Lennox Lewis reveals 15-year-old Mike Tyson was ‘giant’ who ‘knocked people out easily’ after meeting rival in sparring

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LENNOX LEWIS has revealed that 15-year-old Mike Tyson was a ‘giant’ who was ‘knocking people out easy’.

The Lion memorably beat Iron Mike when they collided in 2002 but they first shared a ring together as teenage sparring partners.

 The pair sparred for a number of days in Catskill, New York
Lennox Lewis sparred Mike Tyson for a number of days in Catskill, New York
Tyson was knocked out in round eight by Lewis
The Brit later shared a ring with Iron Mike in a 2002 grudge match
Lewis prevailed in the 2002 grudge match
Lewis prevailed with an eighth-round knockout against Tyson

The British icon left Canada with his first trainer Arnie Boehm to drive to Tyson’s New York base after winning the World Junior Championships.

And Lewis lifted the lid on his first experience meeting the Baddest Man on the Planet – who at the time was a year younger than him at age 15.

He told the Guardian: “I liked him. We got to know each other pretty well. We spoke, we went down to the town, went to a dance together.

“He was a giant because during training in the Catskills you’d watch him knocking people out easy. I thought he was great.

He was a giant because during training in the Catskills you’d watch him knocking people out easy. I thought he was great


Lennox Lewis on teenage Mike Tyson

“When the time came I knew we would meet in the ring. I wanted to know if what Cus (D’Amato) said would come true.”

Both Lewis and Tyson went on become heavyweight champion of the world numerous times and finally fought in 2002.

Brit star Lewis came out on top with an eighth-round KO but they were also involved in a infamous press conference brawl ahead of the fight.

Tyson was forced to pay a fine for biting his rival’s leg during the scuffle – which almost saw the mega-fight cancelled altogether.


Yet despite this, Lewis wasn’t left feeling too apprehensive at facing Iron Mike after he was promised it would be his easiest fight.

He added: “Yes and no. Yes, because TV made him look like King Kong. But, no, because Manny [Lewis’s legendary trainer Emanuel Steward] always told me Tyson would be my easiest fight.

“I’d say: ‘Come on, now. He’s going to be a little difficult.’ But Manny said: ‘No. It’s your easiest fight.’”



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