“Somebody is goin’ down,” the fight poster bellowed. And Tommy Morrison did go down, four times.
It was on this day back in 1995 when Lewis, still rebuilding after his crushing stoppage loss to Oliver McCall the year before, met dangerous power-puncher Tommy Morrison in Atlantic City. An explosive fight was widely anticipated and though the action was far from dull, it was far too one-sided to deserve too much praise.
What does deserve praise, however, was Lewis brilliant performance. Totally defusing a fighter who, when at his best could be lethal, Lewis took all of Morrison’s weapons away from him as he punched him out patiently.
Lewis, still very much guarding the “suspect” chin McCall had dented, struck early with big shots that resulted in knockdowns, yet the former WBC heavyweight ruler refused to either get excited or overcommit. Had he gone swinging for the finish, who knows, maybe Morrison would have been given a chance to get back into the fight. Anyone who bad seen Morrison’s thrilling win over Razor Ruddock earlier that year knew how dangerous a hurt or stunned Morrison could be.
Tommy had of course been all set to fight Lewis in March of 1994, only for Michael Bentt to stun “The Duke” in one explosive round in October of 1993. Maybe we would have seen a different fight had Lewis and Morrison met as originally scheduled.
As it was, Lewis didn’t put a foot, or a hand, wrong on the night of October 7. Winning every minute of every round along the way, Lewis closed the show via 6th round TKO. Tommy had been oddly passive in the fight, outclassed and severely overpowered and outboxed
Lewis would go on to score some superb wins in bigger fights – amongst these bouts one that saw Lennox defuse an even more lethal puncher than Morrison, in David Tua – yet in some ways his dismantlong of Morrison was one of his most impressive performances. Even if this one is not one of his most famous or celebrated fights.
Lewis defeated a number of big punchers during his career, including: Ray Mercer, Frank Bruno, Hasim Rahman (in a rematch that saw Lewis avenge a shock defeat), Ruddock, Shannon Briggs, Mike Tyson and Vitali Klitschko. Not bad for a fighter many critics said had a poor chin.