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Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis both named same boxing legend as their toughest ever opponent

Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis both named same boxing legend as their toughest ever opponent

The two boxing legends named their toughest opponent.

Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis both named the same boxing legend when asked to pick their toughest ever opponents.

Tyson and Lewis are two of the most iconic boxers in history, and the pair shared an infamous rivalry.

The pair met for the final time in a blockbuster mega-fight in 2002 at The Pyramid in Memphis, Tennessee, with the 'Lion' emerging notorious.

Lewis knocked out 'Iron Mike' in the eighth round with a vicious right hook, one of five KOs he suffered during his career.

However, neither of the fighters picked the other when asked to name their toughest career opponent.

Both chose Evander Holyfield, one of the other top boxers of the era.

Before the fought each other, both heavyweight legends crossed paths with Holyfield during the 1990s, with

Tyson and Holyfield met in back-to-back fights in 1996 and 1997, with the latter ending in a DQ after Tyson bit his opponent's ear.

In an interview with The Ring Magazine, the 'Baddest Man on the Planet' explained why Holyfield was the best opponent he faced.

"Great champion: chin, heart, determination, work ethic, demeanour," 'Iron Mike' said.

Lewis drew with Holyfield at Maddison Square Garden in March 1999, before winning the rematch by unanimous decision.

In an Instagram post, Lewis outlined why he regards Holyfield as his toughest opponent of all time.

Mike Tyson named Evander Holyfield as his toughest opponent. (

"People seem to be genuinely surprised when I tell them [Holyfield] was my toughest opponent, not to be confused with my toughest fight, which was [Ray] Mercer, but when you really dive into why that is, it actually makes a lot of sense," he said.

"Holyfield, like me, has an extensive amateur pedigree that has served him well throughout his professional career.

"He started boxing at eight years old and was an Olympic bronze medalist in 1984. Before he moved up to the heavyweight division, he's a man that cleared out the cruiserweight division to become the undisputed champion, and arguably the best ever, in that weight class.

"That's a lot of experience and it's safe to say that by the time we met for the undisputed heavyweight championship in 1999, he had seen it all.

"When you combine Evander's amateur and professional experience, you would be hard pressed not to see the kind of success he's had in the ring.

"I may tease him a bit on our two fights, he knows I won both fights even though he won't admit it, but in all seriousness, he's the only man that has gone 24 rounds with me."

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Boxing, Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis