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  Thursday, 28 November, 2002, 15:40 GMT
Boxing: Lewis at the top
Lennox Lewis, heavyweight champ of the world, punishes Mike Tyson
Lewis (left) toyed with Tyson

The fight the world had waited to see for years dominated boxing in 2002.

But the build-up to Lennox Lewis-Mike Tyson was possibly more interesting than the fight itself.

The pair were brought together in New York on 22 January to announce a fight in Las Vegas in April - and that was when it started to go wrong.

The two ended up brawling and just a week later, Tyson was refused a licence to fight in Las Vegas and the hunt was on for a venue to host the fight.

In the end, the fight came to Memphis and on 8 June, Lewis toyed with the former champion before recording a conclusive eighth round knockout.

The Tyson fight was Lewis' only foray into the ring this year and despite having silenced all his critics, he has hinted that there are more battles left for him to fight.

It may be that one day, either Danny Williams or Audley Harrison may succeed Lewis as the best heavyweight in the world.

For now, both men seem headed for a collision at the end of 2003, with Williams still British and Commonwealth champion after a tough fight with Keith Long and Harrison undefeated after five contests of varying difficulty.

Naseem Hamed returned for a 12 round snoozefest against Spaniard Manuel Calvo - the contest demonstrated that the Prince's best days are probably behind him.

Ricky Hatton remained undefeated during 2002 but doubts about his world class credentials surfaced after a lacklustre showing against Belfast's Eamonn Magee.

Joe Calzaghe's reign as WBO super middleweight champion continues - but the 30-year-old is no closer to a battle with top Americans Bernard Hopkins or Roy Jones Jnr.

Speaking of Jones Jnr, he showed British fight fans just how good he is with a six round boxing clinic against Sheffield's Clinton Woods.

The previously invincible Shane Mosley was upset twice by fellow American Vernon Forrest while Oscar de la Hoya returned to silence young upstart Fernando Vargas.

Fight of the year honours belonged to Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward, who battered each other in May, with Ward taking a majority decision after 10 "Rocky" style rounds.

And the greatest of them all, Muhammad Ali, turned 60.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's John Rawling
"Lewis was splendid, a masterful boxer"
BBC Five Live's John Rawling
"Jones was in a different class"
BBC Five Live's John Rawling
"Williams was the classier fighter"
In-depth look back at a wonderful year of sport

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See also:

09 Jun 02 | Lewis v Tyson fight
15 Sep 02 | Boxing
08 Sep 02 | Boxing
21 Jul 02 | Boxing
23 Jun 02 | Boxing
02 Jun 02 | Boxing
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