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Articles of 2002

Tyson vs. Lewis: A Little Reason, Please

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Lennox Lewis is 37, Mike Tyson 36. Though this fight may be happening 10 years too late, it still holds much intrigue for the boxing public.

To use Teddy Atlas' analogy – the young Mike Tyson was a comet, not a planet. A fighter of immense physical talent, but one who was flawed mentally, lacking the character of truly great fighters such as Ali, Robinson or Louis (with an “ou”). A fighter with a style predicated on explosive speed and bestial aggression, a style, in fact, destined to deteriorate quickly. A fighter, not of enduring substance, but one destined to burn brightly, albeit fleetingly.

In retrospect, the sheer magnificence with which Tyson shone during the late 80's has perhaps blurred the collective vision when considering his career.

Lewis too is past his best. In fact, I would argue Lennox Lewis never reached his best. Bereft of top caliber sparring during his amateur years, then proper coaching during the first part of his pro career – Pepe Correa, Lewis' trainer when he was knocked out by Oliver McCall, was a cheerleader, not a trainer – it was not until Emmanuel Steward resurrected Lewis' career that Lewis began to display his true quality. Lewis, however, was approaching 30 when Steward took over, a fact considered by few. What could have been had Lewis been trained properly since day one.

Still, I digress. “Lewis Tyson is On,” so what's likely to happen?

At the end of the day, we can break this fight down all we want, put the X's there and the O's over here, the X's here and the O's there, at the end of the day there appears to be so much hype, so much emotion and, now, so much apparent ill will that form may very well go out the window as this one just might go off big time. Still, the analysis …

Mike Tyson's reputation precedes him (in more ways than one). The Mike Tyson that cleaned out the division during the late 80's was an apparently awesome force. But just how awesome? I would suggest that there is a myth that has come to surround Mike Tyson the fighter.

Let me be clear, Mike Tyson was often awesome during his peak years. However, not necessarily as awesome as the myth would suggest. In this regard, I'd pose a few questions:

– who has Mike Tyson actually beat?
– in particular, how many top caliber heavyweights did he defeat?
– how many quality fighters has he beat recently ( ie. during the last 5 years)?
– how has he fared against big men throughout his career ie. fighters like Lewis?

Let's take them one by one.

Looking back over Tyson's dance card, there is a surprising dearth of quality opponents, given the magnitude of Tyson's reputation. Fighters he has beat include Razor Ruddock, Tony Tucker, Frank Bruno (twice), Michael Spinks, Francois Botha, Lou Savarese and Andrew Golota. A respectable list, but hardly one that would have Muhammad Ali losing sleep. Amongst the top caliber list of fighters Tyson has fought, find Tony Tucker, Razor Ruddock, Evander Holyfield, Michael Spinks and Andrew Golota.

Of course, it depends on how you define “top caliber”, but for the sake of argument I put these guys near the top of the division at their best. Golota is perhaps suspect on this list, but he makes it based on physical strength and technique, a dangerous package, despite his house of cards psyche. Michael Spinks is also suspect. Certainly, he was a tremendous boxer, but he just wasn't a heavyweight. Again, looking at the list of the toughest fighters Tyson has fought, one might wonder what all the fuss was about. Note that Buster Douglas, the first to conquer Tyson, is not even on the list.

The other fighter who defeated Tyson was, of course, Evander Holyfield. Holyfield dominated Tyson and finally exposed to the world what Teddy Atlas had known all along. Mike Tyson struggles badly when he's not the boss, a sign of insecurity, according to Atlas. Based on the maxim that “styles makes fights,” I wouldn't read too much into the fact that Lewis beat Holyfield. The enduring feature that lives on from the 2 Holyfield-Tyson bouts is that Holyfield exposed the lack of substance in one of Tyson's greatest weapons – intimidation.

Think back to Frank Bruno entering the ring blessing himself repeatedly, squirming as he approached the ring, or Bruce Seldon taking a dive, going down from a punch that didn't touch him. Intimidation has always been one of Mike Tyson's greatest weapons. It was something Cus D'Amato cultivated from the very early days. Indeed, through the years Mike Tyson scared a lot of guys senseless and effectively secured victory before the opening bell even rang.

Stacey McKinlay – one of Tyson's trainers – this week said: “Lennox Lewis is a b*tch. He is a coward. Tell him I said that.” The Tyson camp can talk all they want, don't expect to see a frightened Lennox Lewis enter the ring on Saturday night.

