It was a domination, as Lennox Lewis punished Mike Tyson tonight at The Pyramid, opening cuts over both eyes and bloodying Tyson’s nose. This long-anticipated bout, years in the making, turned out to be a mismatch. As the eighth round drew to a close, Tyson — who had been staggered by a series of uppercuts dropped to the canvas after a crushing roundhouse right hand to the chin.
There were 35 seconds remaining in the round and Tyson made little attempt to rise before he was counted out by Referee Eddie Cotton. Tyson’s right hand covered his face, and as the count reached 10, making Lewis’s knockout official, Tyson put his right hand to his side to reveal a face smeared with his own blood. “This is my defining fight, the one the world wanted to see,” said Lewis (40-2-1, 31 knockouts), who successfully defended his World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation titles.
“This guy bit me; he was going to get some discipline. After the fight, he apologized to me and said I was a masterful boxer and admired and respected me. Mike at the age of 19 ruled the world, but like a fine wine, I came along later on and I’m the ruling man.” Tyson (49-4-2, 43 knockouts) embraced Lewis after the fight and kissed Lewis’s mother in the ring. “I am happy for him,” Tyson said. “I am thankful for the chance. He knows I love him and I hope he gives me the chance to fight him one more time.” Lewis, who was ahead by 69-64 on all the judges’ cards, said a rematch was a possibility if the public demanded it. Lewis’s control of the fight was so complete Tyson probably took more punishment in eight rounds than he did in the rest of his career combined the attraction a rematch would hold is questionable. Lewis, 36, took control in the third round, when he first opened a cut over Tyson’s right eye.
Watch Mike Tyson – Lennox Lewis 2002-06-08 fight full video:
Tyson was cut over his left eye, and blood flowed from his nose and mouth in the succeeding rounds as Lewis repeatedly lined up Tyson for sharp left-handed jabs and stinging uppercuts and overhand rights. Tyson, 35, started fast, winning the first round largely with aggressiveness and a lively left hook, but he had just about stopped punching by the fourth round. Tyson looked tired and was breathing heavily after the second round, when he landed his last power shot. Lewis nearly knocked out Tyson in the seventh and stalked him for the knockout in the eighth.
Midway through the final round, the fight was stopped for a standing-eight count on Tyson after a right-left uppercut combination by Lewis. The end came after Tyson briefly tried to fight back. But Tyson left himself open for the roundhouse right hand by Lewis that caught him cleanly on the side of the chin. Tyson fell onto his back and eventually needed help to rise. Even then, as he was helped to his corner, Tyson was out on his feet.
Source: Bill Pennington of the New York Times reported: