis' long punches and Lewis didn't throw any to give him the chance.  But then, in the blink of an eye, it was over.

Lewis finally committed to a combination and the devastation was awesome.  A heavy jab missed, but a overhand right with full leverage came crashing behind it to the side of Botha's head.  Botha crumbled in place, and was just beginning to fall forward on his face when a follow-up Lewis left hook smashed Botha flush in the kisser.  The force of that left hook reversed Botha's momentum and instead of falling forward, he was now raised back perfect range for perhaps the biggest right hand Lewis has ever landed.  Blasting an already-dazed Botha's left eye, the punch shook Botha's entire body and literally lifted both his feet off the canvas.  The four punches were thrown in less than two seconds.

Botha fell full force through the ropes and nearly out of the ring.  He hung over the middle rope like drying laundry for several seconds and somehow pushed himself back up to his feet.  His eyes were glazed, and his knees flapped in the breeze.  As he teetered in place and stretched out his back, referee Larry O'Connell took a good hard look into his dead eyes and waved the fight over.  Lennox Lewis KO2.

Although his infamous caution was evident throughout, Lewis looked completely relaxed during this short battle.  Throwing punches with the calm confidence of a late-version George Foreman, Lewis looked as dominant as he ever has.  David Tua has a lot to think about before their November showdown.

After the bout, Lewis (37-1-1/29) soaked in the homecoming he had long sought.  Having not fought in the UK since his only career loss, in which he was the victim of a second round KO, Lewis' return couldn't have been more satisfying.  Climbing the ropes on each corner, the champion raised his hands as the crowd offered their appreciation. Later, on the mic, Lewis boldly told Mike Tyson to "put up or shut up!" and retorted "Tyson is always ( talking about eating this or that, this is the only thing he's going to be eating" as he raised his right fist.

There are those who will suggest that the fight should have continued.  If it had, Botha surely would have been whacked out in mere seconds more, perhaps even being seriously injured.  On the undercard, Monte Barrett may have been given one chance too many and he paid the price, getting busted wide open by Ukrainian giant Wladimir Klitschko. 

Klitschko dominated Barrett during their boring contest.  Although Klitschko's jab paws and his right hands were barely landing, the big man showed a dangerous element of his game by brutalizing Barrett with short crisp punches on the inside.  Every time Barrett tried to crowd Klitschko and smother his power by burying his head in the big man's chest, Klitschko retaliated by dipping his knees a few inches and thrusting upward with sharp power punches.  A short left hook knocked Barrett down in the first and again in the fourth.  Uppercuts and occasional elbows filled in the space between.

Barrett grew fatigued and weary, and by the sixth round was hugging Klitschko in an effort to survive.  But in the seventh round, Klitschko again punished Barrett inside, knocking him down with a short right cross and a shorter left hook. Barrett rose on rubber legs and covered up immediately.  A big Klitschko right landed on top on his head and he again went down.  A small cut at the end of the right eyebrow streaked blood across Barrett's face.  Despite having been knocked down three times and looking in no shape to continue, Barrett was allowed to go on.  Klitschko fired a lead left hook which landed on the cut followed by a devastating right cross that hit Barrett's turning head in the exact same spot.  Timber.  The referee yelled "No More!" as Barrett's limp body was in the process of collapsing to the canvas.  Unaware that the fight had been stopped, Barrett pushed himself up to all fours as blood poured out of his face and painted a violent picture all over the canvas.  Even after Barrett's cornermen reached him, the blood continued to flow.  The little cut that opened before the knockdown had grown to the length of his eyebrow.  Expect a status report in a few days that lists a three digit stitch count.

Klitschko earned an impressive knockout, but his weaknesses are still apparent.  His jab usually paws, he doesn't throw many punches, and his conditioning is still suspect.  But he threw the crispest inside punches since Riddick Bowe, and they could well be a major weapon anytime a heavyweight decides to lean on Klitschko.  To improve, Klitschko must continue to increase the level of his opposition.  Although Barrett had never before been stopped, he was hardly a genuine test.  Talk of a Tyson-Klitschko fight is swirling in Europe.  Although Wladimir might be wide open at times for Tyson's wild haymakers, it's unlikely that the Tyson sideshow will want to take the risk with someone as big and strong as Klitschko.

.....Chris Bushnell

Upcoming Fights

Current Champions

Boxing Journal

On-line Encyclopedia


Main Page

[Return to Top]