Back in Tyson's heyday I always felt that Lewis was the fighter with the best “chance” to beat Tyson, simply because Lewis wouldn't beat himself before he entered the ring. Still, this may not be as big a factor as it once may have been, simply because the secret is out as far the Mike Tyson the myth is concerned.

Ron Borges pointed out this week that Tyson's camps' mouths are in overdrive, but – notably – Iron Mike has fallen silent. Borges – definitely one of the most tuned in boxing writers – suggests it is because Tyson doesn't really believe he will “spread Lewis' pompous brains all over the ring” on Saturday night as Mike previously had threatened.

As Borges pointed out, when there were thousands of miles between the fighters and Tyson was preparing in Hawaii, Tyson's mouth was in overdrive. Now the distance has closed to 15 miles, Tyson has fallen silent. Personally, I feel too much is made of this type of thing. In truth, who really knows what Tyson (or even Lewis) is thinking? The point is that I don't see intimidation being much of a factor in this fight, and that definitely is to the detriment of Mike Tyson.

When considering this matchup, one must also ask: how has Tyson fared against big men throughout his career, men with styles comparable to Lennox Lewis? The answer is not as well as you probably think.

Of course, Buster Douglas comes to mind immediately. Sure, Tyson was undertrained and perhaps overmedicated, had Douglas on the canvas during the fight and was facing a guy who – inspired by personal circumstances – fought the fight of his life.

Still, Douglas was big man who could stick and move, and it was a style that obviously caused Tyson problems. And there have been others. James Tillis and Mitch Green both took Tyson the distance and caused him some problems. Both were tallish fighers who could jab. And there was Tony Tucker. Tucker faced a prime Mike Tyson and, frankly, Tucker – in my opinion, a very underrated heavyweight in terms of pure talent – caused Tyson some problems in a competitive fight, though a fight Mike Tyson clearly won.

These glimpses of the past may be an ominous sign for Mike Tyson when he confronts Lewis, the tall, powerful boxer-puncher, on Saturday night.

But which Lennox Lewis will show up on Saturday night? That is the question many of the experts are asking.

Will it be the assertive puncher-boxer who dominated Rahman in the return leg, who blasted out a dangerous Razor Ruddock early and who chopped down the feared-at-the-time Andrew Golota in the first round. Or will it be the tentative, calculating to the point of inertia boxer who forgets to punch, who struggled with Zeljko Mavrovic, who refused to step it up a gear against Holyfield the first time, or who coasted against David Tua when a true beating for Tua looked on the cards. Again, who knows, really, but the man himself?

History tells us, though, that when Lewis faces dangerous tests – Ruddock, Golota, Rahman II and even Holyfield – he brings the focus necessary to do the job. Under the glare of the spotlight, when the pressure is on, I've always fancied Lewis. When was the last time Tyson entered a fight with this much at stake, under this degree of pressure? It was over 5 years ago when he bit Evander Holyfield's ear.

But before we rush ahead of ourselves, we must ask the same questions of Lewis that we have asked of Tyson.

– who has Lewis actually beat?
– in particular, how many top caliber heavyweights did he defeat?
– how many quality fighters has he beat recently ( ie. during the last 5 years)
– how has he fared against shorter men like Tyson?

Lewis' opponents include Razor Ruddock, Tony Tucker, Frank Bruno, Tommy Morrison, Ray Mercer, Andrew Golota, Shannon Briggs, Evander Holyfield, Michael Grant, Francois Botha, David Tua and Hasim Rahman. The list is comparable to that of Tyson, though probably slightly more impressive. In addition, Tucker, Mercer, Golota, Tua and Holyfield seem to comprise a list of elite heavyweights slightly more impressive than the list of elite heavyweights Tyson has battled. Still, there may not be much in it, and either way I doubt this list would have been enough to make Joe Louis nervous.

However, recent competition is where Lewis clearly has an edge over Tyson. Since the ear biting fight with Holyfield during 1997, Tyson has fought Botha, Orlin Norris, Julius Francis, Savarese, Golota and Brian Nielsen. The only credible opponents in that list are Botha and Golota.

Of course, Lewis had already had beaten the fight out of the Pole and a rusty Tyson struggled badly for the better part of 5 rounds before a complacent Botha walked into a peach of a right hand from Tyson. Notably, Lewis dispatched Botha through the ropes during the 2nd round with consummate ease.

