Lewis stops Grant in the second round

Lennox Lewis made the physically biggest heavyweight fight in history a short one, knocking down previously unbeaten Michael Grant four times and winning in the second round.

One night after being honored as fighter of the year for 1999, the champion from London landed a tremendous right uppercut Saturday night that knocked Grant on his back with 21 seconds left in the round.

Grant was unable to beat referee Arthur Mercante Jr.'s count of 10.

"It was only a matter of time," the 34-year-old Lewis said.

Though the fight didn't end until 2:53 of the second round, it was over for all intents and purposes when the 6-foot-5 (1.93-meter), 247-pound (111-kilogram) Lewis knocked down the 6-7 (1.98-meter) 250-pound (112.5-kilogram) Grant in the first round.

The raucous Madison Square Garden crowd had barely settled down from the introductions when Lewis knocked down Grant with a right to the body and a right to the head with 1:22 left in the round.

Grant struggled up at 6 and took the mandatory 8-count.

Lewis immediately jumped on Grant and a flurry of punches sent the challenger reeling into a corner where he was kept upright by the ring post. Mercante ruled it a knockdown and gave Grant an 8-count.

A weary Grant looked like he might get through the round without further damage, but then with 21 seconds left, Lewis caught him with a right-left and a hard right to the head put him down again.

This time, Grant got up at 7 and then the bell rang.

It was one of Lewis' most impressive performances. The champion who has sometimes been criticized for being too cautious and lackadaisical never gave Grant a chance before a crowd of 17,324.

In two previous Garden appearances, Grant had won a disputed 10-round majority decision in 1996 over Ray Mercer in a fight more than a few people thought Mercer had won. Then on March 13, 1999, in an undisputed title match that most people thought Lewis clearly won, he had to settle for a majority draw against Evander Holyfield.

While Lewis had retained his WBC title and won the IBF and WBA championships from Holyfield in their rematch Nov. 13, only the IBF and WBC titles were at stake Saturday night.

A federal judge ruled that Lewis would have to give up the WBA title because he reached a contract with promoter Don King for signing to fight Grant instead of signing for a title defense against the highest available defender.

Grant almost didn't get his title bid when he narrowly escaped defeat against Andrew Golota, who knocked Grant down twice in the first round of a bout on Nov. 20. But Grant got up and rallied to win when Golota quit in the 10th round.

Grant had no chance to rally against Lewis.

"I was very surprised when he came at me," Lewis said of the way Grant attacked from the opening bell. "I realized that I had superior hand speed. I could see when he was winding up, I just held my position so I could get a good shot.

"Every time I hit him, he went down. So I just kept hitting him," he said.

Lewis said he would continue to box "until I'm satisfied."

"And now every time I get into the ring, I get more satisfied," he said.

Seth Abraham, president of Time Warner Sports, said before the fight that it was likely Lewis would fight Francois Botha on July 19 in London and then, if successful, he would fight David Tua in November.

Lewis, who was guaranteed $10 million to $4 million for Grant, is now 36-1-1 with 28 knockouts.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
Life and Style
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Development Director - Interior Design

£80000 - £100000 per annum + competitive + bonus + benefits: Sauce Recruitment...

Sales Director, Media Sponsorship

£60000 - £65000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: A globally successful media and ...

Head of Affiliate Sales for Emerging Markets

competitive + benefits: Sauce Recruitment: Are you looking for your next role ...

Brand Engagement Manager - TV

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: This is your chance to join a gl...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits