The CyberBoxingZone News

WBA Strips Lewis of Title, Holyfield-Ruiz to Fulfill Vacancy
Francis Walker

April 14, 2000

After weeks of speculation, Lennox Lewis, having won the Undisputed World Heavyweight Championship from Evander Holyfield on November 13, was recently stripped in a New York City courtroom of the World Boxing Association crown for his refusal to fight their No. 1 contender, Johnny Ruiz.

Lewis promised to fight Ruiz in July. However, since Lewis, according to Ruiz' promoter Don King, signed a contractual obligation to fight Ruiz after winning both the WBA & IBF belts from Holyfield, Lewis did not have much of an option in the whole ideal.

Lewis' people argued that Ruiz is not the most qualified contender available. Instead, Lewis signed to fight Michael Grant, a 6' 7," 250-pound muscle-bound fighter who really isn't "all that," on April 29 at Madison Square Garden.

The decision made by U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan will be appealed, but not before Lewis' defense of the remaining two championship belts - the World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation titles.

As of press time, the WBA title is vacant. However, King, who promotes both Ruiz and Holyfield, plans to match both fighters in order to fulfill the vacancy. No date has been announced as of yet, but the most likely targeted date would be June 10, in Las Vegas.

Sadly enough, Ruiz isn't "all that" himself. On March 6, 1996, David Tua, the IBF's mandatory heavyweight contender for Lewis' crown, knocked out Ruiz in 10 seconds. Overall, the 27-year-old, Ruiz is 36-3, 26KOs, and has won his previous 6 fights. The biggest names on his record (aside from Tua) are Jimmy Thunder (W 12) and Tony Tucker (TKO 11).

With Lewis being losing his title in a courthouse, this not only opens another door for Holyfield, but should both Lewis and Holyfield emerge successful against Grant and Ruiz respectively, then there would be possibility of a Lewis-Holyfield III. Lewis already beat the man twice - the first time being a "controversial draw" on March 13, 1999.

Boxing just keeps lowering itself to new levels month after month.


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