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Lewis KO's Tyson in the eighth round

Heavyweight retains two world championships with victory.

©Associated Press
June 9, 2002

MEMPHIS -- Lennox Lewis showed the bully who was boss.

Using a masterful left jab and landing his right hand at will, Lewis battered a befuddled Mike Tyson before stopping him with a crashing right hand in the eighth round to keep his heavyweight titles Saturday night.

Tyson was bleeding from cuts over his eyes and from the nose when Lewis landed a punch that sent him sprawling on his back in Lewis' corner. Tyson tried to get up at the count of eight, getting to one knee, but was counted out.

Referee Eddie Cotton counted Tyson out at 2:25 of the eighth round.

It was a sudden end to a dominating performance in which Lewis overwhelmed the former champion from the opening bell.

Lewis retained his IBF and WBC heavyweight titles.

"I caught him and he went down, but some of those punches that I caught him on, he took them like a man," Lewis said. "I felt them all the way through my arm."

Lewis, who had vowed to beat Tyson to restore order to the heavyweight division, pounded him with jabs from the first round on, keeping Tyson away. When Tyson did get close, Lewis would hit him with a right uppercut or an overhand right.

Tyson was exposed as a fighter with limited skills who kept trying to throw punches at the champion but connected only occasionally. Tyson kept trying to rush in and land a big punch, but never hurt Lewis with any of them.

Tyson was bleeding from cuts and from his nose when Lewis hit him with a series of punches early in the eighth round that buckled his legs and nearly put him down. Cotton ruled it a knockdown and gave him an eight-count.

When the fight resumed, Lewis went after Tyson again, throwing right hands and jabs before finally connecting with a huge right hand that crashed into the side of Tyson's face, sending him sprawling on his back.

Tyson went into the ring an underdog for the first time, and it was quickly apparent why.

He had said he would "crush" Lewis' skull, but Lewis made him look like an amateur, dominating both inside and out with his jab and big right hands.

Punch Stats showed Lewis threw 328 punches and landed 193, and Tyson threw 211 and landed only 49.

Officials had worried so much about Tyson fouling Lewis that there was a contract clause that a fighter who committed a vicious foul had to pay the other $3-million if the fight ended because of it.

"He's a magnificent, a prolific fighter and he should continue fighting," Tyson said. "I love him and respect him too much to do something to him."

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