Lewis proves he needs Tyson

All Lennox Lewis proved Saturday night in Las Vegas is that he can beat up an inept foe, that his fights tend to be on the boring side and he needs a fight against Mike Tyson to make any big money.

Not that Lewis did anything wrong against David Tua, it's just that he is a "hard sell" for Pay-Per-View TV. To be quite honest, I don't believe anybody out there will pay to see him fight except Tyson.

The fight at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas went just about the way it figured to go once it was evident Tua wasn't going to freeze in the first round and get taken out quickly. Lewis did what he was supposed to do, defend his heavyweight title without taking any chances and to hit without being hit.

Lewis reduced Tua to a wild-swinging amateur in the fight, landing three punches to every one Tua threw and making Tua miss with wild left hooks as Lewis boxed his way to a unanimous 12-round decision win.

The fans at the sold-out hotel/casino didn't like that type fight at all and the boos increased as the fight went on. Boxing purists might have liked the boxing clinic Lewis gave Tua but the fans didn't.

Selling Lewis to them against anybody other than Tyson just won't make it and Lewis knows it ... So do Tyson's people and no matter what you read or hear in the next few months, it looks like Tyson and Lewis will "get it on" early next year. Both need each other and neither can make any "big money" without the other.

Since those "big fights" are becoming few and far between, a Tyson matchup against Lewis will be a big event and if the fight is any kind of good, look for a rematch later in the year and maybe a third fight if they split the first two.

There's nothing else out there for them or for the public to get interested in, either. That includes either Tyson or Lewis fighting Evander Holyfield, the phony WBA heavyweight champion. Lewis holds the IBF and WBC belts.

- HBO will show the Lewis-Tua fight Friday night at 10:30 p.m. They'll repeat the telecast Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. Also scheduled to be shown on the telecast are highlights from some preliminary bouts so I won't give you those results in case you plan to watch the telecast.

- The Friday night ESPN2 telecast last week came from the "House of Blues" in Las Vegas and the featured fight had two undefeated flyweights (112-pound limit) fighting for the IBF title.

Defending champ Irene Pacheco (25-0, 19 KOs) from Columbia won a majority decision over challenger Masibulele Makepula, now 19-1 with 12 KOs, who is from South Africa.

The jockey-size fighters put on a decent fight and even though I though the South African win, it wasn't a bad decision, just a different interpretation of what we saw. Gardnerville boxing Judge Doug Tucker worked the card and the main event fight.

This Friday, the ESPN2 live card comes from the Peppermill in Reno and features Cory Spinks (23-1, 10 KOs) in the main event against Edgar Ruiz (18-2-1, 11 KOs) plus five undercard bouts.

The first fight is set for 6 p.m. ESPN2 will televise the main and semi-main events as well as one prelim fight and maybe more if some of the fights end in quick knockouts. For those who wish to see the fights in person, tickets range from $25 to $75 and are on sale at the door.

- Not much else on the tube this weekend except for Sunday when Univision shows live pro fights starting at noon and FOX Sports has its regular Sunday night pro card starting at 8 p.m.

- The wrong favorite - That's what I think they have for the next big PPV "mega-fight" Dec. 2 in Las Vegas. That's when undefeated Felix Trinidad and undefeated Fernando Vargas tangle for the undisputed junior middleweight (154-limit) title.

Trinidad is listed at local sportsbooks as a -$1.80 favorite with Vargas at +$1.50. I would have made it the other way around. I like Vargas to win the fight but that's not carved in stone. However, betting on him now at this price is, so if you like Vargas like I do, bet now and get the best price you can because the line will go down as fight time approaches.

Alan Rogers is the Nevada Appeal boxing writer.


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