Lennox Lewis recalls fighting Michael Grant

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Big Ukrainian, Mar 25, 2020.

  1. Big Ukrainian

    Big Ukrainian Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jan 10, 2007
    From The Ring:

    “I really had to wonder what they were thinking taking the fight,” said Lewis, recollecting. “Really, what the hell where they thinking. I was shocked they took it. I thought to myself, ‘These guys really think Grant can beat me?’ Was it based on his size? What do they see that’s beatable? Or is he better than I thought? I really thought that.

    “Then, I saw Holyfield was around him and I saw Holyfield walking into the ring with Grant that night. But I knew what was hanging over me. I still couldn’t understand why I was being underestimated. I had an extensive amateur career, and Grant had hardly no amateur career. I wasn’t appreciated. The fighter everyone still had in their minds was Tyson.

    “They didn’t want to see me. I’m still there and the boxing world couldn’t deny me. Tyson didn’t want to fight me, and even pay me to go after Evander Holyfield, thinking he was the easier fish. Everyone at that time sidetracked me to go after someone else. We know Tyson made a mistake, because if you remember, Holyfield was supposed to be finished. People thought Tyson would kill him. We know what happened next.

    “I wanted to get rid of the misfits, and Tyson was a misfit at the time. I didn’t want to go through history and people questioning, ‘Tyson would have done this; Holyfield would have done that to Lennox Lewis.’ There is a reason why the Grant fight happened. No one wanted to fight me.”

    “I knew Grant didn’t have enough experience, while I had more in the bank than he had,” Lewis recalled. “I actually went into the Grant fight super confident, but not too over confident. I thought I would control the ring, but you remember Grant came out and tried to control the ring. He came after me. If he wanted to be the bull, I could be the matador.

    “I was really shocked Grant came after me like that. That was Don Turner telling him to do that. They thought I was weak. I have no idea where that idea came from. I still thought that I had some things to prove. After I beat the great Holyfield, they were throwing this kid at me? What was going to prepare him for me? There was no way he was going to beat me.

    “Grant was not going to beat me on the inside. He wasn’t going to beat me on the outside. He wasn’t going to beat me based on strength, or movement, or experience.”

    “The way he attacked me, Grant really led to his own demise,” Lewis said. “The first knockdown was set up by an uppercut, and then I followed with a right off his head, which I think I remember hitting him in the temple. Grant was 6-foot-7, but build more like a basketball player. Anyone who is taller has leverage and he didn’t use any of it.

    “He kept making the big mistake big guys shouldn’t do—he leaned down. When he leaned down, I knew I could land the uppercut. No one stressed to him to use his height. It was a situation of knowledge. I was the smaller guy. But I was the bigger fighter. He didn’t play the patient script. He tried to catch me with a big right hand, but many people fell on their sword trying to hit me with a big right hand. I had to be patient.

    “He lasted two rounds with me, but if he didn’t do what he did, he may have lasted four of five rounds.”
  2. Sangria

    Sangria You bleed like Mylee Full Member

    Nov 13, 2010
    With all due respect to Lennox, I just can't stand when fighters are expressively proud of themselves.

    Anyways...I'm guessing this was similar to the Duvas cashing out their pupils and serving them to the sharks (Tyrell Biggs anyone?). Didn't Grant wipe out his entire team after the Lewis defeat? The Duvas did this to Holyfield after his first defeat to Bowe.

    The Golota fight showed Grant wasn't ready for the best. It's like America needed a coming attraction, an undefeated young prospect or rising star, and would push that attraction into the spotlight ready or not.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020
  3. Big Ukrainian

    Big Ukrainian Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jan 10, 2007
    I agree, Lennox can be very annoying with his self-admiration. However, he is right about Grant here with all the points he made:

    1) Grant wasn'r ready at all for this level

    2) Grant was really a 'kid' comparing to old and small Holyfield. He was levels below Evander, so how could people think he would beat Lewis if Holyfield didn't? Based on pure size? It was dumb assumption. Plus Grant, as Lennox said, didn't fought like a tall guy, didn't use his height and reach advantages

    3) It was a big mistake for Grant to start the fight very aggresively. Lewis had far superior skills, accuracy and power. You just don't trade with a guy with those andantages unless you have an absolutely iron-cast chin and Grant was already proven to have a suspect one. Plus Grant always was a very slow starter and Lennox, while catious, could explode and KO his opponent anytime in the early rounds
    Abysmal Brute1983 likes this.
  4. zadfrak

    zadfrak Boxing Addict Full Member

    Feb 17, 2008
    another HBO hype job. Everyone they had under contract then was the greatest thing. And Lampley was a cheerleader of the highest caliber.

    But like so many other people that follow boxing, they only look at a guy's offense. never his defense. And Grant had a sloppy defense and worse--was a big big target in there. Giving a big target to Lewis is not going to end well.

