Originally Posted by madballster
Really? Vitali at the time was thought to be a heartless quitter with no boxing skills whatsoever. Most people expected Lewis to easily outbox Vitali, many said Vitali's robotic, slow telegraphed punches would never even get close to Lewis' chin.
Had Lewis known he was to face Vitali he might actually have trained even less.
Yes, Lewis did not think highly of Vitali at all. Plenty of quotes from the previous year where he declined to face him because it would be too easy, "Vitali is another Grant. " in so many words. While he was fairly impressed with Johnson's one punch power and admitted that's the only reason he chose to fight hiim.
Vitali is also simply not as big a banger as Rahman, he could hurt an out of shape Lewis but couldn't bank on one punch power to drop him cold out of nohwere. Lewis had time to realize he was in a fight, gather his senses, and scrape past him. He didn't have that luxory when Rahman suddenly leaped across the ring and wiped that smile off his face.