Lennox Lewis is rightfully mentioned as one of the greatest heavyweights of all time – and his attitude towards the sport was as big a factor as his skills in the ring.
‘The Lion’ won Olympic Gold before turning pro, where he went on to become three-time world heavyweight champion.
He remains the last man to be undisputed in the division, and that stat perhaps ties into his latest advice for today’s fighters. Lewis took to Twitter with a simple message for the current era.
“Do you want to make history, or do you want to make excuses?” – This is what EVERY professional fighter should ask themselves… and then act accordingly.”
“Do you want to make history, or do you want to make excuses?”
– This is what EVERY professional fighter should ask themself… and then act accordingly.
— Lennox Lewis, CBE, CM (@LennoxLewis) April 28, 2023
Boxing news in early 2023 was crowded by the fraught and ultimately failed negotiations between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk to crown a four-belt heavyweight champion.
Whilst both sides blame each other and fans make up their own minds, Lewis’ advice rings true.
It can also be applied to Errol Spence Jr and Terence Crawford. Many in the sport feel the welterweight super fight has been spoiled by its wait, even despite talks once again seeming positive for this year – although that could easily be a case of rinse and repeat.
One recent example of making history over excuses is Gervonta Davis vs Ryan Garcia. The pair put their undefeated records on the line for perhaps the biggest boxing event of this calendar year. No belts, just talent and hype.
‘Tank’ comes away the victor with the spoils, but Garcia has been commended for taking the fight with a catchweight and one-sided rematch clause.
Fans made their appetite for these sort of contests clear by delivering over 1.2 million pay-per-view buys in America and showing up for a live gate worth $22.8 million – the fifth best in Nevada history when it comes to combat sports.
We can also look to unified super bantamweight world champion, Stephen Fulton, who will travel to Japan to defend his titles against ‘The Monster’ Naoya Inoue.
Win or lose, these men will fight – something that shouldn’t be a question in this sport but too often is. If it plays out as it should, the fans will show up every time.