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Lewis thrills in Contender return

Published:Friday | April 15, 2016 | 4:00 AMLeroy Brown
Lewis

Ramel 'Sub Zero' Lewis made a successful return to the ring after a break of nearly two years, when he defeated American boxer Fard 'The Messenger' Muhammad, by technical knockout, one minute and 46 seconds into round four, of their Wray and Nephew Contender bout.

The fight took place on Wednesday night at the Chinese Benevolent Association audi-torium.

It was a bruising affair, as neither man paid much attention to defence. Both boxers had periods of ascendancy but, Lewis, the bigger man, slowly gained the ascendancy and hit Muhammad at will after backing him to the ropes on several occasions.

After one particularly hectic period, when Muhammad was backed into a corner and hit repeatedly to the head and body with powerful punches, his corner threw in the towel, calling a halt to the spirited battle.

It was a punishing intro-duction to professional boxing for Muhammad, who has been engaged for some time in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).

He showed speed and cunning, and did a lot of talking in an effort to upset his opponent. Referee Ransford Burton issued cease and desist orders to him to keep his mouth shut, but he was not entirely successful in that regard. Muhammad at 5'41/2" tall, was a bundle of energy, and used his speed to make himself an elusive target.

FOUGHT IN SPURTS

He fought in spurts and kept his head low, most of the time. There were several occasions when he bored in and seemed ready to grapple with his opponent in MMA style. That did not occur, however, and he was able to keep to the boxing script. Lewis was also able to back Muhammad into a corner, from time to time, and it was on these occasions that he scored most of his points.

The American tried to intimidate Lewis in the early stages of the fight, and scored with a series of flurries. Lewis suffered a cut over his left eye during one of these exchanges, but it was not serious and never bothered him.

For the next few rounds, Lewis fought a dogged battle against an opponent who was smart and moved very quickly. His power punches eventually took their toll, however, and gave him victory over a very game opponent.

Lewis has now booked himself a place in the quarter-finals, where he will meet one of the other winners from the preliminary stage of the competition. They are vying for the Wray and Nephew 2016 Welterweight Contender title and the prize money of

$2 million attached.