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Sunday, 9 June, 2002, 04:37 GMT 05:37 UK
Lewis wins Rumble on the River
Lennox Lewis retains his world heavyweight crown after beating Mike Tyson
Lewis awaits the verdict after flooring Tyson


Lennox Lewis comprehensively destroyed Mike Tyson in eight rounds here in Memphis to retain his world heavyweight title.

Tyson, who took a count in that eighth round, was sent permanently to the canvas by a thumping right hand.

Lewis reacted to the finish casually lifting his arms and surely there can be do no doubt now that he is the dominant heavyweight of his era.

He confused, bemused and hurt Tyson constantly during the action and seemed to be fighting on a completely different level to his opponent.

All fears about the fight ending in disqualification were confounded and it was Lewis who was actually the subject of the occasional warning from referee Eddie Cotton.

A 12-man team of security guards stood in the middle of the ring as per the contractual stipulations which made sure Lewis and Tyson were kept apart until the bell.

In another twist, the fight was announced by two men, Michael Buffer and Jimmy Lennon Jnr.

Tyson entered the ring to an unbelievable reception, his bad boy image not affecting his popularity here in the South.

Lewis, who entered bare-chested, was greeted by boos, although a bunch of British fans tried in vain to get a chant going for him.

Despite the guard, Lewis and Tyson eyed each other with menace during the introductions.

After all the hype, the first round featured more missing than anything else - Tyson landed a glancing left hook, Lewis got through with an uppercut.

The second was unquestionably Lewis' - he landed frequently with the uppercut and also established the jab.

That pattern continued over the next five rounds - Lewis cut his man, frequently forced him onto the backfoot and did not seem to have a problem landing the uppercut or overhand right.

Lewis appeared fto have floored Tyson in the closing stages of the fourth round with a pulverising right hand.

But referee Cotton adjudged that the champion had caused the count by leaning on Tyson and pushing him to the floor.

When the ending came, it was undeniably memorable.

Lewis had Tyson pinned near a neutral corner, before landing a flurry of blows which culminated with a left uppercut which made the challenger dip at the knees and seek refuge from the referee.

After taking the standing eight count, Tyson was deposited on his backside by a right hook which turned his jaw around.

Lewis, the WBC and IBF champion, improves his record to 40 wins, two defeats with one draw, 31 wins coming by way of knockout.

Tyson suffered his fourth loss, against 49 wins, one no contest, with 43 wins inside schedule.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's John Rawling
"Lewis was splendid, a masterful boxer"
A look at the Lennox Lewis-Mike Tyson fight

Lewis stuns Tyson

Our man in Memphis

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08 Jun 02 | Lewis v Tyson fight
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