Saturday, April 29, 2000
Lewis knocks out Grant to keep undisputed heavyweight title
By David Gonzalez
SportsTicker Staff Writer
NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Lennox Lewis proved his dominating victory
over Evander Holyfield was no fluke, knocking out Michael Grant
in the second round tonight to retain the undisputed heavyweight
title at Madison Square Garden.
Britain's first heavyweight champion in more than a century,
Lewis made short work of the 6-7 Grant. He battered the
250-pound challenger in a lopsided first round, then used a
punishing uppercut to send him to the canvas for the third time
with 21 seconds left in the second.
Referee Arthur Mercante Jr. counted out Grant, who suffered his
first loss in 32 professional fights.
The 6-5 Lewis improved to 36-1-1 with his 28th knockout.
"I believe that Michael Grant was the perfect style for me to
showcase my talents," he said. "If it would have moved into the
later rounds, I would have showed a little bit more, but I don't
get paid for overtime."
Grant came out attacking but the strategy backfired as he was
knocked down twice and issued a standing eight count on another
occasion in the opening round.
"Yeah, I was shocked," Lewis said. "I said if he came at me it
was going to be a short fight. I was surprised when they said
he was going to come at me."
Stunned by a right to the side of the head, Grant hit the canvas
after a right-left combination. He was up at the count of
seven, but another right sent Grant stumbling into the corner as
Mercante administered a standing eight count.
"I was just too anxious. I didn't execute the things that I
should have," the challenger said. "Things didn't happen as far
as what my corner wanted me to do. The guy had his hands down
and I wanted to take advantage of the stuff. I give him credit.
He knew I was going out to come after his head. He had it
wide-open. He threw an overhand hook to catch me around the
backside and knocked my equilibrium off, and there I was on my
Lewis quickly had Grant back on the ropes and wobbled the
challenger with two rights to the head. A left-right combo
again floored Grant but the round ended before he could be
"He showed a lot of heart by getting up after the third
knockdown," Lewis said. "I hit him with a tremendous right hand
and I am surprised his corner let him come out for the second."
"I got caught," admitted Grant. "Lennox is the champ for a
reason. He has fought the best. I was caught with an
equilibrium punch, which resulted in the other knockdowns. It
was a learning experience. I was prepared for this fight."
The first undisputed heavyweight champion since 1992, Lewis
regained the WBC title from Oliver McCall in February 1997 but
endured a series of strange defenses. He entered the first
unification bout with the extremely popular Holyfield as an
untested commodity and opened nearly everyone's eyes with a
Controversial scoring cost him the title that night but there
was no disputing his unanimous decision over Holyfield last