Forgotten Legends: Andrew “Six Heads” Lewis

By: Steve Gallegos

In 2001, there were 3 undefeated welterweight champions. The WBC champion was “Sugar” Shane Mosley and the IBF champion was the late Vernon Forrest. There was another unbeaten champion at that time that held the WBA title; however he didn’t get a chance to take on the other two champions and he wasn’t able to reach that next level to greatness, despite having all the tools to do so. That fighter was AndrewSix HeadsLewis.

Six Heads“, a southpaw was a destroyer inside the ring, dismantling opponents with power in either hand. He got the nickname “Six Heads” after knocking out an opponent and all he saw was six heads; therefore the name stuck. Lewis was born and raised in Georgetown, Guyana and had a fair amount of success as an amateur, representing Guyana in international competition. He turned pro in 1993 and would go 8-0-1 in his first nine bouts, all by KO. All of these bouts were in his hometown of Georgetown, Guyana and he knew he had to step out his home country in order to make a name for himself in the sport of boxing.

In 1996, he relocated to Brooklyn, NY and continued his streak of Knockouts, winning his next 12 bouts over the next four years, 11 by KO. Lewis didn’t get the exposure he deserved during this time as promoter Don King didn’t provide “Six Heads” with the same promotional push that he gave some of his other fighters like Felix Trinidad and Sharmba Mitchell.

The world finally got to know who AndrewSix HeadsLewis was when he fought for a world title. He would meet former welterweight champion James Page on 02/17/01 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for the vacant WBA welterweight title. It was part of an HBO Boxing After Dark doubleheader and “Six Heads” was sure not to disappoint on his biggest stage.

Page was also known his tremendous punching power, particularly his left hook and the question going into this bout was whether “Six Heads” would be able to take Page’s punch. “Six Heads” would quickly change the story of the fight. “Six Heads“, known for his punching power, also had very good hand speed and he showed it in the first round by getting off first and firing quick combinations. Page hadn’t been in the ring for almost two years and Lewis took advantage of the ring rust and dominated him in the first round.

Six Heads” continued the pace in the second round, landing many unanswerd shots. With 50 seconds to go in the seconnd, “Six Heads” landed a huge uppercut that put Page on the canvas. Page was able to get up and make it out of the round, however “Six Heads” delivered a great deal of punishment to end the second round.

Six Heads” continued to pick James Page apart in the third round, landing hard shots at will, particularly the left uppercut. Lewis switched it up to begin the fourth round by using his jab more, not electing to go for broke as he did in rounds 1-3. “Six Heads” continued to use his jab effectively in the fifth and sixth rounds while using it to set up quick combinations.

In the seventh, Lewis would land a short right hand that put Page down again. Page was able to get up, but was hurt, causing referee Kenny Bayless to stop the bout. A sensational TKO victory for AndrewSix HeadsLewis, earning him a world title and the world finally got to know who he was.

HBO was so impressed by this performance, that they quickly had him back on the air just two months later on their short lived boxing series “KO Nation”. “Six Heads” was victorious in a 12 round unanimous decison over Larry Marks. There were talks about a welterweight unification between Lewis and Shane Mosley to take place that summer, however it didn’t materialize and Mosley decided to take a much safer route by defending his title against Adrian Stone as compared to “Six HeadsLewis.

Six Heads” would then take on relatively unknown Nicaraugan challenger Ricardo Mayorga. They met on 07/28/01 at Staples Center, Los Angeles, California on a huge Pay Per View card headlined by Roy Jones vs Julio Gonzalez. The fight was stopped in the second round due to a clash of heads which caused a bad cut over Lewis‘ eye, therefore the fight was ruled a No-Contest.

Six Heads” and Mayorga would meet again nine months later in Reading, PA. It was an exciting fight for the first four rounds. “Six Heads” opted to slug more with Mayorga, which was more of Mayorga’s fight. In the fifth round, Mayorga landed a hard left hook followed by another left and right that put “Six Heads” down on his back. He was able to get up, however didn’t respond to referee Rudy Battle when he asked if he could continue; therefore the fight was stopped. It would be the last time AndrewSix HeadsLewis would be a world champion.

He rebounded with a first round KO eight months later, which put him back in line for another title shot, however he was stoppped by WBO Welterweight champion Antonio Margarito in two rounds in February of 2003. Lewis would be out of the ring for 2 1/2 years and returned to his home country of Guyana and had a series of fights with fellow countryman Denny Dalton. Their first encounter in October 2005 ended in a technical draw.

In the rematch sixth months later, Lewis was leading on all cards up until the seventh round, when he began to complain of bowel issues in which he needed to go to the bathroom; therefore the fight was stopped. He would avenge the loss a year later in a 12 round decision win. He would fight one more time in 2008, losing a 12 round split decision to Howard Eastman before calling it a career.

His record as a professional stands at 23-4-2 with 20 KO’s. While his time in the spotlight was brief, it was exciting. It was unfortunate he wasn’t able to measure himself against Mosley and Forrest, with whom he had the style and power to give both a run for their money. In the end, it’s another case of a very good fighter who was never able to be great.

