Winding The Clock Back To 1995 With Lennox Lewis

By Chris Curry

04.01 - Lennox Lewis has been a force in Heavyweight Boxing from the days of the 1988 Olympic games. Lennox on his third reign as Heavyweight Champion is now looking for the final pieces of his Boxing puzzle, with Mike Tyson the largest. We're not going to dwell on what might happen between Lewis and Tyson for now, but instead we're going through the time tunnel of Boxing, winding the clock back to 1995.

Lennox Lewis was on the comeback trail for the first time, his fourth defence of his WBC Championship on September 24th 1994, ended in disaster. Oliver McCall relieved him of his crown, with a smashing second round knock out. Emmanuel Steward was the mastermind behind McCall's savage right hand attack and Lennox then employed the service's of the man who plotted his fate.

May 13th 1995, Lennox was back in the ring. This time Emmanuel Steward was in his corner, the new team was in place. Lennox finished Lionell Butler with a fifth round KO. Two months later, Lewis was in Dublin, Ireland to fight the stocky Australian, Justin Fortune. With Mike Tyson's return to the Heavyweight scene, Lewis had to win to cement his claims for another shot at the richest prize in boxing, The Heavyweight Championship of the World. Justin's "Fortune" went down under when the Australian swung for the jackpot with a booming overhand right. Lennox uncorked three lethal right uppercuts sending him crashing across the ring for the finish.

Three months later, October 7th and Lennox Lewis was back in America to face the star of Rocky Five. Lewis had to impress. The Americans never accepted him as a rightful owner of the Heavyweight title and Lennox was left to prove he could regain the Championship. The man who wanted to abort his mission, was former WBO Heavyweight Champion, Tommy Morrison. He wanted what Lewis wanted, the chance to fight for the title.

The Venue was Atlantic City in front of a hostile crowd where Morrison had massive support. The two former Champions of the WBC and WBO met in the centre of the ring, Mills Lane ripped out "Lets get it on!" the contest was ready to launch. The bell rang and Lewis's dangerous, high risk assignment was off. Round one, Morrison is crouched low, his hands high. Lennox stands tall pawing his lead jab. Lewis throws a jab, turned left hook, back to the jab, Tommy deflects off the gloves. The two circle the ring. Lennox throws his first right hand with Morrison quick to defend. Lennox is feinting his shots and Morrison ducks a left. Lewis backs Tommy to the ropes, Morrison then comes forward with three fast jabs, ripping no more than the air, tapping only with the last. Lewis opens with a cracking left hook and fast right as the two former title holders take centre ring. Morrison bounces it off and Lennox circles his prey and try's it again. Half way through the round and Lewis tees off with a one, two, Morrison hunts after him, lines up with a light jab and ichnites a rocketing right. The two trade jabs, then take a look at one another. Morrison try's a left hook, right uppercut, Lennox covers up and fires back a stiff jab and hard right, hitting the gloves again. He succeeds when Tommy drops his right hand and is made pay with a razor sharp left. The round ends with Morrison launching himself at Lewis with a right, Lennox moves and fires a left, right, then leans on Tommy bringing him to the floor.

With some fast trades in round two, Morrison backs Lennox to the ropes. He then lets loose at around 1 min 10 in the round to body and head, right and lefts, bringing the right from body to head with high velocity. Lennox leans back, while doing so cracks Morrison with a beautiful left hook dropping him to his knees. Tommy is up, Mills Lane is counting. Lennox is landing with excellence, nearly at will and shakes him with a fast right. Morrison throws more jabs and the round ends with an exchange, then clinch. Lennox throws a right uppercut and the two are split. Bell rings, end of round.

Round four, Tommy throws jabs in two's and three's, Lennox throws a thrilling left uppercut, straight right and left uppercut with dazzling speed. Lewis backs Tommy to a corner piercing at him and using his size to position him, keeping him trapped. Morrison circles out, holds out a jab and
Lennox seizes the opening landing a commanding double jab. Morrison keeps pressing forward, tucked low down and backs Lewis to the corner. Lennox pays for keeping his hands low as Tommy sends the crowd cheering with a smashing right hand, his best so far. Lennox moves after him and throws back and Tommy opens up into another flurry to body and head. Lennox extends out a right and they both trade lead hands. Tommy is trying to slip the jab with lateral movement but is still
getting caught. Lewis opens the fight up again with a hurtful left uppercut and straight rights, Tommy try's for the open body with a left hook, but miss's. Lennox is fast back and hits home a left hook to the head. Emmanuel Steward is sharpening Lennox Lewis up with some fine tuning, Lewis is showing it during this fight with impressive hand speed.The round ends with Lennox very confident, dropping his hands and shaking at Tommy. Morrison responds, launching with a right hand and goes after him landing just before the bell. Lewis is enjoying it,looking very arrogant and won the round again.

Morrison is looking banged up and in distress entering round six. Lennox is putting on a impressive display and the warrior within Tommy Morrison keeps coming. Tommy is off with quick jabs in flows, Lennox is off with jabs to line up his firing right and stings in a big left hook. These are sickening punches and have got to be hurting Morrison. Both trade again with Lewis fast to avoid a over hand right. Lewis moves to centre ring and explodes with grit on his face with a left hook, right, left uppercut, clearly hurting Tommy. Morrison try's again, but is jolted back with a left and dropped with a right. Another knock down and Lennox wants it over. Tommy's eyes are closing and Lewis is jolting his arms down, showboating, jerking forward at his beaten fighter. Then Lewis rocks Tommy's head back two and three times with fast, hard jabs and brings in a right uppercut, Tommy is finding it hard to see in the storm Lennox is bringing to the ring. In a clinch Morrison is hurt by a hard left jab, left hook, right hook combination then rocks Lewis back with a big left hook. The crowd is in a frenzy, Tommy attacks again, Lewis bears down on him and comes off with a booming, hard right hand over the top and smacks yet another left uppercut and right. Morrison is floored by a power shot left hook and gets to his feet. He is clearly a beaten fighter who should receive no more and Mills Lane rightfully calls a halt to the contest. Lennox produced a punch perfect performance, with great variety and had Tommy Morrison down a total of five times in the contest, Lewis at this stage looked set on regaining the Heavyweight Championship.

This is a look back on some of the archives of World Heavyweight Champion, Lennox Lewis when we wound the clock back to 1995.

Happy New Year to all the fight fans on Eastside Boxing.

By Chris Curry, Belfast, Northern Ireland. -


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