Lennox Lewis V.S. Vitali Klitschko: The Final Cut

24.08.06 - By Dave Domenico: There has been endless speculation and endless debate over who would have won that fight. The fact remains that Lennox Lewis won by a technical knockout because Vitali Klitschko suffered a severe cut that caused the ring doctor to end the bout. Lewis was technically the winner, but it did little to resolve the actual winner of the fight since Klitschko was ahead on points at the time of the stoppage. I am not wishing to bring up a discussion that’s been talked to death, I’m simply offering my final conclusion that will hopefully sum up the epic battle between these two great heavyweights. As usual, I came up with a list of seven points to finalize this bout. Here we go..

#1) Regardless of his higher than usual weight for this bout, I believe Lennox Lewis was in good shape for his fight with Klitschko. By the sixth round, it was clear he was dead tired. I believe his fatigue was more due to his age and the fact that he was in such a rough fight rather than his training.

#2) Vitali Klitschko was underestimated! At the time, Klitschko was an unknown fighter. His reputation had been that he was a “quitter” against former champion Chris Byrd. That combined with the fact that Vitali appears to have an awkward and plodding style led to is underestimation. Vitali was a much better boxer than people realized.

#3) During the first two rounds of the fight, Lewis was taking a beating. In the third round, Vitali suffered the cut. After that, the fight evolved into a back and forth war of attrition with both fighters taking turns landing big shots.

#4) Many people tend to only remember how battered Vitali was at the end of the fight. Few people realize that Lewis was also very battered looking after the fight as well. The only other fight where I saw Lewis that beat up was when he fought Ray Mercer. At the end of the fight, Lewis had been cut on the bridge of his nose, and swollen around the eyes.

#5) Lewis was wobbled many times during the fight. He looked closer to being physically knocked out that Vitali did. When hit, Vitali seemed to be able to take Lewis’ best shots. Remember the uppercut in round six?

#6) We’ll never know what would have happened but Lewis did win the fight. End of story. However, it was not a clear victory. The fight definitely warranted a rematch, which never took place unfortunately. Lewis wisely retired when he was forced to fight Klitschko again. He figured he would go out on top, and did not want to risk loosing after he won the first time.

#7) In my opinion, Lewis took a career ending beating despite winning the fight and decided to retire while he was on top. Klitschko eventually became the WBC champion but retired prematurely. His legacy will be forever in question due to his controversial fight with Lewis and his sudden retirement before he could establish any real legacy.

In conclusion, this great fight should be made part of the legendary night’s series on HBO. Both these fighter will be forever linked as two big men who fought valiantly and won over the fans back in 2003.

Article posted on 25.08.2006

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