Former undisputed heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis has defended his British roots following calls from Piers Morgan for a knighthood.
‘The Pugilist Specialist’ responded to a thread that began when British TV personality Morgan proclaimed that Lewis should be a Sir.
Morgan made a case for Lewis and seven-time Formula 1 winner Lewis Hamilton to be acknowledged by the Queen in her New Year honors list.
The Good Morning Britain co-host said: “If Henry Cooper, Jackie Stewart, and Stirling Moss all got knighthoods, can someone explain why Lennox Lewis and Lewis Hamilton haven’t?
Greatest British boxer and driver in history and arguably the greatest the world’s ever produced. Arise, Sir Lennox and Sir Lewis!”
One derogatory comment came back to Morgan wrongly stating that Lewis has ‘never considered himself British.’ A blissfully ignorant statement at best.
Lewis obviously got wind of the trolling and responded by straightening out the bewildered non-sports fan.
If Henry Cooper, Jackie Stewart & Stirling Moss all got knighthoods, can someone explain why @LennoxLewis & @LewisHamilton haven't?
Greatest British boxer & driver in history & arguably the greatest the world's ever produced.
Arise Sir Lennox & Sir Lewis! pic.twitter.com/PLTY0fUfGh
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) November 16, 2020
“You mean aside from the fact that I was born there. I lived there till I was 12. I came back at 22 and fought professionally under the flag there until I retired at 38. And still, carry a British passport to this day?”
It’s a solid case for the response of 2020 by Lewis. The man is considered a fully-fledged Brit despite presenting Canada at the Olympics in 1984 and 1988.
Living in Canada from 1977 onwards into his teenage years, Lewis honed his craft in the country and decided to give something back by wearing their vest as a mark of respect.
Canada gave him his big break, and Lewis obviously wanted to give something back. But his loyalty deep down has always been with the UK.
“I have always been English, ever since I emigrated from England and since the kids in Canada beat me up at the age of 12 for having an East London Cockney accent.
“I thank them for the Cockney taunts because the beatings turned me on to boxing. But on a serious note, Canada has been kind to me,” Lewis previously told the BBC at the height of his boxing powers.
“It was a great time for me in Canada, boxing twice in the Olympics. Canada gave me my first burst into amateur boxing. Arnie (Boehm) was like a father to me. I have fond memories of that time.
“Winning gold in Seoul was an unbelievable situation for me, something I’d always wanted to do. Once you’ve won it, it’s like, ‘Yo. This is the golden ticket to be a professional.’
“You’re leaving the amateurs behind and all of a sudden, you’ve become a man,” he added.
Not only one of his generation’s greatest heavyweights, but one of the best of all time, Lewis should be cherished by both the British and Canadian masses.
He had it all: the power, poise, and a boxing brain. Most importantly, one of the stiffest and most effective jabs the sport has ever seen.
Who knows whether Morgan’s words will ever become a reality. Although ‘Sir Lennox Lewis’ does have the right ring to it.