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Monday, 10 June, 2002, 13:29 GMT 14:29 UK
Where now for Lewis?
Lennox Lewis goes on the attack against Mike Tyson
Lewis was on top form in beating Tyson


Lennox Lewis' career has been dogged by questions.

Defeats to Hasim Rahman and Oliver McCall raised doubts about his ability to take a punch and questioned his standing on the list of all-time greats.


In order to become a great fighter you've got to beat a great fighter
Tyson's trainer Stacey McKinlay

He has had questions about his right to fight for Britain and Rahman even raised questions about his sexuality.

But on Saturday Lewis had all the answers as he handed out a beating to the biggest and baddest bully in boxing.

Afterwards it was left to Lewis to ask the questions.

"What more does anyone want me to do?" Lewis said after his brutal destruction of Mike Tyson in eight rounds.

The answer to that poser is surely to hang up his gloves.

There is nothing left for the 36-year-old to achieve in the ring.

He has beaten all there is to offer and emerged from it all with his reputation and his health intact.

His trainer Emanuel Steward talked before the fight about how Lewis was one of the greatest of all-time but that he didn't get the recognition he deserved.

Defeating Tyson rubber stamps his standing as the best of his generation.

Lennox Lewis
Lewis has achieved it all in boxing

After the fight Steward, who has been by the side of over 20 world champions, said: "He has more natural talent than anyone I've seen in a long, long time."

The problem for Lewis is that he has dominated the division at a time when there was little competition.

"In order to become a great fighter you've got to beat a great fighter," said Tyson's trainer Stacey McKinlay.

Evander Holyfield and Tyson - the two fighters Lewis faced who could be considered 'great' - were both on the downslope of their careers when they stepped into the ring with him.

Lewis' 'defining moment' came against a 35-year-old who has spent as much time behind bars as between the ropes in recent years.

George Foreman labelled Lewis the 'best heavyweight of all-time' after seeing him beat Tyson.

But it is hard to view Lewis in such terms when you consider his otherwise impressive record will always include defeats to McCall and Rahman.

It would have been interesting to see how Lewis' chin would have stood up to a few blows from Foreman in his prime.

Mike Tyson fought bravely but was well beaten by Lewis
Tyson's best days are well behind him

There is a feeling Lewis must continue fighting in order to push forward his claims for legendary status.

Future oppnents could include IBF champion Chris Byrd, the WBA's John Ruiz or WBO champion Vladimir Klitschko.

He also has the option of a rematch with Tyson written into his contract and Holyfield is keen for a third crack at the Briton.

But none of these will bring him any closer to realistic comparisons with Muhammad Ali.

Of course there are millions of reasons why Tyson-Lewis II could happen.

Despite the number of empty seats in the Pyramid Arena the fight was a financial success, with both fighters picking up around 15m.

A rematch would provide another lucrative payday for the two men.

Lewis is also said to be keen to return to England for a final fight in front of his home fans.

For Tyson the future should be a much simpler one.

Decision time

The days when he terrorised the heavyweight division were over long before he was floored by Lewis - it has just been confirmed in emphatic fashion.

He emerged with rare honour and dignity in defeat.

He also showed he could still take a punch, and he needed to for eight rounds as Lewis' size and skill advantage reduced him to a walking punchbag.

But, like Lewis, now would be the ideal time for Tyson to call it a day before the images of him in his vicious prime are diminished further.

Apparently he is thinking of buying a house in Australia belonging to actor Paul Hogan, star of such films as Crocodile Dundee and Almost An Angel.

For someone who will never be mistaken for an angel, it could be the perfect setting away from the media glare for him to start picking up the pieces of his life.

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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