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Thursday, 6 June, 2002, 01:00 GMT 02:00 UK
Lewis fears losing
Lennox Lewis and Emanuel Steward at the news conference
Lewis and Steward are both nervous

Lennox Lewis has said he does not fear Mike Tyson, but he does worry about losing when the two meet on Saturday at The Pyramid Arena here in Memphis.

The current heavyweight champion was speaking at a public workout and seemed very relaxed.

And when he was asked whether he feared a man who intimidated the likes of Frank Bruno, Michael Spinks and many other heavyweights during the past 15 years, Lewis was very honest in his assessment.

"I think we both have fear - I have a fear that I don't lose," said the 36-year-old.

And despite the fact that Tyson and his camp have issued insults and threats about what they intend to do come fight night, Lewis refused to get drawn into a battle of words.

"I don't hold any hate for Mike Tyson.

Emanuel Steward
Steward is dreaming about the fight
"He had his reasons for biting that day (when he bit Evander Holyfield's ear in 1997)."

Lewis also told the assorted media about the time he first encountered Tyson, when the two were amateurs in 1983.

"We heard about this young cat up in New York named Mike Tyson, so my trainer and I got on the road and we drove up to a little gym like an old fire station.

"The first day when we stepped into the ring to spar, this cat runs across the ring and wanted to knock me out.

"I gave him my Muhammad Ali impression and I was dancing around, boxing him. We went at it pretty good for four days. Tyson never knocked me out in those four days.

"He did give me a fat lip, but I gave him a bloody mouth, so were pretty even in that exchange.

"Our sparring back then was pretty explosive and I predict this Saturday is going to be very explosive as well."

Lewis, who shadow boxed and hit the pads held by trainer Emanuel Steward during the public exhibition, is expected to weigh-in at about 245lbs for Saturday's contest.

Steward, who seemed bullish about his fighter's condition, admitted he was more worked up about the fight than Lewis.

"This is one that has got me really nervous. I am waking up in the morning and shadow boxing myself!"

The two fighters will weigh-in separately on Thursday and will be kept apart until the first bell on Saturday.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC boxing commentator John Rawling
"Lewis doesn't expect a dirty fight"
Britain's Lennox Lewis
"We both have a little fear"
A look at the Lennox Lewis-Mike Tyson fight

Lewis stuns Tyson

Our man in Memphis

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