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Home » Lennox Lewis: The payback that cost a mental breakdown

Lennox Lewis: The payback that cost a mental breakdown

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Former undisputed heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis defeated every man he ever faced. One in a weirder way than others.

Discussing the strange bout, Lewis aired his thoughts on Oliver McCall’s infamous in-ring mental breakdown.

Lewis, who lost for the first time in his career to McCall in 1994, avenged the defeat two and a half years later.

The Londoner did similar to Hasim Rahman, meaning he beat every opponent he faced in the ring.

Marking a quarter of a century of their second fight, Lewis remembered their ill-fated match-up when McCall had a mental collapse during the fight.

The ‘Pugilist Specialist’ also sent a heartfelt message to his old rival on the 25th anniversary of their rematch.

He wanted to offer condolences for the loss of McCall’s son Oliver Jr. who was shot and killed the previous October.

Lennox Lewis payback

“In 1997, I regained the WBC Heavyweight belt in a rematch with Oliver McCall. [At the time] the only fighter to put a loss on my record,” said Lewis.

“It was one of the strangest fights of my life because McCall refused to fight and started crying in the ring.

“I thought it was some trick, to be honest. But I wasn’t taking any chances.

“The legendary Mills Lane stopped the fight in the fifth round. With that, I had my belt back, and I had my payback.”

On the death of McCall Jr, Lewis added: “I want to send a special message out to Oliver McCall, whom I consider a really good-hearted guy.

“Not too long ago, he lost his youngest son, Oliver McCall Jr, to gun violence.

“My deepest condolences go out to Oliver and his family – especially Oliver Jr’s mum. I’m so sorry for your loss. Sending prayers from my family to yours.”

Oliver McCall Jr’s murder

At the time of Junior’s murder, the family revealed their devastation as there seemed no apparent reason for the shooting.

“What they did broke our hearts: his loved ones, his friends, his parents, and the community,” Oliver Jr’s sister Mariah McCall told ABC 7 Chicago.

Another sister Natasha added: “Who or what happened? You had no regard for his life.

“When you ran into him because he’s not a man of conflict. He’s a man of peace and resolution.

“He was doing the noble thing. He was doing the responsible thing as a leader to walk his mother, to make sure she got where she needed to safely.

“We were robbed of a beautiful life.”

Lennox Lewis vs. McCall intrigued fans over the two-fight saga, with the latter fighting in the sport sixteen years longer than his rival.

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