Joshua vs Takam: Today's (Shocker) Lewis vs McCall?Written by Leroy Cleveland
He was young and on fire....
Let's rewind to September 1994 when Brit Lennox Lewis was the hottest heavyweight in the world.
He was 29 years old, undefeated, and had knocked out Razor Ruddock and Frank Bruno. Riddick Bowe's handlers were afraid of him and Mike Tyson was locked up.
England's Lennox Lewis was the 'Man' in heavyweight boxing and had an entire country behind him heading into a relatively low-profile title defense with hard-nosed journeyman Oliver McCall.
Surging contender Tommy Morrison was supposed to be Lewis's foe that night but things didn't go according to planned. Morrison had been knocked out inside a round by an unknown opponent the previous year thus putting the Lewis vs Morrison superfight on hold.
Enter Oliver McCall.
Aside from the sport's junkies, no one knew about McCall. A 5½-1 favorite, Lewis was expected to sign, seal and deliver this made-to-order "opponent."
Lewis easily carried Round 1, and then the shocker...
In Round 2, McCall loaded up and connected with his signature punch - the right hand. It landed flush and Lennox was sent crashing to the canvas. He was up at the count of six, but was wobbly.
During the count, Lewis wisely put his gloves up to his chin but stumbled into referee José Guadalupe Garcia, prompting the latter to stop the fight.
And just like that, Oliver McCall was the WBC heavyweight champion of the world.
"I'm absolutely sure about what I did," stated the referee afterwards.
"Lennox Lewis was knocked out. To allow more punches to Lewis could have had fatal consequences. My duty is to protect the health of the boxer."
It was poor judgement but not an egregiously bad call as the referee was able to make some semblance of a case for himself by Lewis's actions.
Joshua vs Takam
On November 4, we'll see another unbeaten, British heavyweight champion with seemingly endless potential take on a tough journeyman.
Deja vu anyone?
Like McCall before him, Carlos Takam is a good, durable, quality heavyweight with nothing to lose (in terms of stock value).
Twenty-three years ago, Lennox Lewis was on same path Anthony Joshua is seemingly taking today.
Will Carlos Takam become today's Oliver McCall?