*There’s no doubt some of you who may not have heard of John Henry Lewis. So in case you haven’t, let me begin this edition by telling you who he was.
Back in 1935 he became the first black world light heavyweight champion when he captured the title from then champion Bob Olin in a grueling 15 round match.
He held the title for the next four years and what is most significant about him is that he made an attempt to become the first light heavyweight champion to go up in weight and become heavyweight champion by challenging the great Joe Louis in January 1939 only to be knocked out in the first round.
John Henry Lewis with the great Joe Louis as they sign the contract for their historic bout in 1939.
John Henry Lewis originally from Phoenix, Arizona had a total of 117 fights and finished his career with 100 wins with 57 coming by way of knockout, 11 losses 5 draws, and 1 no contest. Not bad for the first black light heavyweight champion.
Things have changed quite a bit since those days in the sport of boxing folks, where world title fights are no longer going 15 rounds but have been reduced to 12 and you now have multiple champions in each weight divisions. Today because of the fact that there are several sanctioning bodies that exist in the sport in every weight division, we are witness to Andre Ward who holds the IBF, WBA , and WBO light heavyweight titles, and Adonis Stevenson who has the WBC light heavyweight title, and what’s ironic is the fact that both of these men are black. And there’s a real chance that these two guys can come together and unify the division that’s if Ward wins again against a game and tough Sergey Kovalev who he took the title from in a hotly contested, and controversial match last November at the T-Mobile Arena in fabulous Las Vegas.
In case some you who may have missed this one go down, it started off very competitive with both guys landing solid shots at each other. But then things changed a bit when Ward got dropped in the fifth with a solid right hand. Everyone thought it was all over for him when that happen, but he got right up and back into the fight for the next seven rounds and showed the world that he deserved to be champion by giving Kovalev real boxing lesson.
And at the end of twelve rounds all three judges declared Ward to be the winner and unified world light heavyweight champion. There were a lot of folks that were not happy with the decision especially Kovalev, but he has a chance to try again next week. As I always say, we’ll see what happens.
This is the second time around for these guys and folks it’s one that you certainly don’t want to miss as it takes place this time at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Resort in Las Vegas and it will all be telecast live on HBO pay per view.
“When the tide goes out, that when you’ll find out who’s been swimming naked.”- Warren Buffett
Mohammed Mubarak can be reached at [email protected] for your comments. He is an artist as well and you may view his works at mubarakart.com or on intstagram qmubarak06.