BBC SPORT Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC Sport
 You are in: Boxing: Lewis v Tyson fight  
Sport Front Page
-------------------
Football
Cricket
Rugby Union
Rugby League
Tennis
Golf
Motorsport
Boxing
Statistics
Athletics
Other Sports
-------------------
Special Events
-------------------
Sports Talk
-------------------
BBC Pundits
TV & Radio
Question of Sport
-------------------
Photo Galleries
Funny Old Game
-------------------
Around The UK: 
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales

BBC Sport Academy
BBC News
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS

Thursday, 6 June, 2002, 23:52 GMT 00:52 UK
Muddy marvellous in Memphis
Tourists flock to Graceland to pay tribute to Elvis
Graceland is still a major attraction in Memphis

"The south is rising," goes the saying.

Not living in America, I cannot comment, but Memphis is a friendly town, full of life and vitality which makes you glad that it, and not Las Vegas, is hosting the long-awaited Lennox Lewis-Mike Tyson fight on Saturday.

"The rumble in the river" is just hours away, with the fight taking place by the stretch of town known as the "Muddy".

The unassuming locals are happy to talk about the fight, although despite the fact that it is the biggest thing to happen here for a while, not many are prepared to part with their hard earned coins for tickets, which start at $500 (350).

"I'd love to go sir, but I just can't afford it," one of the many taxi drivers in the town told me.

"They made me queue for five hours when the tickets first came out and they said it was sold out, so how come tickets are for sale now?"

Memphis may be growing, but it does not exude wealth.

The biggest industry is Fed Ex and while there are a few refineries here, it will take a while before the town can compare to its Northern rivals.

Playing the Blues

But with the ever popular tourist attraction of Graceland well situated by the airport and Beale Street fast becoming a popular haunt for young and old, Memphis is a site to see.

At night, the sound of Blues music resonates around the Downtown area and unless you do not have a romantic bone in your body, this is a town that must be seen.

The local food is traditional Southern fare, mostly fried and as nice as the Catfish is, eating it on a prolonged basis may be dangerous for your health.

It will be interesting to see how the town responds when an expected 20 or so Hollywood superstars fly in this weekend to witness the big fight.

Welcome rematch

Clint Eastwood, Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Britney Spears and Halle Berry are just of the some of the luminaries jetting in.

The hope almost certainly is that the fight itself is without negative controversy but produces an ending which demands a rematch.

With $50m (35m) said to be generated by the contest, Memphis, which opened its arms to this event tentatively at first, is quite happy to entertain the thought of another mega-fight.

Lets hope that if that does happen, some of the people at Customs check their schedule a bit better.

"What's the nature of your business, sir?" I was asked.

"I'm here to cover the big fight," I replied, with a big friendly smile.

"Oh yeah, that happened this weekend, didn't it."

"Really - who won?"

A look at the Lennox Lewis-Mike Tyson fight

Lewis stuns Tyson

Our man in Memphis

Clickable guides

Background features

Statistics

SPORTS TALK
Links to more Lewis v Tyson fight stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Lewis v Tyson fight stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

Sport Front Page | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League |
Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Other Sports |
Special Events | Sports Talk | BBC Pundits | TV & Radio | Question of Sport |
Photo Galleries | Funny Old Game | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales