- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 15, 2002

SCOTRUN, Pa. (AP) Lennox Lewis is ready for Mike Tyson. He just hopes Tyson is well fed when the two fight for the heavyweight championship.
"I'm going to insist he has a big lunch and a big dinner before he steps in there," Lewis said yesterday. "And I'm going to have my hair pinned up so he can't pull it. I don't know what else he could possibly do. We'll see."
Lewis, training in the Poconos for his WBC-IBF title defense June8 in Memphis, Tenn., said he's determined not to sink to Tyson's level and hopes the former champ doesn't sink his teeth into him again.
"If he's choosing to come in and bite and scratch and kick I'm going to be a better man and not do those things back," Lewis said.
Tyson, disqualified from a 1997 title fight for biting Evander Holyfield's ears, bit Lewis on his leg during a melee at a Jan.22 news conference for their fight.
The bite took a quarter-sized chunk out of Lewis' left thigh and eliminated any thoughts he had of denying Tyson a title shot, just to foil him.
"At one point, I thought that. But the bite changed the whole thing. You could say he drew first blood," said Lewis, who called Tyson "the last misfit in boxing."
Now the 36-year-old Brit is determined to prove he's the world's best heavyweight.
Six weeks into his up-at-dawn training regimen at the secluded Caesars Brookdale resort, Lewis appeared lean and confident as he sat on the apron of a practice ring, talking to reporters about the fight he believes will cement his legacy as the dominant big man of his generation.
Lewis plans to attack Tyson when the bell rings because Tyson's balance is suspect and he hates to back up, trainer Emanuel Steward said. But Tyson is still capable of a one-punch knockout, the type of blow that gave Lewis the two losses on his 39-2-1 record.
"We're preparing for the Mike Tyson we saw in '88, '89," Steward said. Lewis "knows he has to be more careful, but he can only be so careful. He can't try to outbox Mike Tyson."
If Tyson who weighed 239 for his last fight, a seventh-round TKO of Brian Nielsen comes in at 220 or less, he'll probably be weaker, Steward said.
Lewis, who will weigh about 250, knows well that his career may ride on the outcome. He predicts a victory but wouldn't say when it would come.
Losing would negate every victory to date, Steward said.
"All of them go down the drain with a loss to Mike. He says he's not going to let 25 years go down the drain for some little guy like Mike Tyson," Steward said.
Lewis is unfazed by the recent comments of the 35-year-old Tyson, who had some harsh words for the champion earlier this month from his training camp in Hawaii.
"I will take Lennox's title, his soul and smear his pompous brains all over the ring when I hit him," said Tyson (49-3, 2 NC).
Lewis says he's heard the bluster before and that Tyson had similar threats for Holyfield but couldn't beat him.
The fight at the Pyramid is already a sellout. The choice of referee, however, became an issue yesterday.
The WBC and the Lewis and Tyson camps have agreed on a ref, but Tennessee officials haven't, said Gary Shaw, chief operating officer of Main Events, Lewis' promoter.
"I'd be against any referee from Tennessee," Steward said. "I don't know of anyone [there] with the experience to deal with this fight. It's not anything against the state of Tennessee."


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide