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Home » Mike Tyson snubbed as toughest opponent Lennox Lewis faced

Mike Tyson snubbed as toughest opponent Lennox Lewis faced

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  • 3 min read

Heavyweight great Lennox Lewis lifted the lid on the most challenging opponent inside the ropes. It’s not Mike Tyson.

The former undisputed world champion has revealed Evander Holyfield was the best he faced throughout his exceptional career.

‘The Pugilist Specialist,’ who ruled the late 1990s era in the top division, fought two bouts with Holyfield during the height of his pomp.

Drawing the first in highly controversial circumstances, Lewis won the second. The Briton firmly believes he claimed victory in both.


Despite two ‘victories’ over Holyfield, Lewis has nothing but respect for the two-weight king after explaining his reasoning to fans.

Lennox Lewis vs Evander Holyfield

“People seem genuinely surprised when I tell them Evander Holyfield was my toughest opponent. But when you dive into why that is, it makes a lot of sense,” said Lewis.

“Holyfield, like me, has an extensive amateur pedigree that has served him well throughout his professional career.

“He started boxing at eight and was an Olympic Bronze medalist in 1984. Before he moved up to the heavyweight division, he was a man that cleared out the cruiserweight division to become the undisputed champion. He was arguably one of the best in that weight class.

“That’s a lot of experience. It’s safe to say that he had seen it all when we met for the undisputed heavyweight championship in 1999.

“When you combine Evander’s amateur and professional experience, you would be hard-pressed not to see his success in the ring.

“I may tease him a bit on our two fights. But he knows I won both fights even tho he won’t admit it. In all seriousness, he’s the only man that has gone 24 rounds with me.

“I can’t stress the importance of amateur experience enough. Consider the amateurs as your internship into the pros. The more you learn about your craft, the better it will serve you.

“Me and Evander’s extensive amateur experience brought us to the top of our games. In a sport without guarantees, and even one mistake can end in disaster, it’s essential to play the odds.

“So although we have both had setbacks in our careers, there was very little chance that the success we sought in the sport of boxing would not be reached.”

Some questioned Holyfield as the choice when Hasim Rahman and Oliver McCall stopped Lewis. Plus was given a hard time by Vitali Klitschko.

Mike Tyson

There was also a match-up with a certain Mike Tyson, although the ‘Baddest Man on the Planet’ was way past his prime by then.

Lewis doesn’t get any credit for the stoppage to this day.

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