OTHER Lewis-Klitscko

My wife and I finally broke down and decided to try HBO about two months ago, and one of the few dividends has been that we got to watch the Lennox Lewis-Vladimir Klitschko fight, which my brother-in-law had asked us to tape. Since that meant we couldn’t change the channel (our cable box, displaying the soul of a monopolist, sabotages all efforts to record one show while watching another), and it was the night before we left on vacation, we wound up watching most of the fight.
I have to say, I was very pleasantly surprised. I’m not much of a boxing fan, and due to the migration of major prizefights to premium cable and pay-per-view, I hadn’t actually seen a title fight live in maybe 20 years. But this was really a good fight, between two very tall heavyweights. What you ask for in any sporting event is suspense: a sense that the outcome is not entirely predetermined. This fight had it, and it also had action: these guys were actually landing a lot of punches, most of them to the side of the head (there were remarkably few body blows, perhaps due to the height of the two fighters), unlike my memories of heavyweight fights as orgies of gripping interrupted only sporadically by some fighting. Klitschko came out swinging early, and led in points throughout the fight. Lewis really looked out of it early, totally unprepared for the barrage, but around the third round he started to rally, and wound up opening a nasty gash over Klitschko’s left eye that eventually led to the fight being stopped after the sixth round.
This fight was arranged on fairly short notice, and maybe that accounted for its unpredictability, but I’d definitely want to see the expected rematch.