No butts about it; Lennox Lewis won fair and
By Paul Concannon
Okay, okay, so I can
understand why he may have just been a little upset, after all, Vital Klitschko
had been fighting for the Heavyweight Championship of the World; the Ukranian
giant had fought beyond many people’s expectations to be edging Lennox Lewis
when the bout was stopped due to severe cuts to his left eye.
What I find less comfort in accepting is the German based challenger’s
aggressive post-fight histrionics just seconds after the bout was halted.
The beaten fighters rise
from his stool to storm across the ring and confront the champion was shameful,
as were his childish attempts to make Lewis insist on a rematch in front of the
TV cameras. So incensed was he by
Lewis’s calm and unmoved response to his protestations that he bopped the
champion on the arm and almost instigated a post-fight brawl.
Thankfully ‘little’ brother Vlad was on hand to help calm things down
and even more fortuitously, Lewis kept his head during some tense moments.
Since the fight, the
bitching hasn’t stopped; all the old clichés are being bandied about during
such times of poor sportsmanship. Vitali
being the peoples champion, the cut wasn’t that bad, it was caused by a butt,
others have cried conspiracy and many have insisted that Lewis was due to be
knocked out in the next round. I wonder were all those clairvoyant powers apparent before
the fight when it came to putting money next to mouth? For the majority, I doubt it.
There was the all that booing and the usual attempt to decry a
‘controversial’ winner from the headline grabbers such as Larry Merchant
Stateside and Ian Darke commentating here in the UK for SKY.
Crow on and crow on
because when all the dust has settled, the quotes quoted, the boos run horse and
the post-fight droning all but dried up the inescapable fact is that Lennox
Lewis is still the champion.
I’m not pro-Lewis any
more than I am anti-Klitsckho but this flowery big-fight controversy, like so
many flowery big fight controversies before it, just needs pruning with a small
smattering of common sense.
Fact: The cut was clearly
caused by a slashing Lewis right-cross in the third round, punch connects, eye
opens up. No ifs or buts, it’s
all on tape.
Fact: Lewis was never
rocked or seriously troubled; the howitzer right hand that Vit landed in the
second was as good as it gets, Lewis held on for a second, no more dramas. Once
again, it’s all there in glorious Technicolor.
Klitschko’s punches were losing their snap.
Round by round, like the sand through an hourglass, the strength was
leaving the mighty limbs of the game challenger.
Don’t believe me though, watch the tape.
The cut was as bad as it gets. All those who bellowed, “Bullshit”
when the bout was stopped would do well to take note that even Vitali’s
promoter Peter Kohl concurred the injury was too bad to even think about
continuing. Let’s make no bones
about it; Rocky Marciano would have winced at that tear.
All told, the collection of gashes to the challenger’s face required 60
stitches, yes sixty.
Lewis was having his round of the fight in the sixth; jarring uppercuts
connected and a slashing right to the temple had VT stumbling in the dieing
seconds of the round…
Lewis was a great
champion before Saturday, and despite a so-so performance, he’s still a great
As for Klitsckho, even
the most hardened Lewis admirer would have to admit, he did great. He covered
himself with glory, fighting with class and bravery. What a shame he took to
losing with all the decorum of a dummy-spitting infant. True, emotions were
running high; the big guy was fighting for the highest accolade in sports.
All the more reason, one would have thought, to accept defeat with a bit
Okay I hear ya, Lewis never gave Rahman any
credit, he moaned way too loudly about that trumped-up draw with
Holyfield. Now that’s another story…