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Forgotten Champions: Andrew "Six Heads" Lewis


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What Six Heads stood for, I don't know, but one thing is sure: Andrew Lewis could fight. This Guyana native managed to capture the WBA belt at welterweight from James Page and defend it twice before he was relieved of it by then-relatively new contender Ricardo Mayorga. Lewis could do bit of both, box and punch, and was known for his fast paced and aggressive fighting style, which made him a natural favorite of the fight fans. His best punch was the straight left and at 5'8 and with a very muscular body, he was a formidable welterweight physically. He also had a big reach for his height, 72 inches or 6 feet. He holds further historical significance as the first Guyana-bred fighter to win a world title. Dennis Andries was born there, but he emigrated as a boy to England. Here is a brief story of his life and career.


Born in Georgetown, capital of Guyana, 14 December 1970, Lewis started boxing as a pro in 1993, still aged 22. His immense power showed immidiately, as he scored 14 straight knockouts, wiith one fight ending as a technical draw in between. None of those 14 opponents lasted more than 6 rounds. Among his early victims was a fellow Guyanese, former Julio Cesar Chavez-challenger Terrence Alli. Lewis stopped Alli by TKO2 in September 1996 to win the Guyanese welter title. Alli retired after 3 more fights. In August 1998, Lewis impressively beat Rafael Williams of Panama, who had previously been one of the few to knock down Pernell Whitaker and had some impressive wins. Lewis easily handled him and won by another TKO2. On 5 December that year he beat Teddy Reid by UD12 to win the WBA North America title. That was the first time he had to go the distance. He was 19-0 with 18 ko's when he faced James Page for the WBA title which Page held after beating Andrei Pestriyaev and Jose Luis Lopez. He was at 5'11 a very tall welterweight with good skills and power but some meant he was slightly overrated and lacked killer instinct. Lewis exposed Page when he put him down twice before stopping him by TKO 7 at MGM Grand, 17 February 2001. He made one defense against 21-3 Larry Marks, who would later go on to fight Cory Spinks. Lewis won by a shutout on one of the cards and by 119-109 on two others. He was then for the first time matched against Ricardo "El Matador" Mayorga, who would later become a major star, also thanks to being promoted by Don King. It was 28 July 2001 when the two warriors collided, but the fight ended too soon-Lewis was cut by an accidental headbutt in the first round and the fight was stopped right after the second one began. It was thus ruled to be a no-contest.


The rematch was then made on 30 March 2002, at Sovereign Center in Reading. The fight was fought at a furious pace from the start and both men got their licks in early on. Lewis landed a good combination which hurt Mayorga in round 2 before Mayorga stormed back and landed a good right which hurt Lewis. Mayorga's cagey style and weird punching angles created problems for Lewis and his defense. In the fourth round, a left uppercut followed by a right stunned Lewis and he started to hold. Lewis recovered later in the round and landed a good left-right-left combination, but in the next, the fifth, he was first hurt with a right hand before a left hook and two right hands put him on his backside after fifty seconds of the round. He got up at the count of six but was obviously very hurt. The ref took a look at him and asked him if he wanted to continue, but then stopped the fight, seeing he was not able to. It was the end of Six Heads' career in many ways, his successful career. He made a comeback in November and won an easy fight against a Puerto Rican fighter by a KO1, in Puerto Rico, before fighting Antonio Margarito, the WBO champ, 8 February 2003 in Vegas. It was a dogfight from the start and the first round was full of exchanges. Lewis briefly stunned Margarito with his trademark straight left and semeed to be slightly the better man in that round. Round 2 started well for Lewis as he seemed to smother Margarito with constant attack. Margarito stung him with a chopping right midway thru and Lewis started fighting more cautiously. Margarito then went on the offensive and hurt Lewis with a hard right before knocking him out with a left uppercut and another chopping right, followed by a few more punches. It was 2:31 and a big surprise since Margarito wasn't known as a guy who ends his fights so quickly.


This fight definitely spelled the end for Lewis as a world class contender. He went back to fighting at home in Guyana and had a trilogy of fights against local rival Denny Dalton. First one ended as a technical draw after 4 rounds, in the second, something funny happened: Lewis was ahead on the cards when in the seventh round he suddenly felt an urgent need to go to the WC, thanks to a milkshake he had enjoyed before the fight. Since he had to leave the fight, he officially lost by a TKO. He finally beat Dalton by UD12 to win the Guyanese super welter title as well, in 2007. That same year, his uncle Abdel Nur, a converted Muslim, was arrested under the suspicion he was a terrorist at the JFK airport. Lewis defended his uncle and said he was a good person who condemned the September 11 attacks. Next year, he tried to become the national champion at middleweight as well, against Guyana-born but London-based Howard Eastman. He dropped a split decision to Eastman however, that 25 October 2008 and never fought again. He retired with a record of 23 wins, 20 ko's, 4 losses and 2 technical draws. On 4 May 2015, Lewis was riding his bycycle when he was hit by a car. He suffered massive head injuries and died later that same day in hospital. He was 44. He was buried with honors, with his WBA belt on his casket draped in the golden arrowhead. He was beloved by the locals not just because of his achievements in the ring, but also because he was a kind man. Lewis may be one of the lesser known welterweight champions of his era, but he will always be remembered and revered in his home country and by boxing afficionados as well.

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