Showtime give their reasoning for dismissing Lennox Lewis' undisputed title win

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Lennox Lewis hasn't held back on his thoughts on the mishandling of his legacy by broadcaster Showtime.

The Londoner, who retired from boxing back in 2003, was named the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world back in March 1999, when he beat Evander Holyfield to win the WBC, WBA, IBF, and IBO belts.

Lewis, now aged 52, is regarded widely as the last undisputed world heavyweight champion of the modern era, in a time when the WBO was struggling to make a name for itself outside of Great Britain.

Fast-forward two decades and the WBO circuit is a much-craved belt amongst heavyweight professionals in the ring.

However, the whole fall-out to this matter comes after Showtime dismissed Lewis' career as not being that of an "undisputed" one, which led to comments from the former fighter himself, launching a staunch defence of his time in the ring - and giving them a history lesson in the process.

Lewis said: "So apparently Showtime Boxing thinks they can rewrite history, by writing champions like myself, [Riddick] Bowe, [Buster] Douglas and [Evander] Holyfield out of it, by saying there hasn’t been an undisputed champion since Mike Tyson in 1999. I personally recall facing Holyfield for that honour TWICE."

Lewis' comments caused Showtime to fight back with their own response, claiming that Lewis never actually held all four belts in his career.

A statement read: "With great respect to Lennox Lewis, we stand by Mauro Ranallo and our research team.

"All the semantic debates notwithstanding, I can say for myself and my Showtime colleagues that we have the utmost respect for champs like Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield and would never intentionally diminish their legacies for ANY reason."

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Steve Farhood, the boxing historian and analyst, also jumped to the defence of the American broadcaster. 

Farhood said: "Lennox Lewis never held all four belts. He was unified, but not undisputed--as long as you recognize the WBO, which seems an unfathomable statement to make and akin to saying the status of an organization's standing never changes through time."

Oh, and the fight was televised on rival network HBO, so perhaps that has something to do with Showtime's claim! 

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