Lennox Lewis And Mike Tyson Both Name Same Boxing Great As Their Toughest Opponent

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Lewis, meanwhile, stepped into the squared circle with Holyfield in March 1999 before having the rematch in November of that year.

The 55-year-old picked up a draw in their first encounter at Madison Square Garden, but Lewis would ultimately win by unanimous decision in the second fight.

Lennox Lewis Calls Prime And Current Mike Tyson ‘One-Dimensional’ In Scathing Put Down

Posting on Instagram, Lewis extensively outlined the reasons for why he held Holyfield in high regards and why he named him as his toughest opponent of all time.

“People seem to be genuinely surprised when I tell them [Holyfield] was my toughest opponent, not to be confused with my toughest fight, which was [Ray] Mercer, but when you really dive into why that is, it actually makes a lot of sense,” he said.

“Holyfield, like me, has an extensive amateur pedigree that has served him well throughout his professional career.

“He started boxing at eight years old and was an Olympic bronze medalist in 1984. Before he moved up to the heavyweight division, he’s a man that cleared out the cruiserweight division to become the undisputed champion, and arguably the best ever, in that weight class.

“That’s a lot of experience and it’s safe to say that by the time we met for the undisputed heavyweight championship in 1999, he had seen it all.

“When you combine Evander’s amateur and professional experience, you would be hard pressed not to see the kind of success he’s had in the ring.

“I may tease him a bit on our two fights, he knows I won both fights even though he won’t admit it, but in all seriousness, he’s the only man that has gone 24 rounds with me.”

The Boxing Road to Tokyo moves ahead now, with the Asian/Oceanian qualifying event that is starting today in Amman, Jordan. The competition, held at the Prince Hamza Hall, will run until 11 March and will see 221 athletes from 35 countries competing for 63 Olympic quota places.