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Tuesday, 17 April, 2001, 18:16 GMT 19:16 UK
Lennox 'proud to be a mother's boy'
Lennox Lewis in training for his fight against Rahman
Lennox Lewis: "120% a man's man"
Rumours that Lennox Lewis is gay, and that he is a mummy's boy, no longer bother the champion boxer, he says in next week's issue of Radio Times.

Lewis has been ridiculed in the past because of his close relationship with his mother Violet, but says: "She watches me train and sees everything is going OK. I'm absolutely proud to be a mother's boy."

He has also put behind him questions about whether he is gay, which were manufactured in the media despite him dating an American model, Aisha.

"At first it upset me because it was disrespect. How can they call me gay? I'm 120% a man's man.

"But people say, 'I don't see him out with lots of women, he's nice to his mother, and looks too good, so he must be gay', know what I mean?

Lennox Lewis weighs in, in South Africa
Lewis weighs in

"I hope I don't talk feminine or anything like that, but I've realised if you're famous they always say you're gay, so let them. I'm no longer bothered."

Lewis also refutes suggestions by many people that boxing is degrading.

"For any young mother bringing up a rough child on her own it's a great thing, because it teaches them how to control themselves, how to behave," he said.

"It gives them something to do. Boxing is good for character.

"If it was banned it would go underground and be unsafe. We have rules, a referee, and a doctor at ringside.

In the interview, Lewis also claims that his formidable earnings have not changed him.

"You learn to enjoy living with it. I have an Aston Martin and other fast cars and my licence plate speaks for itself - 90 LL.

"I know there's prejudice but I treat everyone the same and have friends of all colours - millionaires to poor people."

The full Lennox Lewis interview with Andrew Duncan is in the 21-27 April issue of Radio Times.

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