    And the Don Turner admiration society. Everyone loved the guy for his work with Holyfield for the Tyson win. But not very many of his other guys did a whole lot.
    Flash24 and steve1990 like this.
  5. Man_Machine

    Man_Machine Boxing Addict Full Member

    Jun 9, 2010
    The momentum behind this fight happening, was external in nature. HBO really wanted this fight and, quite probably, wanted Grant to win.

    Grant was receiving a lot of publicity. Don Turner had been publicly taunting Lewis with claims about his boy Grant being too big, strong and youthful for Lewis and questioned that latter's heart.

    I think everything combined was enough for Lewis to get up for this fight. In all honestly, I think Lewis saw Grant as an opportunity to end a bit of a KO drought; shatter Grant's mystique while, at the same time, make a few dollars.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020
    LoadedGlove and Flash24 like this.
  6. CharlesBurley

    CharlesBurley Active Member Full Member

    Feb 23, 2020
    Grant was seen as the heir apparent. At least he was being hyped as such

    I still can't believe Grant got up from the last KD of round 1. Commentator 'he's broken his leg'
  7. Fergy

    Fergy Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jan 8, 2017
    Brilliant stuff. One of the reasons Lewis is up there as an ATG.
    Big Ukrainian likes this.
  8. steve1990

    steve1990 Active Member Full Member

    Jul 7, 2012
    It's not the first time Lennox has done this a few months back on Twitter he was bragging about beating Tyson who was a sad shell of his former self.
    Bonecrusher likes this.
  9. choklab

    choklab cocoon of horror Full Member

    Dec 31, 2009
    Nobody wanted to believe Lennox was for real.

    All this came after the Tyson era which had raised the profile of TV boxing. To maintain the level of interest after Tyson era had ended Tv needed sports fans to believe at anyone time an all time great heavyweight was walking the earth.

    Evander never really caught on. He struggled with old Holmes and Foreman before losing to Bose and Moorer. He was later revised after beating Tyson. Until then Evander was regarded as nothing more than a caretaker champion. Keeping it warm until something better came along. Bowe was a flash in the pan. And all along, while The industry wanted to promote a superstar Lewis was there and nobody really wanted him.

    Lewis wasn’t supposed to beat Ruddock or Tucker but he did. He wasn’t even supposed to beat Bruno. But he did. And none of these were seen as signature wins. but they were. Lewis was not American.

    The one time he was expected to win Lewis lost to Oliver McCall. And no matter how many extra signature wins he added to the resume like mercer, Briggs, Golota and Morrison and the revenge over McCall it didn’t matter. He wasn’t American. And he wasn’t Mike Tyson.

    along came Grant. American. Big muscles. Taller than Bowe or Lewis. TV was all over him. The industry decided on him. It was the natural order of things. And that’s how they sold Grant.
  10. Bonecrusher

    Bonecrusher Lineal Champion Full Member

    Jul 19, 2004
    Yeah Lewis was and has always been a bit of a narcissist. Always referring to himself in the 3rd person, cringe.... He doesn’t bother me at all now but when he was active I rooted against him damn near everytime out. Unlucky for me he served me quite a few **** sandwiches.
    Sangria and Abysmal Brute1983 like this.
  11. Flash24

    Flash24 Well-Known Member Full Member

    Oct 22, 2015
    Grant has nothing to do with Lewis's
    greatness. Grant was a hype job, anyone
    with two eyes and knowledge of the game
    Knew that Grant wasn't ready( and would
    never be) ready for a fighter like Lewis.
    Lewis earned his ATG status against much
    better fighters than M Grant.
  12. thanosone

    thanosone Love Your Brother Man Full Member

    Sep 23, 2007
    The reason people get tired of Lennox's ego is because he got ktfo twice. And everyone knows he was behind and getting beat by Vitali. Yet, he acts like he was untouchable.
    Thor Odinson likes this.
  13. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Feb 15, 2006
    Those who were around at the time, know that there were people hyping Grant to the rafters.

    What Lewis is saying here seems obvious in hindsight, but a lot of people didn't see it at the time.

    Obviously Lewis saw it!
    choklab, LoadedGlove and Seamus like this.
  14. 5016

    5016 Member Full Member

    May 3, 2014
    I was at that fight at the garden; great atmosphere. I was with my (now) ex-wife who started yelling "Kill him! Kill him!" at the top of her voice when Lewis got him on the run, her being a Williams and Harvard educated Daughter of the American Revolution who had never seen a live fight before. I spoke quite strongly to her about that; anyone who has watched boxing long enough has seen someone killed and it isn't pleasant.
  15. Seamus

    Seamus Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    I believe that Michael Katz started an article..."A new Colossus bestrides the ring..." announcing Grant's take-over of the division.

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