Lennox Lewis Biography

Boxer (1965–)
Lennox Lewis was the first British boxer to hold the undisputed world heavyweight title since Bob Fitzsimmons (who won the title in 1899). Lewis won Olympic gold in 1988.


Lennox Lewis was born in London, England on September 2, 1965, and moved to Canada as a child. At the 1988 Olympic Games, Lewis earned the gold medal in the super-heavyweight division, and then went pro. He was undefeated in his first 22 professional fights, but was declared the World Boxing Council heavyweight champion in 1994. He lost and regained the title several times, and defended it against Mike Tyson. In April 2000, he was stripped of the World Boxing Association portion of his title after a legal dispute. Three years later, in 2003, he retired from boxing. Lewis is one of three champions to end his career with no unavenged defeats.

Early Life

Professional boxer Lennox Claudius Lewis was born on September 2, 1965, in London, England, to Jamaican-born parents. Lewis and his family moved to Kitchener, Ontario, when he was 12 years old.

Lewis trained as a boxer, winning the world amateur junior title in 1983. At the age of 18, he represented Canada as a super heavyweight at the 1984 Summer Olympics, held in Los Angeles. After missing the gold medal, he decided to remain an amateur until 1988. That year, he went on to win the gold at the Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea.

Boxing Career

Lewis went pro following his Olympic win, and returned to his native England. In October 1992, he won the World Boxing Council belt after knocking out Canadian Donovan "Razor" Ruddock in two rounds. Lewis would lose and regain the WBC title several times over the course of his career. In 1994, he lost his belt to Oliver McCall. The pair had a rematch three years later, in February 1997. In a strange turn of events, McCall refused to box in the fourth and fifth rounds of the match, bursting into tears in the ring. The referee stopped the fight and awarded Lewis the winner.

In March 1999, Lewis fought World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation champion Evander Holyfield. Following a declared tie, the pair fought again, and Lewis prevailed. On April 21, 2001, Lewis was knocked out by underdog Hasin Rahman, but regained the title in a rematch that November.

On June 8, 2002, Lewis successfully defended his title against American boxer Mike Tyson, in a fight promoted as a historic match up. Despite the hype, Lewis knocked Tyson out with relative ease. Tyson later pleaded guilty to biting Lewis's leg in an unofficial fight leading up to the televised 2002 bout.

Later Life

Lewis retired in 2003 and began pursuing other interests, including sports management and music promotion. He is one of three world heavyweight champions to have retired with no unavenged defeats.

In 2008, Lewis was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. In 2009, in his first year of eligibility, Lewis was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. He currently lives in Jamaica.

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