MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Lennox Lewis showed the bully who was boss.
Using a masterful left jab and landing his right hand at will, Lewis battered a befuddled Mike Tyson before stopping him with a crashing right hand in the eighth round to keep his heavyweight titles Saturday night.
Tyson was bleeding from cuts over his eyes and from the nose when Lewis landed a punch that sent him sprawling on his back in Lewis' corner. Tyson tried to get up at the count of eight, getting to one knee, but was counted out.
It was a sudden end to a dominating performance in which Lewis overwhelmed the former champion from the opening bell.
Referee Eddie Cotton counted Tyson out at 2:25 of the eighth round.
Lewis, who had vowed to beat Tyson to restore order to the heavyweight division, pounded him with jabs from the first round on, keeping Tyson away and out of range. When Tyson did get close, Lewis would hit him with a right uppercut or an overhand right.
Tyson was exposed as a fighter with limited skills who kept trying to throw punches at the champion but connected only occasionally. Tyson kept trying to rush in and land a big punch, but never hurt Lewis with any of them.
Tyson was bleeding from cuts and from his nose when Lewis hit him with a series of punches early in the eighth round that buckled his legs and nearly put him down. Cotton ruled it a knockdown and gave him an 8-count.
When the fight resumed, Lewis went after Tyson again, throwing right hands and jabs before finally connecting with a huge right hand that crashed into the side of Tyson's face, sending him sprawling on his back.
Tyson had gone into the ring an underdog for the first time in his career, and it was quickly apparent why.
He had said he would "crush" Lewis' skull, but Lewis made him look like an amateur, dominating both inside and out with his jab and big right hands.
Punch Stats showed Lewis threw 328 punches and landed 193 of them, while Tyson threw 211 and landed only 49.
Officials had worried so much about Tyson fouling Lewis that there was a contract clause that a fighter who committed a vicious foul had to pay the other $3 million if the fight ended because of it.
Once the fight started, though, it was Lewis who was warned by Cotton for elbowing, pushing and holding. Cotton took a point away from Lewis in the fourth round for holding.
The Associated Press had Lewis winning every round.