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Sunday, 12 November, 2000, 11:54 GMT
Rawling awards Lewis clean sweep
Lennox Lewis
Lewis was simply too good for Tua
BBC boxing correspondent John Rawling gives his verdict from ringside in Las Vegas on Lennox Lewis' victory over David Tua.

Lennox Lewis gave David Tua a boxing lesson here.

Only once was he stung by the New Zealander's much vaunted danger weapon, the left hook - when he was caught just before the bell rang to end the second round.

Apart from that, Lewis jabbed and moved and threw only the occasional flashy combinations and was content to rack up round after round, largely in safety-first mode.

John Rawling
BBC boxing correspondent John Rawling

Tua had to soak it all up and never looked remotely in danger of being knocked out.

But Lewis, as he had predicted before the fight, was simply too good.

The various margins of victory awarded by the three judges were: 10 rounds, eight rounds and six rounds.

But for what it's worth I made it a complete shut-out with Lewis winning all 12 rounds.

Lewis fought a technically very accomplished performance. He negated the threat, such as it was, from Tua. In fact, most people would say the Samoan under-performed.


If Lewis fought Tyson, the fight would be over in two rounds. Lewis would knock him out.
  John Rawling

I don't think for a minute he was scared, though. He was just comprehensively out-boxed.

Lewis tied him up inside, blocked the left hook, picked him off the with the jab, and in the end won very handsomely.

If you were going to be churlish, maybe his critics would say that as he was so dominant, he should have stopped Tua. But the most important thing is that he wins, and he won by a very wide margin.

Mike Tyson remains the one big name in the heavyweight not to have come face-to-face with Lewis.

After all the rumours beforehand, In the end the former champion did not show up to watch Lewis dispose of Tua's challenge - but Tyson will have heard Lennox Lewis say: "If he wants the test, I'll put him to rest."

Break for Lewis

Tua and Tyson are very different. Tyson is quicker on his feet. He probably hits as hard, but I don't think he has as good a chin as Tua.

They are talking about going into negotiations with Tyson's people, and it's fair to assume that talks will begin. But I wouldn't be surprised if it is not until mid-summer at the very earliest, perhaps even as late as September.

Mike Tyson (left) and Andrew Golota
Tyson-Golota was a financial disaster

The question is whether or not Lewis decides to take a break from boxing. I think he probably will. I doubt he will fight until next summer now.

The television contract problem continues, because Lewis is with HBO and Tyson is with Showtime, and unless the two companies can do a deal, it will be difficult for the fight to happen.

Commercial conundrum

But if the money is big enough in boxing, they usually have a way of ironing these things out.

Lewis wants to fight, but the imponderable is Tyson. He may want the fight, but I'm not convinced that his people really want it.

It's down to whether they believe the best commercial option is Lewis, rather than taking another fight against a no-hoper.

The last fight against Andrew Golota drew only 300,000 on the pay-per-view in America, which meant that financially it was a disaster.

Definitive fight

That, I think, has woken them up to the idea that they have got to fight Lewis, although they could do Tyson against Evander Holyfield again. That would make money.

But Lewis is the big one, and it is the one that Lewis wants. He regards that as the definitive fight for him as a heavyweight.

I don't believe for one moment that Tyson would give Lewis a decent fight, though. I think if they fought, the fight would be over in two rounds and Lewis would knock him out.

Lewis, after 14 world title fights, still reigns supreme.

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