Lewis, in addition, during the last 5 years has fought Akinwande, Golota, Briggs, Mavrovic, Holyfield (twice), Grant, Botha, Tua and Rahman (twice). Clearly, Lewis has had much stiffer opposition over the last 5 years. If this means anything, it gives Lewis an edge. I'd suggest it means something.

What about the Tyson style? Frankly, this is where Lewis could run into trouble. There is no other fighter who is comparable in style to Tyson. Tua has a superficial resemblance, but is too one-handed and doesn't bring enough pressure to be credibly compared to Tyson. Mercer, perhaps, could be compared based on build and strength, but he doesn't have the speed or movement of a Tyson. Mercer was able, though, to slip Lewis's jab and as a result was able to cause Lewis all sorts of problems, providing Lewis with the toughest physical battle of his career. Mercer's ability to slip the jab and absorb physical punishment along the way, without wilting, may provide a general blueprint for Tyson.

Tyson will have to use foot and head movement to get inside Lewis' long arms, where he can break down Lewis, to the body and to the head. If Tyson can close the distance and breach Lewis' long range attack, Lennox will be in a world of trouble.

I do not believe that Lewis necessarily has the glass chin he is reputed to possess, but it is undeniable he does not possess the kind of whiskers a la Holyfield) that are required to absorb the blows of a heavy handed Tyson. If Tyson lands any significant combinations, I have to say, the big man from Kitchener by way of London will go. Good night London. Good night Kitchener. Good night Vienna.

However, will Tyson be able to do enough to close the distance on Lewis? One of the great conundrums of Lennox Lewis the fighter is that space is one of his greatest weapons. He is tall, has long arms, possesses a good jab when he cares to use it and is physically powerful. Space, then, is naturally his ally. When he keeps a shorter man (most opponents) on the end of the jab he is out of harms way and has room to think, room to pick his spots and room to unload his long power punches, especially the right cross.

However, when Lewis becomes passive, when he attempts to employ space defensively, hiding out of harms way, thinking too much and going into a defensive shell, he not only elicits accusations of being boring, more importantly, he opens himself up to being caught with a hopeful bomb.

Against Tyson, Lewis must not only establish distance, but must defend it aggressively, using the space to launch attacks on Tyson, not just to punish him, but to take Tyson out of his rhythm. It is imperative that Lewis employs a punishing jab (a la Rahman II), not just to Tyson's head, but to the chest too if need be.

Lewis must use his long arms to upset Tyson's rhythm, he must hit Tyson on the chest and shoulders as well as the head, to keep Tyson off balance and to stop Tyson from getting set. As Gil Clancy has pointed out, when Foreman destroyed Frazier he set it up by constantly hitting, pawing and pushing Frazier's left shoulder, keeping him off balance and thereby negating Frazier's greatest weapon, the left hook. Lewis must attempt to employ a similar strategy against Mike Tyson.

So, there you have it, some X's and O's. But what happens if Tyson has decided it's all or nothing and comes roaring across the ring at the opening bell intent on ripping Lennox Lewis' head off? Truthfully, your guess is as good as mine. But for the record …

Tyson has a legitimate chance of ending this one within 5. The most compelling thing about heavyweight boxing is that it can end in the blink of an eye, and this cannot be discounted when handicapping this fight. One Tyson combination could quite plausibly end it all.

However, at the end of the day I see Lennox Lewis getting the jab going and unsettling Tyson. There may be some anxious moments along the way, but Lennox Lewis is too good for Mike Tyson. He's too good, too strong and too self-assured to succumb to the Tyson fury.

Lennox Lewis will win this fight and I'm picking him by a decision. I do not think this bout will end on a disqualification! I see Lewis possibly ending it anywhere between 4 and 9, but in all likelihood taking Tyson the distance and giving him a lesson along the way.

Now, with the carnival atmosphere and emotion that surrounds this fight, the foregoing analysis seems, in retrospect, just a little too conventional. So, with that in mind … as Larry Merchant might say, if the universe is a righteous place then on Saturday night karma must surely have its say. Only then will the astral light course down from the cosmos and bathe humanity in its glow. For a brief moment – if you look closely -that epiphanous light might even illuminate the very nature of humanity's soul. At least I hope so.

Lewis by decision.

Articles of 2002

$*%@#!

