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Tuesday, 21 December, 1999, 15:56 GMT
Lennox Lewis answers your questions
Lennox Lewis
Written off at the start of the year as a sporting under-achiever, Lennox Lewis silenced his critics to dominate Evander Holyfield in their world heavyweight unification bout - only to be denied the title by some dubious refereeing.

Justice was seen to be done in the rematch when he beat Holyfield in Las Vegas to become Britain's only undisputed heavyweight champion of the 20th century. He has recently also been crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Jo, England: What is better, winning the heavy weight champion or sports personality of the year award and why?

Lennox Lewis: Receiving both the awards was a huge milestone achievement in both my personal and professional life.

Jemal Seid, Ethiopia: What was your feeling when you were unacceptably denied the title during the first match?

Lennox Lewis: I felt robbed. Apart from the fact that I fought a better fight and threw more punches, I could not believe the judges scored the way they did, I was just in a state of disbelief for a long while. I'm not sure what they were watching but it could not have been me.

Peter Perrin, England: What were your first feelings when the ref said you had won and you were the champion

Lennox Lewis: I thought at last a result I deserve. I have had so many strange happenings in my boxing career but I knew on this occasion, I couldn't be denied a second time. To say I felt elated is an understatement. Making history by becoming the first British heavyweight champion this century was a thrill.

Dave Steenson, Northern Ireland: Which boxer would you like to fight if you could drop to any weight and time travel! Do you think you could have beaten Ali?

Lennox Lewis: If I could fight anyone it would be Jack Johnson - he was so ahead of his time. I would like to have the opportunity to fight Tyson too and I'm sure it will arise if he can face me. I would not like to have fought Muhammed Ali as I have too much respect for him on a personal and professional level. Larry Holmes, Ali's ex-sparring partner, fought Muhammed Ali and hated himself after giving him an unnecessary beating after winning. The only reason he won was because of Ali's ageing boxing skills.

David Salmon, UK: Lennox, firstly I'm very proud I have been able to witness the first British undisputed heavy weight champ for 100 years. My question would be what is your next major goal?

Lennox Lewis: To meet the woman of my dreams, settle down, get married, and have a family of my own.

Brian Nash, USA: Who will you fight next? I'd like to see you take on someone like David Tua or Michael Grant.

Lennox Lewis: We are still in negotiation so I can't say who it will be - Grant or Tua would suit me but it's up to my promoter.

Errol Murray, England: How would you prepare for a fight against Mike Tyson, what would your tactics be?

Lennox Lewis: I don't believe in revealing tactics - it's part technical, part psychological. I've studied Tyson enough to know his tactics but I won't result to any below the belt, underhand dirty dealings.

Mark Thompson, England: Having reached the peak of your sport, and now that you are undisputed heavyweight world champion, what will motivate you to continue fighting and have you considered retiring whilst at the top of your sport?

Lennox Lewis: Under my contract, I still have a few more fights to fulfil before I can even think of retiring. My motivation is stemmed from wanting to excel and to be the best in my profession.

Ali, USA: What kind of sport do you play except boxing?

Lennox Lewis: I enjoy playing tennis and football with my friends and indoor sports like basketball and snooker

Michael Scifo, UK: What do you think you'll do when you retire?

Lennox Lewis: I'd like to become involved in the film business, either in front of or behind the scenes. I would love to do a big budget action flick or romantic comedy.

Jim Cornall, Canada but originally English: Now that I live in Canada, you are usually here referred to as: "Canadian Lennox Lewis who now lives in England." How do you feel about this? Do you consider yourself completely English now?

Lennox Lewis: I have always been English, ever since I emigrated from England and since the kids in Canada beat me up at the age of twelve for having an East London Cockney accent. I thank them for the cockney taunts because the beatings turned me on to boxing. But on a serious note Canada has been kind to me.

Greig Watson, USA: Hello Lennox, I'm curious to know what you eat in training and before a fight. Do you have a nutritionist to help you prepare for your fights, any special diets or fad foods?

Lennox Lewis: I'm not really into special diets but I am aware of what my body needs. I try and stay away from red meat. I'm very lucky to have my mother with me in training camp and she is my personal cook. She knows what nutrients, meats, vegetables and proteins I need to keep me in shape.

Leonardo Morgado, Chile: Do you think with so much fragmentation in boxing organisations, that there has been irreparable damage done to the sport?

Lennox Lewis: I like to think positive, always, so I don't believe that the image which has more recently come to be associated with boxing is irreparable. What I think is that the sport has been under close public scrutiny and this, I hope, will be a turning point for all the skulduggery which used to go on and was being swept under the carpet. I just hope the organisations, scrutinising the boxing organisations, are themselves 'independent'.

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12 Dec 99 | Sport
Lewis heads sporting honours
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