My Week: Frank Maloney Manager of Lennox Lewis, World Boxing Council Heavyweight Champion
Saturday 13 November 1999
I fly in to Las Vegas where Lennox will be fighting Evander Holyfield [World Boxing Association and the International Boxing Federation World Heavyweight Champion] on Saturday. Lennox is already tucked up in bed. I stroll about the casino floor, and at about 4am I watch a film, The Sixth Sense, in my room. I sleep for a bit, then get on the phone to my office in England, going over the world title fight in Hull on Saturday between Paul Ingle and Manuel Medina.
After a couple of phone interviews, I go to the press room in the Hilton, where I spend most of the morning rapping with the press. The British press are mainly talking about the boxing, but the Americans are more interested in my candidacy for the mayor of London. I watch Lennox work out in the hotel. I'm very impressed. My wife Tracey and four-year-old daughter Sophie arrive.
I wake about 4am - I only need four hours' sleep. Sophie is awake because she's still on British time. I get her dressed and we go for a walk and I show her the bright lights of the Las Vegas strip. At about 6am we go back to the room, and I get on the phone to England and start work. By about 9am I go to the press room for interviews, and then go running with Lennox and his trainers. We do about three or four miles. Lennox is in great shape. I come back to our hotel for the Lennox public work- out, where there are about 300 fans, plus the world's media. Once again there are lots of questions about my candidacy - they seem more interested in that than the boxing. Lennox doesn't mind. He finds it amusing. It takes the pressure off him.
I wake up at about 4am and take Sophie for a walk again. I spend the rest of the morning on the phone to England, and do a couple more telephone interviews. I then have a meeting with Nevada's boxing commission to discuss the rules - what gloves will be worn and that sort of thing. The main press conference lasts about two hours. I have some interviews with the legendary promoter Don King. He endorses me for the mayor of London - he's a good man. I take my wife out for dinner before the real hustle and bustle starts.
My father Tom, daughter Emma and her husband arrive, along with my wife's family. We have tea, and the waitress asks my father whether he wants his hot. He looks at her and says: "Well, how else do you drink tea?" They drink it cold over here.
I have a meeting with Lennox's promoter, spend the morning on the phone, and do a couple of interviews. At 3pm we have the official weigh-in at our hotel. In the evening I host a dinner with all the British press in a Chinese restaurant. I have a night out with some of the English fans - they're great company and keep your mind off it. The atmosphere is great when they're all singing and waving their Union Jacks.
I get up about 5am, and I'm on the phone to England for about three hours making sure everything is in place for the fight in Hull. Then Lennox is presented with the International Boxing Organisation World Heavyweight Championship Belt in recognition of the fight at Madison Square Garden in March against Evander Holyfield. I supervise his final television interviews, and spend the rest of the day reading quietly in my room.
In the evening I go out because I feel twitchy, full of butterflies. I stay awake all night because of the nerves, and meet the fans. You can't explain the excitement of a world heavyweight title fight - I'm drunk on it. It's like a man waiting to be sent to the executioner, who's paroled at the last minute because you've won the fight. When it's over I'll feel like spending four days on a health farm.
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