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Walk the dog, stroll through the park, have a picnic at the lake.
There are safer things for IBF cruiserweight champ Vassily Jirov to do this month than defend his title against James “Lights Out” Toney.
Barbecue, play softball, fish, visit the zoo. Thank his lucky stars.
Jirov, who lives in California, won’t be fighting Toney on HBO on Jan. 25.
Something to do with his insides.
Ask Toney why Jirov pulled out of their fight and he’ll tell you it was Jirov’s heart that let him down, his backbone that went soft, not his banged-up ribs. Ask Toney and he’ll tell you about heartbreak and lies and revenge and fighting anybody in the universe if it means another title. Jirov claims he suffered the damage while sparring. Maybe. But it’s the fourth time Jirov has found a reason not to fight Toney. How many times you got to be told to go home before you realize the guy doesn’t want to come outside and play? How many times you got to be bit by the same dog before you realize it wants to be left alone? Jirov has more excuses than a politician caught with a hooker on his lap.
In his own eloquent way, Toney recently described how disappointed he was in the cancellation of their title fight on the undercard of the Vernon Forrest – Ricardo Mayorga welterweight title fight.
“The @#%$%*&#@,’’ Toney said after learning of the postponement on Christmas Eve. “Jirov can @&%$#% and then he can @%$#@#$. He’s nothing but a #$%#@#.’’ That said, it doesn’t brighten up the New Year in the Toney household.
“I’m done with it,’’ said Toney, sounding like a guy who finally gets tried of being stood up by the same girl.
As of Dec. 30, there was still no word of an opponent for Toney, though he’s still making regular trips to the gym.
Merry Christmas, James. Have a Happy New Year.
“Bah, humbug,’’ said Toney’s promoter Dan Goossen. “We didn’t have much of a Christmas. I got the news on Christmas Eve. But you just have to bounce back.’’ Funny thing about fighters. Some make excuses, some fight through them. You get the feeling Toney could have cracked five ribs and his right tibia and still climbed into the ring against Jirov.
It raises a lot of questions. What’s Jirov got against fighting? After a busy 2001, he hasn’t fought since last February. How do you hold a title after you’ve gone into retirement? Just who is this guy and why does he like to hide? Is there really a Vassily Jirov out there, or is he a creation of the IBF, a shadowy figure who won the title and decided it was too big a risk to keep defending it? The bottom line is, Toney may be left with a lot of unexpected free time on his hands if they don’t find him another fight, though he knew better than to mark the date on his calendar in ink. There are no promises in boxing. When dealing with a guy like Jirov, all bets are off. But Toney can still hope. The name O’Neil Bell – the WBC’s No. 1 challenger – has been knocked around, and Toney said he doesn’t care what contender or champion he knocks out on Jan. 25. “#@#$%$#,’’ Toney said.
You can say that again.

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Articles of 2002

New Year's Resolutions

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A new year is upon us, which means it's time for new years resolutions. Yeah, never mind that most resolutions are broken, oh, around the third week of January; everybody still makes them.

Here are my resolutions that I'd make for some of the luminaries in the sport of boxing.

* Floyd Mayweather: No more excuses. Anyone else sick of listening to 'the Pretty Boy' whine about what ailments he came into the fight with? Whether it's his fragile hands, a bum shoulder or his squabbles with his promoter Bob Arum, he always has an alibi. Hey Floyd, nobody cares, you get paid plenty to perform and those that buy tickets don't care that you might have a hangnail; they want nothing but the best effort out of you.

Mayweather reminds me of former Los Angeles Dodger slugger Mike Marshall, who's second home seemed to be the disabled list. The bottom line is this guy is lucky to be a boxer where he only has to perform once every 6 months- he simply couldn't handle the rigors of an NBA, NFL or baseball season. Ask any athlete if they are ever 100-percent healthy after the first day of training camp or spring training and they'll laugh at you.

Injuries and ailments are a part of the job, overcoming them is what makes a true professional. Mayweather still hasn't grasped that concept.

* Jim Gray: Respect. I guess this little weasel is whom Aretha Franklin was talking about in her song. Think about it, have you ever seen a guy be so disrespectful to fighters in post-fight interviews like this guy. Don't even mention HBO's Larry Merchant- he isn't afraid to ask the tough questions like a true journalist and he's consistent. Gray looks at boxing as a secondary gig and looks down on boxers in general.

Don't believe me? Just compare and contrast his softball interviews that he does for NBC and the hatchet jobs he does on Showtime.

* Max Kellerman: No more over-hyping New York boxers. Look, I get along and respect Max, but when you look up the term 'East Coast Bias' in Webster's, his picture may be used as the definition of it. From Zab Judah to James Butler and to Tokumbo Olajide, he'll have you enshrined in Canastota if you come out of the Big Apple.

