- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 9, 2002

MEMPHIS, Tenn. Lennox Lewis faced both Mike Tyson the legend and Mike Tyson the fighter last night in the ring at the Pyramid and beat them both, using a powerful left jab and a devastating right hand to knock out the former champion in the eighth round before more than 15,000.
With a bloody and bruised Tyson lying on the canvas, referee Eddie Cotton counted to 10 at 2:25 of round eight, Lewis retained his World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation heavyweight belts.
Lewis dominated the entire fight, landing his left jab at will and often following it up with a right uppercut. Tyson, who offered little resistance, suffered a cut over his right eye in the third round and a bloody nose in the seventh. He went down once in the eighth from a left-right combination and was finished off by a chopping right hand.
No one knows for sure what will happen to Tyson (49-4-2) now or what his future will be in boxing, if there is one. His history of psychological problems and criminal acts does not bode well, and, despite the payday from this fight at least $17million that will cover the debts he owes, he still faces a divorce from his wife, Monica.
Tyson's former trainer, Tommy Brooks, said before the fight that he feared for Tyson's well-being if he lost.
"I worry about what Mike might do if he loses, if he doesn't have boxing anymore," Brooks said. In a Playboy interview several years ago, Tyson said, "My life is doomed the way it is, I have no future."
Lewis (40-2-1) hopes that the victory will cement his legacy as a great champion and the dominant heavyweight of his time, with victories now over Tyson and Evander Holyfield.
"Lewis is the best today and one of the greatest heavyweights of all time," said his trainer, Emanuel Steward, before the fight. "Lewis' record will be appreciated after he is done."
The 36-year-old British heavyweight is likely not done just yet. There was a clause in the Lewis-Tyson contract for a rematch, but given the difficulties of putting this first fight together, a rematch may be problematic.
Under the terms of an agreement with the IBF, Lewis must fight No.1 challenger Chris Byrd next.


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