Lightning doused on TV debut

Light-heavyweight boxer Peter “Lightning” Lewison lost his unbeaten record on his United States televised debut but feels he learnt some invaluable lessons from the experience.

In a battle of unbeaten contenders on NBC Sports, Mike Lee (12-0, 7 KOs), a minor celebrity for appearing in Subway commercials, scored a sixth round TKO over Lewison (6-1, 5 KOs) on Friday night in Philadelphia.

Lee sent Lewison to the canvas in the sixth round with what looked like a hard straight right. Lewison rose to his feet, but was on unsteady legs, with blood pouring from his mouth.

Lee continued to pour the pressure on the 26-year-old Caymanian until Lewison’s corner stepped onto the apron, forcing veteran referee Steve Smoger to wave the bout off after 1 minute, 39 seconds of the sixth and final round for a TKO victory.

Lewison said on Sunday that he is fine and feels that, up to the stoppage, he was competitive and may have been winning the fight. “I got cut in the mouth trying to put pressure on Lee and my trainer, Charles Whittaker, wanted it stopped because of the cut,” Lewison said.

Lewison felt it was a close fight and a points verdict could have gone either way.

“My cut needed eight stitches and now I am suspended for 60 days,” he said.

From this experience, he feels he needs a proper team around him, like Lee, who is trained by Chris Byrd, the former WBO and IBF heavyweight champion. Lewison had been training himself for months and asked world ranked super-welterweight Whittaker to help in his corner along with advisor Raul Alvarez.

“A more experienced trainer would have asked a doctor to look at it first before stopping the fight but Charles panicked from the sight of the cut and demanded a stoppage because he did not want to see it get worse,” Lewison said.

“Anyway, Lee did not hit me with a clean shot. The cut was opened by his elbow.”

After he serves his suspension and the cut heals fully, Lewison intends to base himself at Bernard Hopkins’s gym and be guided by the aged world champ’s trainer Naazim Richardson.

“The loss was bad for me, but I’ll just have to go back to the drawing board and work on building up my world ranking,” Lewison said. He feels moving to Philadelphia will ensure that. In the meantime, he cannot top the bill on his own show on April 26. Novice super-middleweight pro Dariel Ebanks will now be the main attraction.

The show will be staged beside Beaches sports bar in Grand Harbour and promoted by Lewison’s Lightning Boy Promotions.

There will also be a women’s fight featuring at least one female from the Bahamas.

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