What's worse are the excuses he'll come up with for his New Yorkers when they fall on their faces. Max is great for boxing but he's gotta realize New York hasn't been a player on the boxing scene for at least 20 years.

* Crocodile: A new catchphrase. You know Crocodile, right? He was Mike Tyson's hype-man for all these years…the guy with the menacing shades and the army fatigues who used to scream, “GUERILLA WARFARE” at the top of his lungs over and over again.

I've heard that enough and it's about as played out as 'Whoop, there it is' and it's time he came up with a new one. All the great ones can add to their repertoire.

* HBO: Admit they acknowledge the titles. Stop being the Hypocritical Boxing Organization and just stop saying that you don't recognize these organizations. The latest example of their double-talk? Well, for years they dogged John Ruiz and his WBA title, suddenly Roy Jones challenges Ruiz and HBO is hyping this up as some sort of historic challenge of a light heavyweight trying to capture a heavyweight title.
Yeah, the same title they had basically trashed for years.

* Joe Cortez: No more over-officiating. His line is that,' He's firm but he's fair'. I'd argue about that the last couple of years but my biggest gripe with him is that he seems to make himself waaaaay too visible during fights and gets too involved. Nobody is there to watch him and he should just let the fighters fight.
Too often I see these fights with Cortez lose their flow as Cortez continually interrupts the action with his admonishments and warnings. Joe, take a step back and let us watch what we came to see.

* Don Turner: Stop living off of Holyfield-Tyson I- If you ever talk to this guy, he'll talk as though he invented boxing. And his big coup was co-training Evander Holyfield against Mike Tyson. 'The Real Deal' upset Tyson and suddenly Turner was being hailed as the new Chappie Blackburn and he became a media darling.

My question is this, did he suddenly teach Holyfield how to fight 35 fights into his career? Also, I contend that my mother and I could work Holyfield's corner and he would whip Tyson everyday of the week and twice on Sunday. And ask yourself this, when was the last time he was in the winning corner for a big fight?

* Newspaper writers: Start crediting the Internet. Ok, this is a sore subject with me, but too many times I've seen stories from the major newspaper scribes who amazingly have stories that are eerily similar to stories that I've read on the internet (or that I've written myself) and use quotes that I got in one-on-one interviews and they don't attribute their sources- the internet.

When I take quotes or info from a story I make a point to give credit where it's due. Now, I just wish these guys would do the same.

* Roy Jones: no more hip-hop entrances. Roy, you're a magnificently gifted prizefighter, you can also play just a bit of hoops, but your rhyming skills are that of Shaquille O'Neal. In other words, you're doing street nursery rhymes not Nas.

Please, oh please, stop embarrassing yourself and the sport with your cheesy as nacho's attempt to become a hip-hop performer. His last entrance/performance reminded me of one of those really bad Sir-Mix-Alot videos of the early 90's.

* Panama Lewis: an exit out of the game. You remember Lewis right, the guy who gave Aaron Pryor the mysterious white bottle before the 14th round of his bout against Alexis Arguello, which seemed to give 'the Hawk' a sudden burst of energy that enabled Pryor to brutally KO Arguello. Afterwards, Pryor would skip out on his post-fight drug test.

Then there was the fight with Luis Resto, where he would tamper with his gloves between rounds, and bearing the brunt of this tomfoolery was Billy Collins who's faced was turned into a bloody mess. Collins, in the aftermath of this brutality committed suicide. For this, Lewis was banned permanently from working a corner. But that doesn't mean that he can't go into the gym and train fighters and even attend fights.

The bottom line is simple, this man has no place in the game of boxing and boxing shouldn't tolerate him in any way.

* Cedric Kushner: no more gimmicks. This guy has tried everything from the disastrous 'ThunderBox' to one-day $100,000 heavyweight tournaments- and all have failed miserably.

He can put on a boxing version of 'Survivor' or 'Real World' if he wants but the reality is, boxing fans want good fights and interesting fighters, nothing more, nothing less.

Stop with the shenanigans and stop with the junk.

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Articles of 2002

Dream Fights of 2003

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Hey, we can all dream, right? Isn't it our God-given right as boxing fans to think about fights that should happen – but often times don't?

And not just fights that have the highest profile or the biggest names – because sometimes those fights, like Lewis vs. Tyson – are nothing more than high-profile mismatches. I'm talking about fights that are evenly matched between the game's best and are the most intriguing inside the ring.

