Dekkers, blistering, zulander -
Please tell me you're kidding. As I said, go back and watch the rest of the round. Lewis was holding on for the last minute of the round. There is no evidence - none - that Lewis would have lasted even 2 more rounds. If by 'walking through' Vitali's shots, you mean hanging on for dear life, yes, Lewis was walking through Vitali's shots at the end of the fight.
Lewis, before the fight, said he wanted 2-3 more fights after Vitali.
Lewis told Vitali immediately after the fight that he would rematch him.
Despite both of these, and other statements, Lewis soon after winning the 'cut lottery,' retired.
Them's the facts, gents. As is the fact that Lewis was trailing on the scorecards and felt the need to take the mike out of Merchant's hand in the post-fight interview because he didn't like the questions. Lewis knew he got lucky, and so did everyone else, including Merchant.
Lewis was a fine fighter who came along at the right time.
Vitali was a destroyer, a totally dominant force. Never trailed on the scorecards in any fight, insanely high KO %, never KO'd, never KD'd.
The most fortunate thing for Lewis and the other HW's was that Vitali kickboxed and got hurt from doing it. Other than that, Vitali would be undefeated and still reigning today, if he wasn't too bored and wanted Wlad to have a chance.
Lewis has shown he can be 1-punch KO'd, let alone just KO'd, period. Vitali can't even be knocked down, let alone out.
Lenny got lucky. Good for him. But all other evidence points out that Lewis was looking to get stopped, and stopped soon, in his fight with Vitali. His prayers were answered, as were those of his trembling fans.
Had the cut gods not been appeased, things would have ended like this:
Fortunately for an out-gunned Lenny, the cut gods saved him.
There aren't any pictures like that of Vitali. Because, at least as a pro (there's a story about him getting KO'd in amateurs by Maskaev, but I think he might have been injured, not sure), he doesn't get knocked out. Or knocked down. Lenny does, and does. And he was well on his way to doing both again.
That's what happens when the bully meets a bigger bully.
I understand if you want to go against all the relevant historical information, the scoring of the fight, etc.
Just don't expect me to do that. I'm going to stay closer to the facts.
Fact: Lewis trailed the entire fight
Fact: Lewis had been KO'd before, and 1-punch KO'd
Fact: Lewis was hanging on at the end of the 6th, dog-tired
Fact: Lewis plopped down with no control on his stool after
the 6th round ended. He was very, very gassed and
appeared to be looking dejected that his heaviest shots
weren't doing jack to Vitali
Fact: Vitali was leading in the fight
Fact: Vitali had never been knocked down, never knocked out,
and never one-punch knocked out. He still hasn't had
any of those 3 things happen to him since
Fact: Vitali had Lewis hanging onto him at the end of the
6th round, after surviving the 'amazing' offensive
rally of LL
Fact: A very pissed-off-that-the-fight-had-been-stopped Vitali
asked LL after the fight, immediately, for a rematch.
LL said yes. There was no rematch, nor did LL ever
fight again, despite saying before the fight he wanted
several more fights after fighting Vitali
Fact: Vitali KO's people; that's what he does. And he usually
does it by systematically beating them down, as he was
doing Lewis. That's why his KO % is > 90%, higher
than any other HW in history, I believe. He is like a HW
Julian Jackson (without the weak chin) or a HW Gerald
McClellan - he destroys people. That's what all the
evidence shows from his record.
There is none - zero - factual basis from which to think LL would have either won or survived the fight. Even if you think
Lewis won the last two rounds, he still trailed. He still would have had to have won two more rounds just to tie
Vitali. Forget about beating him. He was two in the hole just to try to look for a draw. Through half the fight, Vitali led by two rounds.
Now, you can make the fanboy leap and say "Oh, Lenny was coming on, he was on his way." Ok, despite that he was hanging on the last minute of the 6th round after his 'incredible' uppercut. Lenny shot his wad, and he was about to go out. Vitali was in full control at the end of the fight. Could Lenny have gotten one more 'second-wind?' Sure he could have. But there's nothing - absolutely nothing - to suggest he could have even hurt Vitali, let alone take him out. Vitali does not go down or out. That's a fact.
Ok, so that means Lenny would have had to try to get a decision win. He was down two rounds, hanging on for as hard as he could at the end of the 6th after his last stand offense, and he plopped down with no muscle control at the end of the round. He was being manhandled and muscled around the ring. How much longer, logically, do you think a guy like that has left? A guy that has been twice 1-punched KO'd, remember. Right. Not much.
Vitali, conversely, was fine when he was in his corner. He wasn't even breathing hard. He was fine, and only mildly annoyed that the doc was looking at his cut. As another poster mentioned, Vitali KO's guys later in a fight. Lewis doesn't. Vitali was just fighting his fight, feeling good. Despite that he took the fight on like 2-weeks notice and that his skin was tore open and blood was in his eye. He was ready to do whatever it took to defeat Lewis.
And that's it. Those are the facts. Sure, you can hold onto the 'fairy-tale' ending theory, and think Lenny would have overcome his fatigue, the scorecards, and the monster in front of him. Real life usually doesn't follow such a script.
And Rocky was the heavyweight champ, too.
Lewis retired. That's all you need to know. He knew, and he
knew that Vitali knew, too. Once you know you can't win, you
better walk away, or you're just going to get hurt in the next
So Lenny walked away. For good.