Lennox Lewis vs. Mike Tyson

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CompuBox Punchstats
Total Punches Lewis Tyson
Landed 193 49
Thrown 328 211
Pct. 59% 23%
Jabs Lewis Tyson
Landed 109 20
Thrown 205 134
Pct. 53% 15%
Power Punches Lewis Tyson
Landed 84 29
Thrown 123 77
Pct. 68% 38%

2002-06-08 : Lennox Lewis 249¼ lbs beat Mike Tyson 234 lbs by KO at 2:25 in round 8 of 12


Lennox Lewis vs. Mike Tyson (poster).jpg
  • Lewis was making his first defense of The Ring Magazine title. In 2002, The Ring once again started to award championship belts. The magazine started awarding belts in 1922, when it was founded, but stopped when the magazine came under new ownership in 1989.
  • On January 22, 2002, there was a press conference in New York to officially announce the fight. As Lewis came on stage, Tyson quickly walked toward his rival and got within a step of the champ when a bodyguard tried to turn him aside. Tyson quickly took a fighting stance and threw a roundhouse left that missed. Lewis raised his fists and threw a punch as dozens of boxing officials and members of both camps swarmed onto the stage. WBC president Jose Sulaiman was knocked unconscious in the melee when he hit his head on a table. Also, while they were on the floor, Tyson bit Lewis' leg.
  • The fight was originally scheduled for April 6, 2002 in Las Vegas. However, Nevada rejected the fight and several other states refused Tyson a license. Memphis landed the fight with a promise of a $12.5 million site fee.
  • Both fighters were guaranteed $17.5 million.
  • The contracts addressed the possibility of the fight ending with a flagrant foul. The fighter committing such an infraction would forfeit $3 million of his purse to the other man. Tyson also was forced to agree to pay Lewis $335,000 for biting his leg during the brawl at the press conference announcing the fight. Payment was due June 9.
  • The ticket sales were slow because they were priced as high as $2,400, but a crowd of 15,327 turned up to see the biggest sporting event ever in the city of Memphis, Tennessee.
  • Lewis was a 2-1 betting favorite.
  • Lewis was under contract with HBO and Tyson was with Showtime. For that reason, many thought the fight wouldn't take place. Ross Greenberg, president of HBO Sports, said the fight would be on HBO or it wouldn't happen, and Showtime senior vice president Jay Larkin said Tyson would fight on HBO "when pork chops grow on the palm trees of Tel Aviv." However, the two networks eventually agreed to work together. The pay-per-view commentators were HBO's Jim Lampley and Showtime's Bobby Czyz. Each network also had a team call the fight for a potential delayed broadcast. If Lewis won, HBO would televise the replay and pay Showtime $3 million. If Tyson won, Showtime would air the replay and pay HBO. Michael Buffer and Jimmy Lennon Jr. shared announcing duties. Buffer introduced Lewis and Lennon introduced Tyson.
  • It was the highest-grossing event in pay-per-view history, generating $106.9 million from 1.95 million buys in the USA. It was surpassed by Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2007. It remains, however, the highest-grossing heavyweight pay-per-view event in boxing history.
  • Lewis vacated the IBF title after this fight.
  • The brawl at the press conference announcing the fight was named the 2002 Event of the Year by The Ring Magazine.
  • The fight was named the 2002 Knockout of the Year by The Ring Magazine.

Preceded by:
Lewis vs. Rahman II
WBC Heavyweight Title Fight
# 87
Succeeded by:
Lewis vs. V. Klitschko
Preceded by:
Lewis vs. Rahman II
IBO Heavyweight Title Fight
# 19
Succeeded by:
Lewis vs. V. Klitschko
Preceded by:
Lewis vs. Rahman II
IBF Heavyweight Title Fight
# 39
Succeeded by:
Byrd vs. Holyfield