Here are some fights I'd pay to see in the upcoming year; full well knowing that most of these fights are pipe dreams as the business end of the sport would bog these fights down quickly. But hey, we can dream right?

* Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Erik Morales or Marco Antonio Barrera: Name me another fighter that has never won a world title belt that is better than Marquez? You can't and this guys been ducked and dodged long enough. On February 1st he takes on Manuel Medina for the vacant IBF featherweight title and it says here that he should face one of the game's best known 126-pounders, either Morales or Barrera. Marquez is a master boxer with great counter-punching skills and his hand-speed would give either one of his Mexican compatriots fits. There are some in the industry who have been saying for a while that Marquez is already the game's premiere featherweight; I'm not inclined to disagree that strongly.

CHANCES OF HAPPENING?: With Barrera, not good, as Ricardo Maldonado sees no real upside in this match-up and would most likely take an easier fight on HBO for about the same amount of money he could make facing Marquez.

With Morales, the logistics are much less complicated. Both of them are promoted by Bob Arum and there is some talk that they could face each other in May if a Morales-Barrera III isn't made.

* Bernard Hopkins vs. Roy Jones: Not only because it's a match-up of two of the very premiere fighters in the world, but Hopkins needs to resume his career with some meaningful fights and Jones should be fighting guys like 'the Executioner' instead of participating in novelty acts like his proposed bout with John Ruiz.

And don't think for one minute that this would be a blowout. Jones couldn't blowout a green Hopkins in 1993 and won't be able to do it now. Hopkins, unlike most of Jones' opponents, isn't in total awe of Pensacola's finest.

CHANCES OF HAPPENING?: Not good, Sharon and Arafat will find a common ground regarding the Middle East before these two proud and stubborn men find one in contract negotiations.

* Oscar De La Hoya vs. Vernon Forrest: For fans of pure boxing and strategy this is a fight that can't be missed. Both men have strong jabs and match-up well physically. 'The Golden Boy' has the better left hook and 'The Viper' has a more effective right hand. Between these two well-schooled boxers you can expect a tense and tight boxing match with subtle momentum swings round by round.

CHANCES OF HAPPENING?: For 2003, not very good because it looks like Oscar will be fighting once in the upcoming year – a September rematch against Shane Mosley – and Bob Arum has stated that Forrest simply brings nothing to the table promotionally. This can be interpreted as another way of saying that he's not Latin, too dangerous or just another black fighter who can't sell a ticket. The bottom line seems to be that unless Forrest raises his profile in the upcoming years, De La Hoya will be facing guys that make economic sense.

* Floyd Mayweather vs. Kostya Tszyu: This would be a face off of the sport's premier lightweight against the game's best jr. welterweight. 'The Pretty Boy' would bring speed, quickness and boxing ability to the dance. While Tszyu would bring a decided edge in strength, size and punching power. They say styles make fights and you have two contrasting ones here.

CHANCES OF HAPPENING?: Not likely. This is for a couple of reasons. First, Vlad Wharton who promotes Tszyu, is seemingly deathly afraid to take any risks with Tszyu, who's basically his cash cow. Secondly, Mayweather got a reality check from his two bouts with Jose Luis Castillo, who at 135 pounds was able to muscle him throughout their 24 rounds they fought in 2002. And Tszyu is faster, sharper and just as strong as Castillo. I'm not sure Mayweather is in any rush to make the move up to 140-pounds.

* Lennox Lewis vs. Wladimir Klitschko: The industry is always better off when there is action in the heavyweight division. So why even mess around by having Lewis take on 'the other' Klitschko or knock out Tyson again; getting right in there with the man most pundits are claiming is the heir to his throne in Wlad Klitschko?

The time is now, Lewis is getting up there in age and really doesn't have that much left in his gas tank anyway and it would be prudent for him to face Klitschko now before he gets any better. Remember, that's the tact they took in facing Michael Grant when they did – but it has to be noted that Klitschko is much better than Grant.

Lewis would have the advantages in experience and savvy, but for one of the few times in his career he would be facing a disadvantage in size and perhaps power. The two best big men on the planet squaring off, what else could you ask for?

CHANCES OF HAPPENING: Actually pretty good, since Lewis himself has stated his plans to take on both Klitschkos in between his rematch with Tyson. But with Don King now making a full court press to garner the services of Lewis, who knows what direction he goes to now.

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