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  Sunday, 9 June, 2002, 05:37 GMT 06:37 UK
Conteh on Lewis v Tyson
Former world light-heavyweight champion John Conteh answers your e-mails
Former light-heavyweight world champion John Conteh answers your questions on Lennox Lewis' sensational win over Mike Tyson.


Lewis stopped Mike Tyson in the eighth round in their heavyweight title fight in Memphis and must now be considered one of the division's greats.

Lewis described the fight as his "defining" moment and many expect him to retire, but what the future holds for Mike Tyson is difficult to predict.


Were you surprised how easy it was for Lennox?

No, not really. I predicted he was going to come out on top, as long as he was in great shape for it. He's a technical boxer, he's got the boxing skills as well and the power and the punch - he can fight. He can go in there with the beautiful boxing, with the good long jabs, that's what he can do with authority as well because he's in great shape.


Tim Scott, UK

Is that it for Tyson? What do you think of his chances of a re-match?

That's up to Lennox. I can't see him going on and I hope he retires now. He's got nothing to prove, he's at the top, he's got all the money he's ever going to need.

He can get out in really good shape, he can go into a different business or the same type of business and make a lot of money with all his faculties and he's in great shape. If he stays on now there's a chance of him getting injured.

As far as Tyson coming back, then no. He's gone, he was shot anyway. He's chasing the money and the glory. He's trying to depend on his position and the glory to sort his life out.

If he could stand back and address his financial situation, and take care of the taxes he could probably sort it all out.

When he makes sounds like 'I want a rematch' he's chasing money all the time. That's not so bad when you're young, fit and strong, but when his physical condition is on the line, that's not right.


Terry Kelleher, London

Do you think he (Lewis) could have lived with Tyson in his prime? He was a shell of his former self last night.

No, I don't think so, and I'll tell you why: you're so sharp at 20 and you're so powerful. The punches he would have hit Lennox with┐ Lewis doesn't always get into top shape, and he gets a good shot and he can't come back from it.

But if you are in great shape you have a chance of coming back from it mentally and physically because you have applied yourself for that and you are going to expect that and you can come back feeling positive.

That's where he (Lewis) gets turned over. He's a bit lazy on the application in training at times and then he gets his act together, then he learns what he should have done the first time around. I don't think in Tyson's prime he wouldn't have been able to stand up to those punches.

He falls short of legends like Joe Frazier, Muhammad Ali, Dempsey, Marciano, Joe Louis, Larry Holmes because Lennox is a little suspect on his chin and I think that's due to a bit of laziness and application to training.

And he still had that left hand dangerously low for most of the fight.

Yes, very low and I didn't see him use his left hand as much as he should. For every second left jab he should have thrown a right upper cut or hook and that's what Emmanuel Stewart was telling him to do in his corner. He could have got out of there in half the time.


Ellabede, Canada

Lewis' problem is the fact that he is not American, otherwise he would have been called the greatest boxer ever.

No, I don't think that. For the reasons I've just stated, I think he lacks in certain areas. Greats win, and they don't have suspect chins at that level. They could have got knocked about but it wasn't through a suspect chin, they would get turned over by powerful punching.

They way Lennox is great is the way he comes back from it. But his fault is not only that he gets done in the first place - that's why he has to come back - but the reasons why he loses and gets caught in the first place - his lack of application in training.


Kim Walden, UK

Do you agree boxing needed Lewis to win in order to help boxing return to a more revered status? Lewis was as dignified as ever in victory.

The bottom line with fighting is the fighting. It's as simple as that. Whoever is the greatest fighter at the time is the greatest and it's down to earth that way. It's simply about boxing, it's not about idealistic politics or the beauties of the world.

It is professional boxing, they're trying to knock the other guy out and that's what they pay them the money for. Whoever is great at doing that at the time is good for boxing, it's that simple.

The problem with Tyson is he had problems outside the ring. He didn't keep just busy with the fighting and that had a knock on effect because of the things that were happening all around him: his management were falling apart, but it's down to his own mental attitude as well.


Graham Lane, England

Boxing has a good person as champion, but still the media wont give him a break. Also it sickens me to hear the cheering ringing out for Tyson - a convicted rapist - while Lewis was roundly booed. Boxing only seems happy when it has a bad man at the top.

Again I come back to the reality of professional boxing. Whatever it is it's not a gentile sport. The background of where these lads come from is lower-working class, tough areas, and it's the only way out we see at that time and it's the only talent you feel you've got to get out.

It's trying to knock the other guy out and trying not to get knocked out yourself and it's that simple and honest. The ethics and the morals of the thing is a different issue altogether.


James Knights, UK

Despite his many misdemeanours, were you sad to see Tyson? And do you think he'll take the Sonny Liston.

It is sad but again it's back to the idealism bit. We'd certainly like everyone to have a wonderful life or when they do get knocked down to become champion again and ride off into the sunset. But it doesn't work like that.

Could he go the way of Sonny Liston? Yes, he could have a rougher ride now, but also he's still got the opportunity, there is hope. There will be certain people around him who may be able to put him on the right road.


Let's hope there are people who can be his friends.

Yes, and identify the problems and just start walking that path. I think financially that's a good discipline - number one: to be able to sort out his finances right now, pay his taxes et cetera. It's tough one, especially for us boxers, because we want instant cash and big money - that's because where we're coming from - the lower working class areas so you're a bit desperate.

I'm not saying everyone coming from lower class areas is like that, it's fighters, that's the way it is. We've got that talent to do that and he's got this opportunity. So it's a loss, buthe can learn from the loss.


Anthony Barker, UK

Would you agree that Lewis is now the greatest British boxer of all-time?

Absolutely, he's proved it. It's a super job he did last night. He does it his way. He said he didn't want to take a risk or go in crazy and try and knock him out. He was jabbing him, softening up is the word I think he used.

He said he was softening him up to such an extent where he would take him out. Now as far as that was concerned he was spot on because that's exactly what happened. He did win and he won dramatically with a great right hand - a power punch, knocked the guy out.

Ideally I'd like to see him finish now because there's a temptation for both Tyson and Lewis to stay in the game when they've crossed the line or about to cross the line and your health goes down the tube and you're chasing something that isn't there any more. A good general knows when to draw back as well as go forward.

The TV channels and the promoters will be panicking now because if Tyson and Lewis do decide to retire, who is there left?

I'm sure there's another generation of hungry people who want titles, money and prestige and have got the talent. I'm sure they'll be there so the TV people will just have to be a bit patient maybe.

A look at the Lennox Lewis-Mike Tyson fight

Lewis stuns Tyson

Our man in Memphis

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See also:

06 Jun 02 | Lewis v Tyson fight
06 Jun 02 | Lewis v Tyson fight
06 Jun 02 | Lewis v Tyson fight

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