Review: Lennox: The Untold Story — "a classy doc about a boxing giant"

Review: Lennox: The Untold Story — "a classy doc about a boxing giant"

11/13/2020

The title may be overselling it a little.

There are no groundbreaking revelations in this excellent documentary about three-times world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis.

But you can’t blame the marketing team for sprinkling a bit of showbiz glamour over this self-effacing giant.

Lewis never trash-talked like Mike Tyson or played the family entertainer like Frank Bruno. PR duties fell to promoter Frank (now Kellie) Maloney who is one of the interviewees in this suitably classy film.

She remembers coming up with the idea of selling him to the boxing world as a tea-sipping English gentleman.

Lewis, a product of Britain, Canada and Jamaica, only reluctantly agreed to play ball.

Here, it’s up to his friends, family and narrator and Dr Dre to fill in the details of a remarkable life.

Born to Jamaican parents in East London, Lewis was left with an abusive “aunt” while his single mother Violet moved to Canada to find work.

After being expelled from school, he moved to Canada to be reunited with his mum where he found direction and much-needed paternal guidance from late boxing trainer Arnie Boehm.

The film blends this touching personal story with thrilling and cleverly curated coverage of key fights and revealing archive footage from outside the ring.

At the end of the film, we see Lewis in his huge house in Jamaica, playing with his children, now the devoted father he had always wanted as a child.

The troubled Mike Tyson, who infamously once threatened to eat those children, clearly loves him too. And Maloney says she will never forget his statement of support during her transition.

This is a fascinating portrait of a genuine class act.

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