Forgotten Legends: ‘Lightweight’ Shane Mosley

By: Steve Gallegos

We continue our “Forgotten Legends” series with a familiar name. For the past decade and a half “SugarShane Mosley has been a household name amongst boxing fans. He has mixed it up with some of the best fighters at 147 and 154 lbs. Shane made a name for himself in the eyes of the mainstream public after upsetting the “Golden Boy“, Oscar De La Hoya in June of 2000; however many tend to forget the career Mosley had prior to 06/17/00.

You can ask 10 boxing fans who Shane Mosley beat to win his first world title and probably seven out of those 10 will tell you Oscar De La Hoya; however that is very far from the truth. From 1997-1999, Shane Mosley campaigned as a lightweight champion and had a very successful reign while becoming the poster child for HBO’s Boxing After dark series in which he made several appearances.

In order to tell Shane’s story, we must start from the beginning. Shane Mosley was a huge amateur standout, winning many titles in the process while defeating future world champions such as Oscar De La Hoya, Rafael Ruelas and Stevie Johnston. His record as an amatuer was 230-12 and he came close to making the 1992 U.S. Olympic boxing team; however he was beaten by future rival Vernon Forrest.

He turned pro in February of 1993 and went 23-0 with 22 KO’s between 1993-1997. While being trained by his father Jack Mosley, Shane was impressive in the ring as he put together large volumes of punches to the body and head. A technique which his father called “Power Boxing“. It was during this time that Shane probably didn’t get the due he deserved.

He watched Oscar De La Hoya win four world titles and get million dollar paydays as well as seeing his other amateur rival Stevie Johnston claim a lightweight world title. Shane was starving for a title shot and he would finally get it against tough, undefeated lightweight champion Phillip Holiday.

They met on 08/02/97 in Uncansville, CT. Shane was able to outbox Holiday throughout the bout with quick combinations en route to a 12 round unanimous decision. Shane Mosley was finally a world champion. Although he won the fight, it wasn’t the most impressive of performances as he later claimed he had diarrhea during the bout.

Many critics weren’t sold on Shane Mosley as of yet and he quickly proved them wrong. In his first title defense, he broke down the very tough Mexican challenger Manuel Gomez, scoring an impressive 11th round KO. He followed it up with another impressive eighth round TKO over Demetrio Ceballos in February of 1998. He then faced the toughest test of his lightweight career as he faced former three-time champion John John Molina.

They met on 05/09/98 in Atlantic City and it was a rough and tough war from the start. Molina, who was known for his rough and aggressive style pressured Shane from the outset. Shane was able to weather the storm while using his “Power Boxing” and strong commitment to body punching en route to an eighth round stoppage.

He would defend his title there more times in 1998 all by KO including a win over former world champion Jesse James Leija. Mosley began the year 1999 with an impressive seventh round TKO over Golden Johnson in which he broke down Johnson with his evergrowing commitment to body punching.

It was around this time that he was lobbying for a fight with former amateur rival Stevie Johnston as well as lightweight champion Cesar Bazan and top lightweight contender Ivan Robinson who called Shane out after his second win over Arturo Gatti the past December. Mosley pressed hard to make these fights; however Johnston and Bazan elected to fight a rematch with each other while Ivan Robinson elected to take a lesser payday against Angel Manfredy.

Since Mosley wasn’t able to get the fights he wanted at lightweight as well as weakening himself to make 135 lbs, he elected to take one more fight at lightweight against rugged contender JohnThe Eastern BeastBrown. Brown came into the ring with a record of 19-5; however he was coming off an impressive pair of performances in a losing effort to Angel Manfredy as well as an upset win over Gabe Ruelas in which he took the fight on short notice. Brown was also very durable, having not been stopped in his give losses.

They met on 04/18/99 in Indio, California. Mosley had a hard time with Brown due to his come forward aggressive style. Mosley wasn’t able to land body shots on Brown as it was hard to hit Brown’s body due to his small 5’4 frame.

In the eighth round, Mosley finally hurt Brown with a series of right hand shots to the head. Brown was rocked badly and appeared to be out on his feet at the end of the round, causing referee Pat Russell to stop the fight. It would be his last fight as a lightweight. His record as a lightweight was 32-0 with 30 KO’s, one of the highest KO percentages in the modern era.

He would move up to welterweight and Jr. middleweight in which he would earn million dollar paydays while mixing it up with some of the best like Oscar De La Hoya, Vernon Forrest, Winky Wright, Fernando Vargas, Miguel Cotto and Floyd Mayweather.

He would win some and lose some in the process. Many fight fans only remember his career from 2000 to the present, not remembering his incredible reign as a lightweight champion. While he had his biggest paydays at 147 and 154 lbs, his best days were definitely at 135 lbs. We look back at his days of dominance with bittersweet feelings of a career that has been forgotten.