In each sport there are certain individuals that stand out among the other elite: Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan and Babe Ruth are just some. In the world of boxing you have icons such as Mike Tyson, George Foreman, Rocky Marciano and Muhammed Ali; to stand out among these names takes the whole idea of greatness to another level and that belongs to Lennox Lewis. Recently released on DVD writer/director Seth Koch’s newest film Lennox Lewis: The Untold Story takes a look into the life and career of one of the greatest Heavyweight Boxing Champions of all time. The film runs like a highlight reel of Lewis’ career starting as a young Olympian representing Canada at the age of 18 in the 1984 Summer Olympics then again in the 1988 Games where he won a Gold Medal; an achievement Canada had not earned in 56 years.
The film goes on in detail through Lewis’ career as a pro and is filled with interviews from Lewis himself as well as training partners/managers. However, there is an underlying story the film hovers over and that is his relationship/feud with “The Baddest Man on the Planet” Mike Tyson. They initially crossed paths as young teens while training for the Junior World Championships under the tutelage of Tyson’s future trainer Cus D’Amato. They eventually came back around to face each other for the title, an event D’Amato predicted almost two decades prior. As someone who is not that big into boxing I found this to be an interesting journey because of Lewis himself. Born in the UK with roots in both Jamaica and Canada he is a man of the world who carried himself as a proper gentleman in a sport thought to be filled with bottom feeders or vicious “killers”.
In watching this film I can only appreciate someone who found a better way of life when it was very easy to succumb to his environment. An individual who always kept himself grounded and recognized his own failures only to rise up and beat down all doubters. Lewis is in an elite category of fighters: having avenged his only two losses and one split decision as well as retiring with both the WBC and IBO Heavyweight Championships. His story is so much greater than his rivalry with Tyson and if you have the time I implore you to take in the story of a humble boy from the streets of the East End of London.
3.5 out of 5
Film is available via Crackle & DVD