Tyson Fury has named the fight that got him interested in the sport of boxing, sparking a thrillingly successful career.
There’s no surprise that the scrap that grabbed him was a heavyweight contest. Speaking with IFL TV’s RAW podcast, the current WBC champion named the first fight between Lennox Lewis and Hasim Rahman as his first boxing memory.
“My first ever memory of boxing – like massive memory – was Lennox Lewis versus Hasim Rahman. The first one. We waited up all night to watch it, and whack – he got chinned out in a few rounds didn’t he. That was my first real, massive boxing memory.”
“Obviously I’d been watching boxing way before that, but not really ever interested in it until that moment.”
The fight took place in South Africa and Fury, like many Brits, was eagerly watching.
It was Lewis’ second and final loss in a 44 fight career. His first came at the hands of Oliver McCall – a second round shock knockout – which he rectified three years later with a stoppage of his own.
The Rahman saga was similar. It was 2001 and ‘The Rock’ Rahman stepped through the ropes as a 20-1 underdog.
He produced one of the biggest upsets in the sport’s history, still to this day, by knocking the champion out in the fifth round via a huge overhand right delivered as Lewis dropped his guard.
The pair rematched just seven months later, with Lewis winning back his belts via fourth round KO. He hung up the gloves after two more fights, ending a career which many regard as the greatest ever of the heavyweights.
In a twist of fate, Fury may be about to emulate the man who sparked his interest in the sport.
Lewis was the last undisputed champion in the division, and ‘The Gypsy King’ may be able to take that long-absent throne if his fight with Oleksandr Usyk materialises.