When the next mixed martial arts show is staged in Cayman watch out for Peter ‘Lightning’ Lewison. As his ring name suggests, he’s fast and punches like a thunderbolt.
Inspired by the popularity of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, light-heavyweight boxer Lewison sees mixed martial arts as the perfect outlet for his all-round combative skills.
His bout with Steve ‘Chappy’ Chapman at Proving Ground III two weeks ago,was the best of the night, even though it barely lasted two rounds. The Lions Centre crowd got their money’s worth from this bout alone. They slugged it out, free-swinging until referee Neel Singh jumped in as Chapman covered up, absorbing a hail of heavy shots delivered at, eh, lightning speed. The stoppage drew boos from the mostly pro-Chappy crowd but the timing was correct as Singh had told him to defend himself but Lewison’s shots had taken their toll. At one point Lewison, in a show of bravado dropped his hands to allow Chappy full-blooded swings at his chin. Lightning took them but against a stronger opponent he would have been sparked. A bloodied nose and bruised left eye were the hallmarks of a tough battle for Lewison. Canadian Chapman had a gash under his right eye. Both warriors got a standing ovation, it was stirring stuff. They deserved every cent of their $1,000 fee.
We’re in the gym of the Cayman Islands Boxing Club in George Town. After a session on the pads with trainer Donie Anglin, Lewison admits: ‘I underestimated Chapman a little bit, partly because he lost his first mma fight and didn’t look in shape. But he’s a hard puncher and when I fought him I realized that very quickly. I just kept my distance and kept my boxing skills going. He had some experience in kick-boxing and was very quick with kicks and stuff but I just held a strong balance and used my boxing to win.’
The dubious tactic of allowing your face to absorb punches was Lewison’s biggest error. Thankfully, it worked, albeit psychologically. This time. ‘After a while I realized that he couldn’t handle my heavy punches. He was taller and had a longer reach and was kicking me so when I got him I had to make my punches count. In the second round as he was a little more tired I just slugged it out with him. After a while I realized my hits were hurting him so I just brawled it out.’
Lewison is a full-time student, studying accounting at UCCI and does an internship at Workplace Environments. He has been boxing training for six years. This was his first regulated fight. For a tough guy he openly admits that his mum vetoed any involvement in combat sports. ‘She stopped me from doing it because I was so young. But now I’m 20 I can decide for myself.
‘I want to make mma an entire career. I’m interested in going to the UFC and stuff. I know I’m tough enough to get to UFC. I have a heart and a passion for fighting, I love the sport.
‘How do I know I’m tough enough for UFC? I just do. Ever since I was young nobody wanted to fight me, even the bullies. Everybody used to fight each other but nobody used to fight me. They used to gang me. I’ve never been in a one-on-one fight with anybody on the street or in school.
‘Never been one person, always two, three, four or five. I’d throw my own two licks and leave it at that. I don’t really like street fighting, I stick to the ring. I’m not a thug.’
Proving Ground IV in May will definitely feature Lewison if he can get matched. He is a Class B fighter and intends to do two more before stepping up to the tougher Class A category. Class A allows elbows and knees to the face. ‘I’ll take on anybody. Anyone that’s brave enough who wants to fight me and thinks they can beat me, I want to fight them. I don’t want to fight no soft person. I want a challenge.’