Lewison follows the Tyson route

Aspiring fighter Peter ‘Lightning’
Lewison has had mixed fortunes in his boxing career here but he persevered and
overcame the setbacks and last Friday triumphed in the first round of the New
York Golden Gloves tournament.

Plenty of great fighters have had
success at the New York Golden Gloves, including Sugar Ray Robinson, Floyd
Patterson and Riddick Bowe.

‘Iron’ Mike Tyson never won the
Golden Gloves but he is the most famous fighter out of its meanest streets.

Lewison is blazing his own trail
after stopping inside two minutes local favourite Michael Menze in the Bishop
Kearney High School in Brooklyn.

Menze had such a huge crowd behind
him that when he lost so dramatically in the first round after three standing
counts, it warranted a mention in the New York Daily News, sponsors of the
tournament.

This was the novice light-heavyweight
(178 pounds) category of the competition for boxers with less than 10 bouts. So
popular is this tournament that fighters from all over the Caribbean and the
United States enter so the organisers passed a rule this time that you must be
resident in New York for at least a year.

Lewison qualified because he spends
so much time with his father, Peter Snr who lives in Brooklyn, so when Jnr was
registering and they heard his Cayman accent he was okay to get in.

Lewison actually tried to get into
the Gleason’s Gym Fantasy camp in the Big Apple. When that failed he decided to
try the Golden Gloves and with admirable success after training solidly for
five hours at Gleason’s every day for a month with coaches Don and Dylan. The
veteran coach Bob Jackson, who guided Tyson, also gave Lewison tips.

“Menze came out swinging but I shocked
him. Bled his nose. I was so nervous before the fight, partly because he had so
much support, plus it was the first fight of the night and also because they
announced me from being from the legendary Gleason’s Gym.

“When they announced Menze, the
crowd started roaring. I thought: ‘Oh my gosh, this guy must be the real deal!’
He had attitude as if he was unbeatable. I thought he was going to be real
tough.

“I caught him with an overhand
right, gave him a standing count. He got vexed and came in and I gave him a
second one. I stunned him again, he slipped and got a third count and that was
it.”

Lewison, 22, next fights on 16
February, again in Brooklyn, at the Bishop Ford High School.

He works in construction for boss
Chris Duty who gives him plenty of time off and Lightning is very grateful,
also to most supportive sponsor Elizabeth Ross of the Real Estate Company.

“Liz always looks out for me, she’s
my biggest supporter. I’m also sponsored by David Watler of Just Fish and he
also owns an air-conditioning company.”

Lewison is training at the D
Dalmain Ebanks gym with Donie Anglin in George Town until he goes back in a
couple of weeks.

“I want to achieve the novice
Golden Gloves championship,” said Lewison. “Then fight the best in the open
class. I’m training with last year’s Golden Gloves champions at Gleason’s and
doing well with them.

“My trainers say I have a perfect
overhand right and left-right combination. I’m also good at bobbing and
weaving.

“I want to go to the London
Olympics in a couple of years and go pro with Gleason’s and train there like
Tyson did sometimes and other famous boxers like Zab Judah, Bowe, Tommy Hearns
and Roberto Duran.  

“All the trainers say I’ve got a
boxer’s heart. So if I’ve got that all I have to do is the hard work. I love
the way Tyson fought in his prime, he’s my inspiration. So too Muhammad Ali and
Floyd Mayweather. I want Floyd to beat Pacquiao when they meet.”

And if he sticks to it, maybe one
day Lewison will top a bill in Las Vegas too.

SPORTSboxingSTORY

Lewison looked sensational.
Ron Shillingford

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